Re: The Highway Code
Many drivers are overconfident both of their own skills and in the performance of their own vehicle. The Highway Code "stopping distances" are only a guide - in the event of road incident, the real time to stop will vary greatly and one of the variables which will affect real stopping distance is "thinking time":
A driver’s age, how awake they are and if they’ve consumed any drugs or alcohol can all influence how quickly it takes them to react.
Using a mobile phone rather than concentrating on the road can have devastating effects on a driver’s stopping distance – just a few seconds glancing at your phone can add an football pitch to your overall stopping distance at motorway speeds
. If the traffic ahead has stopped, that could ruin your day very quickly.
Other distractions in the car – such as loud music and passengers – can also affect the thinking time before you apply the brakes.
Weather and road conditions can massively increase real "stopping distances":
In poor weather conditions, a car’s total stopping distance is likely to be longer for a number of reasons. For a start, poor visibility might mean the driver takes longer to react – increasing his/her thinking distance. But slippery roads caused by rain, snow or ice will also extend the braking distance.
Research suggests braking distances can be doubled in wet conditions – and multiplied by 10 on snow or ice. That means, in the snow, it could take you further than the length of seven football pitches to stop from 70mph
While many modern cars may indeed be able to stop in shorter distances than the official Highway Code states, a car’s condition can also have an impact.
For example, cars equipped with budget tyres can take an extra 14 metres to stop from 70mph in wet conditions
compared to cars with ‘premium brand’ tyres, or five metres in the dry.
Research has also found that tyres on the legal limit of 1.6mm tread can need an extra 60% more road to stop
compared to brand new tyres.
"Sticking to the limit" for HC stopping distances may, sometimes, may not be far enough .....
Of course, "experienced" drivers will say "I make allowances for all conditions" but are the drivers in front and behind making the same allowances .....