Explore the factors that you need to take into consideration to leave enough space for braking between your vehicle and those in front of you.
Braking distance is the distance a vehicle will need to come to a complete stop once the brakes are applied. This distance is necessary in order to avoid crashing into vehicles in front of you or other obstacles, such as a road barrier or construction barrel. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to traveling at a sufficient braking distance because there are multiple factors that affect that distance. See all of the factors that affect braking distance so you ensure you take them into consideration when driving.
Factors That Affect Braking Distance
- Road Conditions. The condition of the road you are traveling on is one of the top factors when it comes to the distance your vehicle will need to come to a complete and safe stop. Conditions such as whether a road is wet, slick with substances like oil, has debris such as leaves, has new or old pavement, or is crumbling or otherwise compromised will all affect the contact a vehicle’s tires have with the road. Any substance on the road or various states of pavement can affect your vehicle’s traction, making it harder to slow down and stop in a short space.
- The Condition of Your Tires. Tires that are old, worn, or under or overinflated will affect the amount of traction between the tires and the road. Less traction means the braking distance needed to stop will be greater.
- Your Speed. The faster you are traveling, the greater the braking distance needed to come to a complete stop.
- Your Vehicle’s Weight. Larger, heavier vehicles have a greater braking distance than smaller, lighter vehicles.
- Your Attention. If you are not paying adequate attention to the road, your reaction time will be less. This means the braking distance necessary to stop will be greater.
It’s always a good idea to leave an adequate amount of space between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead of you when driving.
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