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on dry roads, it will take how much to react to a hazard and bring your car to a stop when traveling 55mph at

“Coefficient of Friction” – The coefficient of friction of a roadway essentially measures how “slippery” it is. A dry asphalt roadway usually has a friction value of around 0.8 to 0.9. This value is important, especially when crash reconstructionists are trying to determine how fast a vehicle was traveling from skid marks. On wet or icy roads, these values can drop to 0.2 or 0.3! What does all this mean? Drives must be aware of road conditions because they significantly affect how fast our vehicles can travel. The lower the friction value, the longer it takes a vehicle to come to a stop. Slippery or wet roads will reduce operating speeds by a large margin. You can’t drive the same way on a dry, sunny day as you would on a cold, rainy day. I’ll show you why in a minute.

A fire truck without ABS brakes that is traveling 55 mph on a dry, asphalt roadway takes approximately 393 feet to come to a complete stop. On a rainy day with a wet road, the total stopping distance can increase to as much as 510 feet! The next time you are looking for something to do for drill, go outside and measure off 510 feet. Still want to drive 55 mph on a wet road?

REACTION TIME: Use your foot to “cover the brake” as you proceed through an intersection. By covering the brake pedal, you significantly reduce the reaction time necessary to respond to a hazard and also allow the vehicle to slow by removing your foot from the accelerator. The “covering the brake” technique can be used effectively in the following situations: (1) When driving next to parked cars, (2) when you see the brake lights of other cars, and (3) when approaching intersections or signal lights.

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If your vehicle stalls, you must move off the road as quickly and safely as possible. Turn on your hazard lights immediately. Shift the vehicle in neutral and try to focus on the nearest shoulder. Once out of the road and stopped up flares or reflectors around 200-300 feet behind your vehicle to warn others of the danger. Never switch off the ignition until you 're on the road and you stop, that this action will lock the steering wheel and brakes will have more difficulty functioning. When it is safe, all occupants must exit the vehicle and move safely away from the vehicle. However, if this happens on the highway, you should consider the situation before making decisions that affect your safety. If you are sure it is safe, flares on the road; If you are not sure, just stay inside with all your passengers and keep them on your seat belts. Call for help if you have your cell phone with you or wait for help to arrive. Be aware that in the fog, warning lights and flares / reflectors will attract other vehicles and should not be used.

Do you know how long it takes for your vehicle to stop? The speed you are traveling is a key factor. The higher the speed you travel, the longer it takes for you to stop. But speed is not the only factor affecting the stopping distance. When you encounter a danger, you have to react. Your reaction time is the distance your vehicle travels in the time it takes for you to identify threats, react by braking, and move your foot on the brake pedal. No matter how fast you think you can react, you still need time to respond to a situation, and then stop.

Trucks are powerful and heavy, often weighing four to five times more than a typical car. They are equipped with a maximum of eight mirrors, but still they are involved in numerous traffic accidents. Motor vehicle operators have no general respect for trucks, often tailgating or get stuck between a truck and the curb. A driver must also be aware of blind spots of the truck. Studies have shown that a truck trailer traveling at 55 mph will usually need twice the stopping distance for a car traveling at the same speed. This is why pilots should never cut in front of a truck, especially when the gap between the truck and the vehicle in front is small to begin. Particular attention should be given when driving trucks on the highway near. The trucks should receive an additional certificate whenever possible, with the driver of the car always leaving an escape option on the road. Drivers should be aware of blind spots of a truck at all times, realizing side mirror mirror of a truck are not always sufficient. A common blind spot for a truck driver exists near the right front wheel of the truck, and another is within 30 feet of the rear of the trailer. Therefore motorists should never tailgate of a truck, move to the right of a truck cut in front of a truck, or a parallel drive a truck for any length of time.

Road lights should be used with caution. Do not use the high beams when approaching within 500 feet of traffic. When behind another vehicle, turn off the lights when you are within 200 feet. You can not see as far into the night, and common sense says to slow down. You also need to plan ahead when driving at night and use a card if necessary. Become familiar with alternative routes if necessary. Give yourself extra time for night driving. Getting lost is never fun, especially at night. It can cause stress, delays or collisions. You should also know that it is illegal to drive with only your parking lights on except when they are used as indicators or in conjunction with the headlights.

Keep as much space as you can between yourself and oncoming traffic. On multilane streets, stay out of the lane next to the center line, if you can. That way you will have more room to avoid an oncoming car that suddenly swerves toward you. This is very important at intersections where another driver could turn left without giving a signal. If possible, make room for vehicles entering freeways even though you have the right-of-way.

When following motorcycles, if the motorcycle falls, you will have to avoid hitting the rider. Motorcycles fall more often on wet or icy roads, on metal surfaces such as bridge gratings or railroad tracks, and on gravel.

Steering will be easier if you have a "big picture" of your intended path of travel. Keep enough space between your car and the car in front of you, so that it does not block your view. Driving in the center of the lane, instead of hugging one side or the other, improves your view of the roadway.

"Pick a fixture on the side of the road (such as a bridge or telephone box) and allow a gap of 2 seconds between you and the rear of the car in front.   This is attained by saying in your mind 1001, take a breath then 1002.  Should the weather be wet then it is advised that an extra second would make a major accident less likely."

Applying 1.5 seconds to your 20 mph (32 kmh) example will give a distance of 43.6 ft (13.3 m) not the 20 ft (6 m) quoted. Perception/reaction time is a very complicated subject and should not be treated lightly. Hope this helps in your understanding.

I'll also dispel one myth here, the 'two second rule is nonsense', although I haven't worked it out, evidently its incorrect for all but one stopping distance in the Highway Code but what's more important is that if drivers are continually spotting stationary objects to check their distance from the car in front, how much concentration are they devoting to actually driving?

If a speed limit is posted, or there is a sign indicating “Maximum Safe Speed,” never exceed the speed shown. Also, look for and heed warning signs indicating the length and steepness of the grade. You must use the braking effect of the engine as the principal way of controlling your speed on downgrades. The braking effect of the engine is greatest when it is near the governed rpms and the transmission is in the lower gears. Save your brakes so you will be able to slow or stop as required by road and traffic conditions. Shift your transmission to a low gear before starting down the grade and use the proper braking techniques. Please read carefully the section on going down long, steep downgrades safely in “Mountain Driving.”

Drivers must adjust their speed for curves in the road. If you take a curve too fast, two things can happen. The tires can lose their traction and continue straight ahead, so you skid off the road. Or, the tires may keep their traction and the vehicle rolls over. Tests have shown that trucks with a high center of gravity can roll over at the posted speed limit for a curve.?Slow to a safe speed before you enter a curve. Braking in a curve is dangerous because it is easier to lock the wheels and cause a skid. Slow down as needed. Don’t ever exceed the posted speed limit for the curve. Be in a gear that will let you accelerate slightly in the curve. This will help you keep control.

When you’re driving in heavy traffic, the safest speed is the speed of other vehicles. Vehicles going the same direction at the same speed are not likely to run into one another. In many states, speed limits are lower for trucks and buses than for cars. It can vary as much as 15 mph. Use extra caution when you change lanes or pass on these roadways. Drive at the speed of the traffic, if you can without going at an illegal or unsafe speed. Keep a safe following distance.

Speeding traffic is the number one cause of injury and death in roadway work zones. Observe the posted speed limits at all times when approaching and driving through a work zone. Watch your speedometer, and don’t allow your speed to creep up as you drive through long sections of road construction. Decrease your speed for adverse weather or road conditions. Decrease your speed even further when a worker is close to the roadway.


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