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Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Attorneys > Blog > Auto Accidents > How Knowing Braking Distances Can Help Prevent Car Accidents

How Knowing Braking Distances Can Help Prevent Car Accidents


There are a lot of things that can affect a vehicle’s stopping distance, but one of the most important is speed. It’s important to have a thorough understanding of how speed, and other factors, can affect stopping distance and how stopping distance can affect whether a person is involved in a crash. In fact, preventing car accidents, especially rear-end collisions often depends on it. Read on to learn more about how being familiar with braking distances can help prevent car accidents in Florida.

Factors that Affect Braking Distances 

Besides speed, there are a variety of factors that can affect a driver’s ability to bring a car to a complete stop, such as:

  • The driver’s reaction time, which in turn can be affected by medications, fatigue, and inebriation;
  • The condition of the vehicle’s tires, including air pressure and tread depth, with worn out tires with little tread and low pressure taking a lot longer to come to a complete stop;
  • The road conditions, with wet asphalt and dirt roads adding significant stopping distance;
  • The weather conditions, with rainy and wet conditions increasing braking distance; and
  • The condition of the vehicle, as well as its braking capacity, with commercial trucks taking the longest to come to a complete stop.

Drivers should take all of these factors into consideration when deciding how much distance to leave between themselves and the vehicle in front of them.

Typical Braking Distances 

While braking distances vary depending on the type of vehicle and the road and weather conditions in question, there are some general rules regarding braking distance. For instance, a car that is traveling 20 miles per hour will usually travel around 17 feet before coming to a stop. These distances will increase as a driver’s speed goes up. Even increasing speed by ten miles per hour, for example, increases braking distance to 37 feet. Similarly, a vehicle that is traveling:

  • 40 miles per hour won’t come to a stop for 67 feet;
  • 50 miles per hour won’t come to a stop for 104 feet;
  • 60 miles per hour won’t come to a stop for 150 feet;
  • 70 miles per hour will take 204 feet to come to a stop; and
  • 80 miles per hour will take 267 feet to come to a stop.

It’s important to keep in mind that the perception of distance can change based on a person’s mental or physical condition, visibility, and medication, but the average perception of time for an alert driver is estimated to be between three quarters of a second and one second.

Contact an Experienced Florida Car Accident Lawyer 

Knowing your braking distances can prevent accidents. Unfortunately, even being familiar with stopping distances doesn’t guarantee that a person won’t be involved in a car crash. If you were involved in a collision for which you weren’t at fault, call the experienced Florida car accident lawyers at Boone & Davis for a free evaluation of your case. You can reach us by calling our office at 954-566-9919 or by sending us an online message. Call or contact us online to get started on your case today.




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