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#1 15-05-12 20:28:52

dth-adi
Verified Member
Registered: 19-09-04
Posts: 1,402

Stopping Distances

Why is it commonly believed that larger vehicles take longer to stop than lighter vehicles?

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15-05-12 20:28:52

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Re: Stopping Distances




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#2 22-05-12 14:53:36

sam-wolf
Member
From: Wolverhampton
Registered: 22-05-12
Posts: 2
Website

Re: Stopping Distances

May be because of the weight?   but as i'm sure you are going to tell me that the brakes are more than suitable and the very large tyre contact to road surface probably means they are better than most cars  ...still wouldn't want to argue with one though. smile

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#3 22-05-12 19:31:25

MGM
Verified Member
From: Surrey
Registered: 24-10-11
Posts: 861

Re: Stopping Distances

It's because most people still haven't caught up with the basic principles that Galileo and Newton established several centuries ago.

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#4 22-05-12 21:52:37

ralge
Verified Member
From: Sheffield
Registered: 10-01-07
Posts: 320

Re: Stopping Distances

Young'uns find out soon enough about heavier vehicles and stopping distances (and vehicle handling characteristics, too) when taking their mates out for a "spin" in a fully laden car for the first time.


DSA Fleet Trainer, RoSPA Dip, PTLLS, Safed for Vans, NDAC/Speed Awareness on-road trainer, RoSPA RoAD Test Examiner.

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#5 10-07-12 19:18:41

kinghamssom
Member
From: Bournemouth Dorset
Registered: 06-07-12
Posts: 16
Website

Re: Stopping Distances

Because the heavier the vehicle the weight increases exponentially as the speed increases. For a technical answer visit: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index … 658AAegZUm

Happy head scratching!

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#6 11-07-12 07:40:20

driverpete
Verified Member
From: Nottingham
Registered: 06-02-06
Posts: 457

Re: Stopping Distances

When my pupils can stop my car within 1.5 car lengths (6 Metres) @ 30 MPH they question the stopping distances in the H/C.

As well they might given improvements in vehicle and road technology. However, it's not the braking distance that's the issue it's reaction time. Poor observation, poor anticipation and poor planning are, in my opinion, much bigger factors in collisions. Anyone can stop a car quickly if the instructor/examiner gives them advance warning but Concentration, Observation, Anticipation and the creation of Space (and hence Time) can make the difference between a near miss and a collision.


RoSPA Gold
Retired RoSPA Approved Tutor
Retired NDAC & NDAS trainer
Retired ADI

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#7 11-07-12 09:46:24

ralge
Verified Member
From: Sheffield
Registered: 10-01-07
Posts: 320

Re: Stopping Distances

driverpete wrote:

When my pupils can stop my car within 1.5 car lengths (6 Metres) @ 30 MPH they question the stopping distances in the H/C.

As well they might given improvements in vehicle and road technology. However, it's not the braking distance that's the issue it's reaction time. Poor observation, poor anticipation and poor planning are, in my opinion, much bigger factors in collisions. Anyone can stop a car quickly if the instructor/examiner gives them advance warning but Concentration, Observation, Anticipation and the creation of Space (and hence Time) can make the difference between a near miss and a collision.

Well put. I'll hopefully never have to rely on my ABS and a good level surface to find out whether the HC's stopping distances are current or out-of-date.  Anyway, who carries the table in their head for use outside of an exam room?  (In 4 years of fleet, I haven't met a single driver who could do what I can do, write out the table without hesitation. Pedestrians have never learnt the table either.  So what good does that knowledge do me out on the road?)
We can keep safe by having a sharp focus on what we're doing, with comprehensive scanning and anticipation skills so that we can avoid something dodgy before it becomes an incident.  We should operate in a safety bubble of space and time not absolutely defined by how quick we can stop but additionally by what we can see of the hazards ahead.


DSA Fleet Trainer, RoSPA Dip, PTLLS, Safed for Vans, NDAC/Speed Awareness on-road trainer, RoSPA RoAD Test Examiner.

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#8 11-07-12 11:19:22

Driver99
Member
Registered: 21-01-11
Posts: 264

Re: Stopping Distances

driverpete wrote:

When my pupils can stop my car within 1.5 car lengths (6 Metres) @ 30 MPH they question the stopping distances in the H/C.

As well they might given improvements in vehicle and road technology. However, it's not the braking distance that's the issue it's reaction time. Poor observation, poor anticipation and poor planning are, in my opinion, much bigger factors in collisions. Anyone can stop a car quickly if the instructor/examiner gives them advance warning but Concentration, Observation, Anticipation and the creation of Space (and hence Time) can make the difference between a near miss and a collision.

I've heard this for years now: "the HC Braking distances are wrong, but the thinking time is wrong too, so the overall Stopping distances are the same."

So why in the next edition of HC can they not put more realistic/believable information into the book and then this historical inaccurate talking point will stop?

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#9 11-07-12 16:31:10

Driver99
Member
Registered: 21-01-11
Posts: 264

Re: Stopping Distances

Wessex wrote:

How can they print more "accurate" details when the stopping distance must take into account ALL types of vehicles?

Like Me & the other Peter pointed out, there are many other factors affecting overall stopping distances so what's the point of reducing the distance on paper?  There are plenty of idiots on the road who can do that now with the figures we have without reducing them even more.

Where did I say reduce the distance?
Make the Thinking and Braking Distance components realistic so normal people who read the HC don't treat HC126 with such disdain.

Wessex wrote:

As an aside, the stopping distances given in America are greater than ours.

That must be because their cars weigh more.....................................

Wessex wrote:

If you wish to become an ADI then you need to think like an ADI not as an IAM instructor.

Oh.  Really?  sad
Let me work on that when I've memorised these PSTs!  wink

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#10 11-07-12 16:34:29

ralge
Verified Member
From: Sheffield
Registered: 10-01-07
Posts: 320

Re: Stopping Distances

Driver99 wrote:
driverpete wrote:

When my pupils can stop my car within 1.5 car lengths (6 Metres) @ 30 MPH they question the stopping distances in the H/C.

As well they might given improvements in vehicle and road technology. However, it's not the braking distance that's the issue it's reaction time. Poor observation, poor anticipation and poor planning are, in my opinion, much bigger factors in collisions. Anyone can stop a car quickly if the instructor/examiner gives them advance warning but Concentration, Observation, Anticipation and the creation of Space (and hence Time) can make the difference between a near miss and a collision.

I've heard this for years now: "the HC Braking distances are wrong, but the thinking time is wrong too, so the overall Stopping distances are the same."

So why in the next edition of HC can they not put more realistic/believable information into the book and then this historical inaccurate talking point will stop?

"more realistic" would be impossible to come to a consensus on.
But, in any case, are you suggesting that anyone drives according to a set of figures in a table?


DSA Fleet Trainer, RoSPA Dip, PTLLS, Safed for Vans, NDAC/Speed Awareness on-road trainer, RoSPA RoAD Test Examiner.

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#11 11-07-12 16:58:15

Driver99
Member
Registered: 21-01-11
Posts: 264

Re: Stopping Distances

ralge wrote:

"more realistic" would be impossible to come to a consensus on.
But, in any case, are you suggesting that anyone drives according to a set of figures in a table?

No - apart from ADIs I don't know of anybody that bothers with them, except for knowing them for Tests.

The general understanding (from people I talk to and reading other driving related forums), is that the braking distance is very pessimistic, so the advice in HC126 is disgarded.  The usual reasoning being it was based on a Triumph Herald with drums all round (and poor tyres) - however accurate that is, that's the perception.
Now, on the other hand, the thinking distance is based on 0.7s (rounded), and there is research out there that says that should be 1, 2 or 3s.

So all I'm suggesting is the idea that modifying the make up of the overall stopping distance to a more realistic split might make the figures more credible to normal people. (OK, the numbers are still relatively meaningless to normal driving, but that's what the system pushes).

Of course all the ADis would have to learn a new table of figures!
As an aside, who still teaches it's 120' @40 mph, because it's 118' since 2007!

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#12 12-07-12 08:01:59

robcooling
Verified Member
From: Nottingham
Registered: 02-04-09
Posts: 1,451
Website

Re: Stopping Distances

The 2 second rule

Personally I drive (and teach) to a 4 second gap, stuff 2 seconds (it is a minimum).


Rob

http://www.appledriving.co.uk - Driving Lessons in Nottingham

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#13 12-07-12 08:15:30

Driver99
Member
Registered: 21-01-11
Posts: 264

Re: Stopping Distances

Wessex wrote:

I'm beginning to seriously wonder about you.

You're at the back of a fairly long queue! smile

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#14 23-07-12 20:20:23

ratty
Member
Registered: 05-02-11
Posts: 466

Re: Stopping Distances

dth-adi wrote:

Why is it commonly believed that larger vehicles take longer to stop than lighter vehicles?


Ultimately, HGVs usually do take longer to stop than smaller vehicles.

As long as a vehicle's brakes are powerful enough to lock the wheels the actual stopping distance is based on the tyre's ability to grip the road. Larger vehicle's tyres are designed to carry heavy loads at lowish speeds and last a long time so they are quite hard. Smaller vehicles usually use tyres which are designed differently for different purposes such as higher speeds, more comfortable ride, lower noise, better water dispersal etc and can usually generate more grip than HGV tyres. More grip = shorter stopping distance.

All being equal, weight does not enter into the equation, but things are rarely equal.

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#15 23-07-12 20:29:23

ratty
Member
Registered: 05-02-11
Posts: 466

Re: Stopping Distances

Wessex wrote:

The 2 second rule is based on the current stopping distances up to 40 MPH.  A few of us realise and teach 3-4 seconds above 40 MPH.

The idea of the 2 second rule is to give a driver time to react to a changing situation in front. It is not to allow enough space to actually stop the vehicle. You would have to be travelling at a very low speed to be able to physically stop a vehicle in 2 seconds.

The idea is that the driver should be looking well ahead of the vehicle directly in front and, by doing this, anticipate the vehicle ahead slowing down. However, if this is not done, by allowing a 2 second gap the driver should have time to get to the brakes. The 2 second gap covers the drivers reaction time. If vision is reduced by rain or fog then the 2 second gap should be increased because the driver can not see beyond the vehicle in front and therefore becomes more reactive to the vehicle in front. It's to cover reacting, not stopping.

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#16 24-07-12 06:50:15

ratty
Member
Registered: 05-02-11
Posts: 466

Re: Stopping Distances

You can not put a definitive figure on overall stopping distances, they vary too much because of driver's reaction times, vehicles and other conditions. Over many years and tens of thousands of recorded and investigated incidents, crash investigation teams have found the average driver who they deal with, has a reaction time of between 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 seconds. They have also found that a lot of drivers are not very good at braking, this is possibly the reason manufactures have developed Brake Assist and other technology helping drivers stop cars.

It is unreasonable for a driver to leave a gap similar to their vehicle's overall stopping distance because this assumes that the vehicle ahead will instantly stop in front of them and this VERY VERY rarely happens. If a driver is looking beyond the vehicle ahead, reading the road and anticipating when the vehicle ahead will or may slow down, it is sufficient to leave a gap covering reaction times. This is why, in relation to the number of cars on the road and journeys made, there are actually not that many crashes. Drivers can react to what is happening ahead and avoid it despite not leaving a distance greater than their overall stopping distance. Can you image all drivers on the M25 or other major roads leaving a distance in front of them equivalent to their overall stopping distance, it is never going to happen is it! But despite this there are not many crashes on these roads because vehicles don't just stop instantly and driver leave sufficient space to be able to react.

It has never been suggested that the figures in the HC are the shortest distances in which a car can stop, the HC does not encourage drivers to use the brakes to their maximum potential and drivers are not very good at doing this anyway so comparing HC figures to those attainable in a true emergency stop in a modern car is not realistic. IF a driver is really concentrating they may be able to react in a very short time, perhaps similar to that in the HC. If they really know what they are doing they will be able to match or better the braking distances in the HC so this driver could match or better the HC's overall stopping distance figures. The reality is that the average driver will not be able to match the reaction times in the HC and will also possibly struggle to significantly better the HC braking distance, after all, how many drivers practice heavy braking? Because of this the average driver on the average drive will struggle to match the HC figures.

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