Stopping Distances For Cars

The stopping distance is the distance your car travels from the moment you realise you must brake to the moment the car stops.

Stopping distance depends on a number of factors which include:-

  1. How fast you are going
  2. Whether you're travelling on level ground, uphill or downhill
  3. The weather - dry roads mean shorter braking distances, wet and icy roads mean longer braking distances
  4. The state of the road
  5. The condition of the car and tyres
  6. Your reaction time when applying the brakes - check your reaction time by taking the simple Reaction Test below.

The following diagram shows the overall stopping distances at a variety of speeds when the road surface is dry.
If the road was wet the stopping distance would be twice the distance, on icy roads the stopping distance would be ten times as much.

  Thinking Distance   - the time it takes you to think about stopping and hit the brakes.
  Braking Distance   - the time it takes for the car to come to a stop after you have applied the brakes.

stopping distance


Practice makes perfect, so get plenty of practice from a Approved Driving Instructor