The Relationship Between Speed & Braking Distance

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    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.

    Stopping Distance

    • 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.

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