Stopping distances


Highway code stopping distances.

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Official overall stopping distances from the Highway Code.

Stopping distance is the time it takes to bring a moving vehicle to a complete stop. It consists of two components:

  1. Thinking Distance: This is the distance your car travels between spotting a hazard and starting to brake. It’s the time it takes for you to react.
  2. Braking Distance: This is the distance it takes for the brakes to stop the car after you’ve applied them. It depends on factors like road conditions and speed. Here are some typical stopping distances (based on dry roads and average car length in the UK):
    • At 20mph: 12 meters (around 3 car lengths).
    • At 30mph: 23 meters (approximately 6 car lengths).
    • At 50mph: 53 meters (about 13 car lengths).
    • At 70mph: 96 meters (more like 24 car lengths)

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