The Relationship Between Speed & Braking Distance
Factors Affecting Braking
- Drivers must consider several factors besides speed when determining how long it will take to stop a car. These include road conditions, type of vehicle, tires, driver perception/reaction times and anti-lock versus conventional brakes.
- The guideline for the length of time required to decelerate a car or light truck while driving on dry pavement and still maintain control of the vehicle is about 15 feet per second. A driver going 60 miles per hour can stop a vehicle in 6.87 seconds.
Know Your Limits
- The government considers a crash at 30 to 35 mph severe in safety tests. The Oregon State Police recommends a following distance of two seconds to allow for the average reaction time of 0.5 to 2 seconds. Allow time to react to an emergency, especially when roads are wet or slippery, and work on braking skills.