5 Things You Need to Know about Stopping Distances & Highway Codes

Driving experts comment on the newly imposed Government highway codes regarding the stopping distance that it may take some time to stop the vehicle for an emergency as the stopping distance has been reduced. Stopping distance is a quantitative figure that represents the length needed to stop if there occurs emergency or sudden stop. Several highway communities and road safety campaigners have opposed the decision and requested the government for a revoke. Here are few things you need to know about Stopping distance and & related highway codes.

  1.   Calculation of Stopping Distance

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To comment on the highway code, we first need to understand how the government calculates the stopping distance. Government experts have divided time of stopping into two times. First, is called ‘Thinking Time’ and second is ‘braking distance time’. Thinking time is the time drivers take to stopping consideration and gathering possibilities of why. In simple, it’s the time driver takes to identify a hazard and reach the brake pedal to stop. Braking distance time is the time your vehicle takes to stop after you hit the brake pedal. According to Highway Code, a vehicle must take 12 meters to stop if it’s travelling in 20mph, 23 minutes if 30mph and so on.

  1.   Importance of Stopping Distances

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Stopping distances are introduced to benefit the driver in several ways. First being mentally present while driving, if the driver has the slight know-how of brakes, speed, and distance, then it becomes easier for them to know how significant stopping distances can be. Also, the government provided safe distance limits for stopping so that drivers could have a complete idea when exactly they need to stop. According to a survey, highway drivers take more time in ‘Thinking Time’, and they take twice the time amended by the government. Therefore, Highway codes need changes.

  1.   New Stopping Distances

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The revised version of the stopping distances time by the British Government is following as:

  •         If the vehicle speed is 20 mph, stopping distance will be 19 meters
  •         If the vehicle speed is 30 mph, stopping distance  will be 34 meters
  •         If the vehicle speed is 40 mph, stopping distance will be 51 meters
  •         If the vehicle speed is 50 mph, stopping distance will be 71 meters
  •         If the vehicle speed is 60 mph, stopping distance  will be 95 meters
  •         If the vehicle speed is 70 mph, stopping distance will be 121 meters
  1.   Suggestions to Change Stopping Distances

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As discussed earlier, highway drivers take double the time to stop as prescribed by the government highway code. If we divide the thinking time further, it estimates 0.67 seconds for a brain to identify whereas, psychologists and neurologists say that it takes 1.5 seconds for identification and it is different in every country. Same is the case in braking distance time as some drivers instantly hit the brake upon reaching close to an obstacle while others slowly hit the brake pedal to reduce the speed.

  1.   Understanding the Road

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The purpose of rules and regulations is to bring betterment and safety in transportation. 2 out of every five accidents on highways in the UK are related to stopping distances. Therefore, it is mandatory for every citizen to follow the regulations for driving. If there’s a need for change, then it’s better to notify the officials formally so that everything is settled properly. Remember, these rules for your safety, Drive Safely.

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