Approximate Stopping Distances

Many people have a good feel for how long it takes to stop their car or truck. It is a was a good idea to keep a safe distance from the car or truck in front of you in case they stop quickly. Everyone knows the faster you go the more safe distance you should maintain that you should maintain ahead of you. A good rule of thumb is you should stay 2 seconds behind the vehicle had of you. Another general rule is that it takes a driver about a second and a half to react to an emergency situation and apply the brakes. If you are going 20 miles an hour assuming decent brakes the takes approximately 63 feet to stop or 44 feet to react and 19 feet to stop. Going 40 mph it takes about 109 feet to skid to a stop including reaction time. If you're going 60 is now up to 303 feet to stop including reaction time and this is assuming you have good brakes and tires and the road is dry and level pavement. In other words optimum conditions. If you are in less than optimum conditions you should allow more stopping time and more safe distance between you and the vehicles ahead of you. If it is raining or if conditions are wet your vehicle is harder to control and it will take your car or pickup longer to stop. If the traffic is heavy you should also allow as much safe distances you can. Hopefully these general stopping distances will be a refresher course and reminder to allow plenty of room between you and the vehicles ahead of you should waste a sudden stopping necessary. Drive safe-be safe.

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