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How Long Does It Take to Stop a Moving Vehicle?

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Part of safe driving is realizing how long it takes to stop your car. If you want to keep from rear-ending other drivers, you need to know approximately how far behind them to stay, especially when you add in factors like your rate of speed and what the weather is like. So, if you’re looking for ways to avoid causing a car accident, look at how long you need to fully stop your vehicle.

What’s the Average Time It Takes to Stop Your Car?

There are many studies about how long it takes to stop a vehicle. While the exact numbers in each study vary, you can still get an idea from the range of accepted numbers. One fact to know first is that a car going at 60 mph drives a length of about 88 feet per second. Getting that car to come to a stop from 60 mph takes 4.5 seconds, during which time it will travel 194 feet as it slows.

But that’s not the whole story, because it takes time for your brain to realize you need to slow down, and then more time to hit the brakes. More specifically, it takes the average driver just under one second to realize they need to brake and another second to press the brake pedal. So realistically, you need to add about two seconds to your stopping time, putting it at 6.4 seconds to stop. During that time, your car will travel about 370 feet.

What Factors Affect How Long It Takes for a Car to Stop?

In some situations, it may take longer than 6.4 seconds to stop your car. For instance, speed is a huge factor. Simply put, the faster you drive, the longer it takes to stop. If you’re going 30 mph, your stopping distance could be about 90 feet, but when you drive at 80 mph, the stopping distance increases to over 440 feet.

Additionally, if the roads are wet, braking will take longer due to decreased traction between the road and the tires. In fact, wet roads can double how long it takes for your vehicle to come to a complete stop, which is why you should double the distance you keep between your car and the car ahead of you when it’s been raining.

Why Do Drivers Need This Information?

Knowing these numbers can help you drive safer, which includes keeping a safe distance between cars. If you want to keep your insurance premiums to a minimum and avoid causing a painful crash, you should give yourself plenty of time and space for braking.

If you were already in an accident in which you were rear-ended, make sure you talk to a car accident lawyer to help prove liability and collect compensation. Contact our law office today at  (713) 489-4270 to discuss your case.

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