1.17 Describe the factors affecting vehicle stopping distance including speed, mass, road condition and reaction time

  • Stopping distance = thinking distance + braking distance
  • Thinking distance – how far the car travels before the drive reacts by pulling the brakes
  • Stopping distance – distance travelled by the car as it decelerates to a stop
  • So, the faster the vehicle is going, the longer it will take to stop.
  • If reaction time increases, stopping distance increases

Factors affecting thinking distance

  • Alcohol
  • Distractions (music and mobile phones)
  • Drugs and medicines
  • Lethargy

Factors affecting braking distance

  • Weather (Dry weather = friction, rainy weather = water acts as a lubricant)
  • Condition of tires and brakes
  • Condition of the road
  • Speed of car



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