When learning to drive, a key thing to remember is the stopping distance of the car you are driving at various speeds. 

To be behind the wheel without knowing or being able to remember safe stopping distances can be potentially dangerous, not just to yourself and your passengers, but to others on the road too.

At Mark Allen Driving school, we recognise this and feel it is important to point out how to remember the calculations to everyone who learns to drive in order to give them the best chance of mastering their driving test.

Stopping distance is made up of thinking distance (your reaction time after seeing a hazard) and braking distance. This information is available in the Highway Code and is as follows:

20mph -> 6m + 6m = 12m

30mph -> 9m + 14m = 23m

40mph -> 12m + 24m = 36m

50mph -> 15m + 38m = 53m

60mph -> 18m + 55m = 73m

70mph -> 21m + 75m = 96m

For 30mph, that is 3 car lengths and for 70mph, 24 car lengths.

An excellent method of keeping a safe distance from the car in front is to use the 2 second rule. Pick a roadside static object (a signpost or lamppost etc), and start to say, “only a fool breaks the two second rule”, as soon as the vehicle in front has passed it. If you can complete that sentence before you pass it, you are too close and should drop back.

A huge number of incidents are caused by drivers being too close to the car in front and not having time to stop when the car in front brakes harshly.

keep your distance and your no-claims bonus!