California Injury Attorneys
Since 1978

The faster you drive, the less chance of stopping in an emergency

On Behalf of | Jul 30, 2021

Braking in a vehicle is not an instant thing. There is a delay between seeing something, deciding you need to brake, taking your foot off the gas pedal and pushing it down on the brake pedal. That is known as reaction time.

Then there is the time it takes for the brakes to bring the car to a halt. That is known as braking time. The faster you go, the further you will travel during both the reaction time and the braking time. The result is that doubling your speed increases your stopping distance by about three times.

Clearly, there are safety benefits to driving more slowly. Even if you cannot stop in time to avoid a crash, the lower speed will reduce the likelihood of serious injury. Does that mean you should always drive well under the speed limit? No.

Drivers who travel slowly can make accidents more likely

If you go too slow, other drivers may get impatient or aggressive, leading to a crash. The ideal is to drive with the traffic flow, provided, of course, that is within the speed limit. When one vehicle is out of sync, be it too fast or too slow, it increases the danger for everyone.

You also need to adjust your speed for the conditions. Driving along a particular stretch of road at 50 mph may be fine when the sun is shining, but not if it is pouring with rain.

If you are involved in a vehicle crash, it is essential to look at the speed of the other driver. If they were not going at an appropriate rate for the traffic and conditions, it might help you get the compensation you need.