How Long Does It Take to Stop Your Car?

You Cannot "Stop on a Dime"

You may have heard someone use the expression (or even brag) that they can "stop on a dime." Sorry to say, you can’t. Although the phrase is not meant literally, it's never a good idea to take stopping distances or the ability to stop safely for granted. Multiple factors contribute to a safe reduction of speed, including the integrity of your braking system. For all the brake services you need, rely on the certified technicians at M1 Auto Repair in West Jordan, Utah.

The Realities of Braking

Although you may feel as if you can stop quickly in an emergency, the realities of braking may prevent that perception from being accurate. First, we're all human. As such, people are not always as attentive as they should be. Drivers must first try to stay focused on driving, and second, be vigilant concerning their surroundings. Additionally, not everyone has the same reaction speed. However short, there is a lag between recognizing a situation or hazard and the time you touch the brake pedal.

Any impairing substance such as alcohol or certain prescription medications increases reaction time significantly. (This is one of the many reasons a driver should never operate a vehicle while under the influence of any substance.) Also, braking components and systems have limited capabilities. Once you depress the pedal, there is only so much fluid volume, hose capacity to carry that brake fluid, and surface area (between pads and rotors or shoes and drums) to generate friction.

Beyond those limits, you have only time and distance to account for the needed reduction/cessation of speed. Even high-performance brakes (which can tolerate higher temperatures generated by friction) require a given amount of stopping time and distance. If brakes are not well maintained, they may significantly impact stopping ability or fail altogether. Finally, speed delays your stop more than you might think. For example, stopping a vehicle traveling at 50 miles per hour takes more than double the distance required for the same auto if it moves at a rate of 25 miles per hour. Heavy/Loaded trucks, as a matter of physics, take even greater amounts of time to stop.

Brake Services: One Part of the Equation

As a driver, you have multiple responsibilities related to safe braking. Although we cannot help you with your awareness, speed control, or traffic conditions, we're here to assist you with all your brake service and repair needs. Obtaining timely brake services is one part of the safe stop equation. For all necessary brake services, bring your car to M1 Auto Repair.

Written by M1 Auto Repair