The energy that has to be dissipated to stop a car, called kinetic energy, increases exponentially as the square of speed. So the difference between 30 and 35mph is only a 16 per cent increase in speed, but it's a 36 per cent increase in kinetic energy, which is one of the key factors in stopping distance.

Stopping distance is affected by a number of factors, including load, condition of the road surface, tyres, brakes, driver skill and design and type of vehicle. It doesn't matter how good a car's engineering and brakes are, there is nothing they can do to contradict the laws of physics. This increase in speed will inevitably increase stopping distance.

These figures assume dry weather and good tyres and an average family saloon. Naturally, stopping distances will vary according to weather conditions, and some cars may perform in different ways. But we want drivers to recognise that however good a driver they think they are and however good their car is, the difference between driving at 30 and driving a few mph over the limit, will lead to a much longer stopping distance that could lead to drastic consequences.

SpeedThinking DistanceBraking DistanceTotal Stopping Distance
20 mph1.5 car lengths1.5 car lengths3 car lengths
30 mph2.5 car lengths3.5 car lengths6 car lengths
40 mph3 car lengths6 car lengths9 car lengths
50 mph3.5 car lengths9.5 car lengths13 car lengths
60 mph4.5 car lengths13.5 car lengths18 car lengths
70 mph5 car lengths19 car lengths24 car lengths


Contact details

  TyreQuote Ltd
  0800 019 3226
  TyreQuote Ltd
  24 Rectory Road,
  West Bridgford,
  Nottingham NG2 6GB

  By appointment only

Search online quotes