Some facts on stopping distance |

Some facts on stopping distance

Dear Editor:I want to thank Bruce Benjamin and the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office for hearing concerns regarding vehicles speeding on McLain Flats by parking the speed detector there. I hoped it would deter people from driving so fast through this residential neighborhood.Unfortunately, I still witness drivers flying down the road giving no thought to the possibility that Bambi may jump into the road, or that a future Floyd Landis is around the next bend. Since the statistic regarding teen deaths didn’t cause any reactions, I thought I’d find some new information that may cause speedy drivers to slow down: stopping/braking distance.The total stopping distance of a vehicle is made up of four components: human perception time – the three-quarters of a second it takes for your brain to realize that you need to brake; human reaction time – the three-quarters of a second it takes for you to hit the brake; vehicle reaction time – the amount of time it takes for your brakes to engage and stop your vehicle; and vehicle braking capability – which depends on a lot of things, including tire pressure, tread and grip, vehicle weight, braking system, condition of the road, etc.Many drive with the belief that if the car in front suddenly started braking, they would react and brake and end up stopped the same distance apart. Not true! Taking into consideration the four components, at 20 mph it takes 59 feet before your car stops. At 40 mph, 156 feet; and at 60 mph, it takes 292 feet before your car will stop. Just in case you are wondering, according to the National Safety Council, it takes 169 feet before an 80,000-pound tractor trailer traveling at 40 mph can stop, and 335 feet at 55 mph! One more fact … a football field is 360 feet long.Kim VieiraAspen

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