This is a collaborative post.
Winter and spring weather means extreme road conditions: snow, ice and rain and they make driving more difficult and require extra attention from the driver. And not just from the driver, but the car should also be in its best possible driving condition. In extreme weather conditions your vehicle’s overall stopping distances are doubled for wet roads and multiplied by ten for snow and icy conditions.
For a quick recap, let’s define stopping distance first: the combination of thinking distance (the distance that the car travels after the driver has seen the danger and before the brakes are applied) and breaking distance (the distance that the car travels whilst braking). To visualise this, watch this video, which explains it perfectly:
So with this in mind let’s see what are the most important things to know about stopping distances.
And MOT tests. These are a greatly important: they ultimately save your life. MOT checks done in a certified MOT centre and they ensure that your vehicle is safe and roadworthy a mechanic will also test your exhaust emissions produced from your vehicle aren’t over excessive and reducing the effect it has on the environment.
Driving at the right speed
Don’t drive too fast for the conditions. We all know it’s dangerous. Even if the car is in perfect condition, driving too fast is dangerous and it’s extremely dangerous when the road conditions are not ideal. This stopping distance will increase as you go faster. You need to travel at a speed that’ll allow you to stop well within the distance you can see to be clear.
Keeping the right distance between cars
We all hate tailgating when other drivers do that to us: so just don’t do it. This bad habit increase the likelihood of accidents, and this is why awareness of stopping distances is important.
The 2 second rule
This is a tip to check if you’re maintaining the right speed and stopping distances: choose a fixed point on the road ahead and watch when the vehicle in front of you passes that point. If it takes 2 seconds or more before you pass that same fixed point, you’re traveling at the right speed.
Finally, let’s not forget about how important is that your reaction time is not effected by alcohol, drugs and other distractions like your mobile phone or too loud music whilst driving. When in the car, always ensure that the driver completely focused on the road and the passengers should be cooperative too.