“Stopping Distance” is something all drivers at the learning level should be familiar with in order to pass the theoretical test at the driver’s academy. It’s, however, most unfortunate that the information comes quite late or just at the moment when we’re almost given up on the idea of becoming a driver. In fact, we have a very bad habit of keeping our vehicles too close to others, also known as “tailgating” in typical automotive terminology and one of the primary causes of major road accidents.
To stay safe behind the wheel, it’s important to know about stopping distance, which is referred to as the total time and distance it takes the car to stop post-application of the brakes. In almost every country, there’re specific Highway Codes defined by the government and law enforcement agencies to keep the vehicle safe. Here’s all you need to know!
Consider Road Conditions
To consider road conditions is also important when it comes to stopping distances. For instance, if the surface is wet or icy, it’ll take the vehicle a bit longer to completely stop as compared to normal conditions or on a dry road. It’s quite obvious that anything which limits or reduces the friction between tyres and road makes it far more difficult to stop so always keep this fact in mind while driving.
A study has concluded that braking/stopping distance can be doubled in wetter and slippery conditions with various factors contributing to it such as oil spills, loose surface such as a composite of sand and gravel which means the tyres would surely lose traction.
The Two-Second Rule
When traveling, performing complex calculations about the total space you would need to have between yours and the one in front can be quite unrealistic. There’re however simpler ways to make things work if you’re already leaving plenty of space to stop safely. The two-second rule seems to apply perfectly in dry conditions, however.
You need to choose a fixed point in front of you on the road and register when another vehicle passes by it. From this particular time, two seconds or more should be the difference before you get to the same location. It also means that you’ll probably have time to apply the brake and stop abruptly should there need be.
Minimising the Stopping Distance
Besides being aware of the average stopping distance and keeping it a practice while driving, there’re many other practical steps you can take to apply the brakes in a quicker and effectively. Some of these are directly associated with the vehicle, the driving habits and SUV tyre quality, which affect overall experience and traction on the road.
When it comes down to the vehicle, always ensure that the tyres are up to the mark. Take, for instance, high-end quality tyres and befitting the car with these would be quite beneficial in terms of performance and overall safety. Brake maintenance is also important which includes proper lubrication of the braking mechanism, detailed check by professionals and ensuring that the brake pads have been replaced before they’re too worn.