No matter how hard you slam the brakes on you will find that your car won’t come to an immediate stop. The distance that it will take for your car to come to a complete standstill will vary depending on different factors like the speed t hat you’re going at, how worn your tyres are, and the current weather conditions.
Learning stopping distances for your theory test can seem like a pain as there are so many different numbers to remember. But the information is extremely important as it will help you to drive in a way that is safe for both you and other road users. Once you understand stopping distances it will make you more aware of how dangerous driving in hazardous weather conditions can be.
Below is guide to the average stopping distances when travelling at different speeds.
Stopping distances in normal conditions
- 20 mph – 12 metres (40 feet) or three car lengths
- 30 mph – 23 metres (75 feet) or six car lengths
- 40 mph – 36 metres (118 feet) or nine car lengths
- 50 mph – 53 metres (175 feet) or thirteen car lengths
- 60 mph – 73 metres (240 feet) or eighteen car lengths
- 70 mph – 96 metres (315 feet) or twenty-four car lengths
When you take your DSA driving theory test you are likely to get quizzed on at least one of these stopping distances so it’s important that you learn them all off by heart.
These stopping distances should be used as a guide only as they only refer to normal driving conditions. If the weather is wet or icy outside then your stopping distances will become much further. This is because when the road is wet your vehicle’s tyres can lose their grip on the road causing the driver to have less control over the vehicle.
If it has been raining or if there is water on the road then your stopping distances will be approximately double those that you would see during normal conditions. If the road is icy then it is even more dangerous and your stopping distance could be up to ten times further than it is under normal conditions.
Driving with worn tyres can also affect your stopping distances. If your tyres are worn it could increase the length of your stopping distance by 40% or more so it’s important to make sure that you are always aware of the condition of your tyres.
Learning stopping distances may seem tedious they are very important. Knowing your stopping distances will help you to make informed decisions about the way you drive in different weather conditions and help you to be a safer driver.