Shortest stopping distance in metres

40 km/h
vehicle speed  
Thinking distance + braking distance = stopping distance

10m

10m

20m


60 km/h
vehicle speed  

Thinking distance + braking distance = stopping distance

15m

20m

35m


80 km/h
vehicle speed  

Thinking distance + braking distance = stopping distance

20m

40m

60m

An average double-decker bus is about 10 metres long. Compare the distances shown with a line of buses

illustration

Wet roads - double braking distance

On a dry road, an alert driver with a good car with good brakes and tyres, will stop in the distances shown. These are shortest stopping distances.

The stopping distance is the thinking distance plus the braking distance.

        Thinking
distance

-the distance the vehicle travels after the driver has seen the danger and before the brakes are on.

Thinking distances increase greatly for drivers suffering from slow reactions, tiredness, illness and lack of concentration.

       Braking
distance

-the distance the vehicle travels after the brakes have been put on.

Braking distances increase greatly with wet and slippery roads, poor brakes and tyres.