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Overall stopping distance is made up of thinking and braking distance. You are on a good, dry road surface with good brakes and tyres. What is the typical braking distance from 50 mph?

A 38 metres (125 feet).

Be aware this is just the braking distance. You need to add the thinking distance to this to give the OVERALL STOPPING DISTANCE. At 50 mph the typical thinking distance will be 15 metres (50 feet), plus a braking distance of 38 metres (125 feet), giving an overall stopping distance of 53 metres (175 feet). The distance could be greater than this depending on your attention and response to any hazards. These figures are a general guide.

Related Information

A great way to remember the overall stopping distances.

Starting from 20mph you simply multiply the speed by intervals of 0.5, beginning with 2, for example, 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5 etc., as follows:

20 mph x 2 = 40 feet ((12 meters) or 3 car lengths)

30 mph x 2.5 = 75 feet ((23 meters) or 6 car lengths)

40 mph x 3 = 120 feet ((36.5 meters) or 9 car lengths)

50 mph x 3.5 = 175 feet ((53 meters) or 13 car lengths)

60 mph x 4 = 240 feet ((73 meters) or 18 car lengths)

70 mph x 4.5 = 315 feet ((96 meters) or 24 car lengths)

The above calculations are a simple way to help you remember the correct stopping distances, but please be aware that these are approximate.

The overall stopping distance is really the only safe separation gap; anything less than this can be considered a risk.



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3 years ago

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3 years ago

Helping my daughter with the theory side of the test. Only wish we’d found it earlier on! Even I’m learning/getting reminded of what things mean again!

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