Stopping distances

Image of a sports bike

You need to take into account both the time it takes for you to react to a situation (the thinking time - shown in yellow) and the time it takes to bring your car to a halt (the braking distance.

These distances (shown in car lengths) assume the driving conditions are clear and the road is dry. In wet conditions, distances will be much greater.

This is a graphic showing stopping distances at various speeds in vehicle lengths. Stopping distance can be split into 'thinking time' and 'braking distance'. At 20mph thinking time will be 2 car lengths, braking distance 1 car length. At 30mph thinking time will be 2 car lengths, braking distance 4 car lengths, total stopping distance being 6 car lengths. At 40mph thinking time will be 3 car lengths, braking distance 5 car lengths, total stopping distance being 8 car lengths. At 50mph thinking time will be 3 car lengths, braking distance 10 car lengths, total stopping distance being 13 car lengths. At 60mph thinking time will be 5 car lengths, braking distance 10 car lengths, total stopping distance being 15 car lengths. At 70mph thinking time will be 5 car lengths, braking distance 14 car lengths, total stopping distance being 19 car lengths. These figures are approximate and assume driving conditions are clear. In wet or icy conditions these distances will be much greater.