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Speed Facts

The most important thing to remember about speed is: the faster you go, the longer it will take to stop, and the further you will travel between the point where you decide to stop and the point where your vehicle comes to rest. This is fact, based on physics, and cannot be disputed.

So, even in good conditions, the difference between 30mph and 35mph is an extra stopping distance of around six and a half metres - about the length of three hospital beds.

Typical stopping distances


Thinking distance

Braking distance

Average car length = 4 metres

20 mph

6 metres

6 metres

= 12 metres (40 feet) or 3 car lengths

30 mph

9 metres

14 metres

= 23 metres (75 feet) or 6 car lengths

40 mph

12 metres

24 metres

= 36 metres (120 feet) or 9 car lengths

50 mph

15 metres

38 metres

= 53 metres (175 feet) or 13 car lengths

60 mph

18 metres

55 metres

= 73 metres (240 feet) or 18 car lengths

70 mph

24 metres

75 metres

= 96 metres (315 feet) or 24 car lengths

These figures assume dry weather and good tyres and an average family saloon. Naturally, stopping distances will vary according to weather conditions, and some cars may perform in different ways. But we want drivers to recognise that however good a driver they think they are and however good their car is, the difference between driving at 30 miles per hour and driving even slightly over the speed limit, will result in a much longer stopping distance that could lead to drastic consequences.

THINK! Slow Down

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