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These Factors Impact Vehicle Stopping Distance

Posted on December 18, 2019
These Factors Impact Vehicle Stopping Distance

Speed, road conditions, vehicle make/model, brake conditions, and many other factors can affect a vehicle’s stopping distance. When a motor vehicle accident occurs in Nevada, it’s important to take into consideration which factors contributed to the crash. Identifying the cause of a crash can help determine liability for the personal injuries or wrongful deaths that occurred.

Factors That Can Affect Stopping Distance

Vehicle speed is the first factor to consider. The faster and heavier a vehicle is, the longer it will take to bring that vehicle to a complete stop. At 20-40 miles per hour, a typical passenger vehicle has an average stopping distance of 12 meters for every 10 miles per hour the vehicle is traveling.

Brake condition is another critical factor. A vehicle with poorly maintained brakes will not stop in the same distance as a vehicle with well-maintained braking systems. The lack of friction within a worn brake pad can actually cause the brakes to lock up and cease functioning. Additionally, vehicles may have anti-lock braking systems that can help provide greater traction on icy, slick roads; but even these are less effective than when an accident occurs on dry roads.

Poor road condition is a common cause of motor vehicle accidents in Nevada. Vehicles traveling on icy, snow-covered, or rain-soaked roads require a longer period of time to come to a complete stop. Drivers who don’t take this into account when driving negligently put others at risk of injury or death. Similarly, poor visibility is closely tied with poor road conditions and drivers who travel too fast may not see obstructions, pedestrians, or other vehicles in time to stop before a collision takes place.

It is also vital to consider tire pressure and tire condition. A poorly inflated tire or an overinflated tire won’t make proper contact with the road. These factors may also result in a tire blowout which can cause the driver to lose control over the direction of the vehicle.

Finally, drivers who are impaired, drowsy, or distracted have slower reaction times. This can result in a delay in applying the brakes. Those crucial milliseconds and seconds can mean the difference between life, death, and serious personal injury. 

In Nevada, motorists are responsible for maintaining the tires, brakes, and other mechanical components in working condition. They are also responsible for the personal injuries and wrongful deaths they cause when driving drunk, driving drowsy, or driving distracted.