How Long Does it Really Take to Stop?

Posted on by Defensive Driving | in Defensive Driving Tips

Have you ever wondered how long it will really take you stop if you should need to? If you haven’t, you should. Knowing this information can go a long way in making you a defensive driver. If you know how long it takes, you can make sure you have enough room between you and the car in front of you should the need to brake suddenly arise. Yes, most cars publish the time it takes the car to stop in their own testing, but these numbers are not real life. They don’t account for reaction time at all, and they definitely don’t account for rainy roads or novice drivers.

It Is Not a One-size-fits-all Answer

Before we get into the facts and figures, it is important to realize that there are a lot of variables involved when considering how long it will take you to stop. For example, it will take longer to stop on a wet road than it will on a dry one. The size of your vehicle can also have an impact. Smaller cars tend to stop faster because there is less weight behind them. The condition of your tires and brakes also play a big role. And, of course, how in tune you are and how quickly you react can dramatically alter the total stopping speed.

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The Nitty Gritty

The following figures, computed by CSG Network, are based on an average driver in an average sized car on a dry road. If any of the above variables apply, the figures will surely be different, and will probably be slower.

6.87 Seconds

We won’t bore you with the complex formula, but what you need to know is that if you are traveling 60 miles per hour, it will take you 6.87 seconds (which includes a one-second delay for you to react) to come to a complete stop. That’s a lot longer than you may think. Start counting now: one, one thousand, two one thousand, etc. See? It’s a long time, right? Imagine yourself on the road counting to seven before you could stop. Craziness. What’s more, in this amount of time, you have traveled more than the entire length of a football field (300 feet). And that’s only at 60 miles per hour. Imagine if you were going 70, or even 80?

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