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Winter Driving â€“ Do You Know Your Stopping Distances?

Driving on Britainâ€™s roads this winter will put your stopping distance knowledge to the test. Book Theory Test Today asks – do you know your stopping distances?

Stopping distances are a common topic covered during your theory test preparation and driving tuition, but did the knowledge stick? Or, did you simply memorise it for the sake of passing your theory test?

Why do I need to know my stopping distances?

Book Theory Test Today says: â€œTo prevent you from causing an accident, potentially injuring or killing yourself and/or other road users. In the winter months in particular stopping distances can increase by up to 10 times the required distance needed to stop in normal conditions.â€

How are stopping distances calculated?

Stopping distances are calculated based on a driverâ€™s thinking time (i.e. the distance a vehicle has travelled before the driver reacts to the hazard) and the braking distance (i.e. how long a vehicle takes to come to a complete stop once the brakes have been applied).

What factors affect stopping distances?

The Book Theory Test Today blogger says: â€œThinking time and braking distance can be impacted by numerous circumstances, affecting a driverâ€™s ability to stop a vehicle within a required stopping distance.â€

A recent study shows that the following factors affect the stopping distance of a car:

Thinking distance

The time it takes a driver to think about reacting, plus the speed of the vehicle in which theyâ€™re travelling, can be affected by the following factors:

• Age (aging drivers are known to require more thinking time)
• Drink or drug driving
• Failure to concentrate
• Poor vision
• Tiredness

Braking distance

Aside from the speed of the car, braking distances are affected by:

• Condition of brakes
• Condition of tyres
• Weather conditions
• Weight of the car

The Maths

The Book Theory Test Today blogger says: â€œBelow is a visual representation of the required stopping distances when driving a vehicle at certain speeds. Obviously, as a vehicleâ€™s speed increases so does the braking distance. The braking distances shown in blue show that distances are doubled in wet conditions. In icy conditions braking distances are multiplied by 10.â€

[source: drivingtresttips.biz]

Why are stopping distances increased in rain and icy conditions?

Due to massively reduced friction between a road surface and tyres, stopping a car in a short distance is virtually impossible. Thatâ€™s why in rainy conditions breaking distances are double and in icy conditions theyâ€™re increased by 10 times.

This will help… If youâ€™re struggling to retain stopping distance information this formula will help. Simply remember the 2 | 2.5 | 3 | 3.5 | 4 | 4.5 formula to work out the overall stopping distance.

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