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Approximate Stopping Distances

Extracts from this document...


Arslaan Asif


The graph shows the approximate stopping distances. It shows thinking distance, braking distance and overall stopping distance.

Stopping distance is the distance the car travels from when the driver sees something to when the vehicle stops, this is called the stopping distance, and this is made up of two parts: the thinking distance and the braking distance.

Stopping distance is calculated by adding together the distance it takes to think and the distance it takes to brake.

Here is the formula to calculate overall stopping distance.

Stopping Distance = Thinking Distance + Braking Distance

The Braking Distance line and the Overall Stopping Distance line on the graph are curves whereas the Thinking Distance line is not. The thinking distance line is straight because the rate of change is consistent this means that the speed which the vehicle is travelling at does not affect the Thinking Distance the thinking distance will stay the same, but the thinking distance will increase as the speed increases because the car will travel further in the same time because it is travelling faster. Doubling the speed will double the thinking distance. E.g. if the vehicle is travelling at 20 mph the thinking distance will be 20 ft. When the line is a curve it means that the rate of change is not consistent, for example if the car is travelling at a speed of 30 mph the thinking distance would be 30 ft and the braking distance would be 45 ft, when you add these together it will give you the overall stopping distance which is 75 ft. this shows that the rate of change is not consistent.

The thinking distance is always the same as the speed you are travelling at. As the speed of the vehicle increases the thinking distance also increases.

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Heart diseaseSleep DisordersDiabetesPsychiatric DisordersAge-related decline

This usually won’t mean they cannot drive at all, but they may need to see their doctor more often and they may possibly need to restrict driving.

Health also affects thinking distances because if the driver has a mental problem they will take a lot longer to react than an ordinary person, or if the driver has other health issues such as arthritis, that person will have slower reaction times.

Distractions such as mobile phones, in car navigation systems, adjusting the stereo and large roadside billboards increase thinking distances because while the driver is driving they will need to pay full attention to drive and safely control the vehicle and respond to any activity on the road or nearby. Distractions cause the driver to do the following, take their eyes off the road, take their mind off the road and take their hands off the steering wheel. When driving you may be distracted by more than just one distraction e.g. if you want to put the volume higher on the stereo you take your hand of the steering wheel to turn the button and you take your eyes off the road to look at what button you want to press. This will make the thinking distance of the driver increase massively which will make accidents occur more easily as they are not concentrating.

Using a mobile phone is a distraction from driving safely; it divides a driver’s mental attention away from the road meaning that drivers may miss road signs, warnings and hazards. Using a mobile phone increases the time it takes the driver to react.

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Opponents of tighter speed limits say that the measures can be counterproductive, forcing drivers to spend more time concentrating on surrounding the horizon for speed cameras and keeping an eye on their speedometers, rather than concentrating on the road in front of them.

A further danger of applying such strict limits in residential areas is that British drivers simply may not accept them or take them seriously, which could damage the credibility of speed limits more generally.

I t is just another way for the government and local authorities to collect fines from motorists.

By introducing unrealistic speed limits, drivers may be less inclines to obey limits as a whole.

A change in culture is needed to stop UK drivers from speeding. Simply lowering the limit will not tackle the problem, because many drivers love driving fast as they find it fun, there will need to be change in society about over speeding.

I think that the government should lower the speed limit because it will dramatically lower the amount of deaths and people who are seriously injured and it will also reduce congestion. There are more benefits of reducing the speed limit in towns than disadvantages and downsides so it easily out ways all the downsides of reducing the speed limit in a residential areas. By reducing the speed limit it will be saving many lives and will make the road a safer environment. They should reduce the speed limit as it will save the NHS a lot of money in the long run.

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