News & Insights: Personal Injury

Stopping Distances and Road Traffic Accidents

19 November 2020

As we move through autumn and set our sights towards a rapidly approaching winter, it is worth considering the potential impact the shorter days and inclement weather can have on road safety.

The stopping distance for a car travelling at 30mph is 23m or 75 feet.  This is by no means a small figure and can we really say that we regularly see this kind of distance maintained between cars in our towns and cities?  Failure to maintain a safe stopping distance means that even at this relatively modest speed, the least lapse in attention due to tiredness or distraction can easily and understandably lead to a collision.


Of course, these figures apply to perfect road conditions – dry weather, good visibility.  As the rain and leaves begin to lie on the ground and it gets dark for our rush hour journeys to and from work, this stopping distance can increase to nearly 50m or 150 feet.  As the mercury drops and the roads begin to ice over, stopping distances can be up to 10 times higher.


As drivers, we each owe a duty of care to every other road user, who should be able to go about their daily business with the expectation that they will not be injured in a collision.  Knowing and maintaining safe stopping distances is a key part of this duty.


If you have sustained injuries in a collision due to another driver’s failure to properly heed road conditions and would like to discuss further, please get in touch with a member of our Litigation Team.

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