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What Affects my Stopping Distance?

Over the course of your driving lifetime it is very likely that you will have to perform an emergency stop, but there are certain factors which can come into play which may further the distance it will take for your vehicle to stop; this could be the difference between life and death so it is very important that we address them.

Here we have listed some of the top factors that can affect your stopping distance and how you can prevent them from causing a serious accident in the future.


The condition your brakes are in will greatly affect how long it takes for your car to come to a standstill. If your brake discs or brake pads are worn or damaged this could result in a much longer stopping distance, or your car even spinning out of control.

The weather conditions can also affect the quality of your brakes, if you have driven through mud or water recently it is best to try your brake pedal a few times before you continue on your journey.


A big part of your stopping distance will be down to your tyres, things to check for include the pressure, wear and overall quality. If your tyre is worn down it can affect the tread depth, this is important for the cars grip on the road. The pressure of your tires is also something you should regularly check, if they are either over or under inflated it can mean your stopping distance is affected.

Making sure that your tyres are in the best possible condition at all times will mean that your stopping distance is fast and effective. Some of the best tyres on the market are Michelin, Pirelli and Goodyear all of which you will find available on our site.

Distractions/ Tiredness

Something that will affect your stopping distance that isn’t directly related to the car is your own condition when driving. Distractions such as the radio, sat nav and even mobiles can mean that you don’t spot a hazard in good time. This means that your thinking time is affected and the overall stopping distance will suffer as a result.

Another factor that can alter your stopping distance time is tiredness. If you don’t get enough sleep and then put yourself behind the wheel of a car you could find your reactions impaired. Be sure that before you get into the car, you are fully alert and don’t have any distractions that could mean an extended stopping distance.

Road condition

In the UK the weather is rarely something to be relied on and this means you must be prepared for the worst! Although you can ensure your car is in tip top condition, it’s important to consider the weather as well, snow tyres are great for improving your stopping distance and work not only when there is snow on the ground. You will find that they are an increased quality of tyre all year round and will work better than a regular tyre.

As well as snow, rain is a huge factor is stopping distances. When water gets between the tyre and the roads surface aquaplaning can occur and result in accidents. The best way to deal with bad weather when driving is to keep a good distance between you and the car in front, be alert and don’t rush!

Bad vision

If you can’t see the road it is hard to see any hazards that may be in it! Having a dirty or iced up windscreen is very dangerous and can lead to an increased number of accidents. Be sure that your wiper blades are up to scratch and you have plenty of fluid in your car before heading off on your journey.

All of these factors are important for safe driving and keeping your stopping distance down to a minimum, if you need some extra help when it comes to preparing your car we are happy to assist you. Get in contact today through our contact page or giving us a call on 01603 425055 .

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Published: 16/01/2017

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