How Fast Cars Stop

Are Your Brakes Working Well Enough to Stop Your Car Quickly?

Do you have any idea how long it would take you to come to a complete stop if you were traveling at 80 mph? It’s important to know because once you realize how long it takes your car to stop at various speeds, you’re more likely to maintain a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of you. You’re also more likely to get brake repair when you realize how essential it is to have healthy brakes when you need to stop quickly. Here’s some surprising information every driver should know about how long it really takes for cars to stop.

How Speed Affects Stopping Distance

There are a lot of variables that can affect a vehicle’s stopping speed. A few of these include:

  • Vehicle size and weight
  • Vehicle make and model
  • The speed at which the vehicle is traveling
  • Weather conditions
  • Health of the vehicle’s brakes

However, it’s a well-known fact that it takes the average vehicle about 4.5 seconds to come to a complete stop from 60 mph. In that 4.5 seconds, a distance of approximately 271 feet is covered.

Based on this information, one might conclude that it would take approximately 6 seconds, or 360 feet, to stop a vehicle traveling at 80 mph. This would make sense based solely on the fact that 80 mph is one-third faster than 60 mph. However, you may be surprised to discover that it actually takes at least 50% longer for a car to come to a complete stop from 80 mph than from 60 mph.

To understand why, you need to know basic physics. A car’s braking distance is in part determined by how the car turns forward motion (kinetic energy) into thermal energy. The thermal energy increases faster as the vehicle’s speed increases. To determine the moving energy of a car, you need to square the speed.

Schedule Brake Repair Today

Now that you know how speed can affect stopping distance, you should do your part to maintain a safe following distance and make sure your brakes are in good condition. If you need brake repair in Smyrna, Georgia, schedule it today by calling Motorcars International or filling out our online contact form.

Written by Motorcars International, Inc.

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