The stopping distance in a moving vehicle is something that should always be kept in the mind of any capable driver. Stopping distance is the distance it takes the vehicle to come to a complete stop once the breaks have been applied. It goes without saying that knowing this value could save a person’s life, or at least provide the driver with the ability to prevent future accidents.
While it is possible to know the stopping distance with perfect parameters, many other factors can impact the stopping distance and should always be taken into consideration. The list below provides five of these possible factors and how to avoid their influence when driving.
Speed is an extremely influential parameter when considering stopping distances. The faster the vehicle is travelling the longer it will take for the vehicle to stop, simple. In a majority of collisions on UK roads, driver fault and the use of excessive speed have been to blame. Always regulate your speed and drive within the legal speed limit.
- Weather conditions
The weather can be unpredictable but your stopping distance doesn’t have to be! Poor weather conditions heavily influence the manner in which a vehicle behaves and this is something which competent drivers should always be prepared for. Switching tyres dependant on the seasons and allowing for a much higher stopping distance when braking in wet weather will help to avoid any issues caused by poor weather conditions.
The condition of your tyres will always impact the stopping distance of your vehicle. The main factors which influence the condition of your tyres are:
⦁ Tyre tread – The tread on a tyre influences how well the tyre can grip to the road beneath it.
⦁ Tyre Pressure – The pressure of the tyre will affect how much surface area is in contact with the road, dictating how efficiently the tread can perform.
⦁ Tyre damage – The age and condition of the tyre will not only impact the handling of the vehicle but will also have a negative influence on its ability to stop quickly and efficiently.
⦁ Tyre choice – There are specific tyre choices for a reason. Using the wrong tyres will cause issues but it is worth mentioning that the choice to switch tyres depending on weather conditions is an extremely good choice to make.
In order to have fully functioning tyres which do not compromise the stopping distance of the vehicle, be sure to check the manufacturer’s guidelines or ask your local garage for advice!
Brakes are commonly known as one of the most influential factors upon stopping distances. When applying the brakes in a car, the brake pads push against the brake disc causing the vehicle to stop. Over time these brake pads can become worn and damaged from the friction applied to them. Regularly check your brake pads not only as a means of addressing safety concerns but in order to comply with UK law.
- Tiredness and poor concentration
One issue which is rarely addressed when considering stopping distances is the actual ability and response time of the driver. While the average driver is not expected to have the reactions of Lewis Hamilton when cruising in their Ford KA, they are expected to behave responsibly and take precautions when driving.
Tiredness is a major issue for long-distance or late-night drivers. Always remain alert and focused when behind the wheel. Take regular breaks if necessary and never endanger the lives of your passengers or the road users around you.
Various other factors can negatively influence the stopping distance of a vehicle but the five issues discussed within this article are ones that can be easily fixed or avoided with the use of common sense. Always be sure to regularly check your vehicle as a preemptive strike on any issues will save money and lives in the long term.