How Fast Can a Car Stop in Adverse Conditions?

What you Need to Know

You’ve probably heard that you should always maintain at least one car length for every 10mph between you and the car in front of you, but where did that advice come from? How long does it take to stop a car? The answer depends on a variety of variables, including whether you need brake repair and what the weather is like. Here’s what you should know about how long it typically takes to bring a car to a complete stop from various speeds.

Dry Pavement

Dry pavement is one of the easiest surfaces to stop on. Here’s a quick overview of how long it takes the average person to come to a stop on a dry road:

  • 20 mph: 40 feet
  • 40 mph: 120 feet
  • 60 mph: 240 feet
  • 80 mph: 400 feet

To give you an idea of how far 400 feet is, it’s approximately the length of six semi-trailers. Given this information, it’s essential to keep an adequate distance from the vehicle in front of you if you’re traveling at high speeds. Most people are surprised to discover they should stay approximately three semi-trailer lengths away from the vehicle in front of them when driving on wet roads at typical freeway speeds.

Wet Pavement

When you’re driving on wet pavement, your ability to bring your vehicle to a stop is significantly hampered. If you’re driving in Brookfield on wet roads, you need to stay even further behind the vehicle in front of you then you regularly would. Here’s a brief overview of the average stopping distance for vehicles on wet pavement:

  • 20 mph: 60 feet
  • 40 mph: 200 feet
  • 60 mph: 420 feet
  • 80 mph: 720 feet

As you can see, the stopping distance in wet weather is almost double the stopping distance on dry roads. Keep that in mind and practice defensive driving techniques anytime the weather turns south.

Schedule Your Brake Repair

In addition to these common scenarios, your ability to stop can also be hampered if you need brake repair or if you hit ice or compacted snow on the road. To make sure you stay as safe as possible, schedule your brake service with Silver Lake Auto & Tire Centers in Brookfield today.

Written by Megan Rademan

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