Understanding Braking and Stopping Distance

To a driver, braking appears to happen in a very short amount of time. In reality, a car can travel an alarming distance before coming to a complete stop when traveling at highway speeds. Even with such advanced technology going into every car on the road, braking still takes quite a distance. But what makes this happen?

Understanding braking distance

When it comes to braking distance, there are two big factors to take into account:

Reaction time: The split second between when you realize that you need to stop and when the brakes are applied can span quite a distance. At just thirty miles per hour a car can travel over fifty feet before the brakes are applied, and at sixty-five miles per hour over 100 feet of road will pass under the vehicle while the driver moves their foot from its resting position onto the brake pedal.

Vehicle performance: A vehicle with good, grippy tires and new brake pads will stop much faster than one with less traction and worn brake pads. Anti-lock brakes can greatly improve brake performance as well by decreasing the likelihood of the tires locking up and applying the maximum amount of braking that the car can handle at the given time.

When all things are taken into account, a stopping vehicle can travel over four hundred feet when coming to a stop from 70 miles per hour. Think about that: a car can travel the length of a football field and still have a hundred feet to go before stopping from a very normal highway speed. Over a hundred of those feet, on average, pass by when before you notice that you have to stop and get your foot to the brake pedal.

The amount of distance it takes to brake increases significantly as vehicle speed increases. This is the reason there are such low speed limits in school zones and residential areas. The difference between twenty-five miles per hour and forty miles per hour may not seem significant while driving, but when the brakes are applied a vehicle going forty miles per hour will travel over twice as far (over 160 feet) as a vehicle traveling at twenty-five miles per hour (80 feet). In areas with big deer populations, lots of pedestrians, or cyclists on the road, it is better to play it safe and know that your vehicle will be able to stop for anything unexpected.

Practicing good braking technique and remaining aware of your surroundings behind the steering wheel will reduce the amount of time it takes to react to something in front of the vehicle. This aspect of braking safety is often overlooked, but putting priority on looking straight ahead rather than changing the radio station could prevent a collision. Doing routine maintenance and replacing the brake pads when the manufacturer recommends (usually every 50,000 miles) will make the car brake faster once the brake pedal is actually pressed.


Schedule Brake Pad Replacement
Service Area

$125.02 - $447.30

Price range for all vehicles
Average rating from 12,178 customers who received a Brake Pads Replacement.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Excellent Auto Repair Ratings.

4.2 Average Rating

Auto Repair

Service Hours

7 AM - 9 PM

7 days a week

Phone Number

Phone Hours

Mon - Fri / 6 AM - 5 PM PST

Sat - Sun / 7 AM - 4 PM PST

Address

We come to you at no extra charge

Guarantee

12-month/12,000-mile warranty

Service Area

Recent Brake Pad Replacement reviews

Excellent Rating


YourMechanic Brake Pad Replacement Service

Average Rating

4.9/5

Number of Reviews

12,178

Rating Summary
11,639
343
71
35
90
11,639
343
71
35
90

Manuel

8 years of experience
14 reviews
Manuel
8 years of experience
Honda Element - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Rural Hall, North Carolina
he was on time, professional, fast and my break job was done very well!!! we had him do our service in an unusual area but he did it with no problems and we will use this service and maybe if circumstance is good, Manuel again! thanks for a very good price and service is tops!

PETER

11 years of experience
43 reviews
PETER
11 years of experience
BMW 330i - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Pittsburg, California
Peter did a great job.. He arrived minutes earlier and left the working area clean. Highly recommended.

Brian

22 years of experience
363 reviews
Brian
22 years of experience
Mitsubishi Montero - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Jacksonville, Florida
The BEST mechanic ever !!!! Professional, detailed, ethical, and pleasant to deal with. Highly recommend him, I will definitely continue to book appointments with him.

Charles

3 years of experience
34 reviews
Charles
3 years of experience
Kia Sportage - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Nashville, Tennessee
Showed up early (which worked great for me) and accommodated my changed location. Top quality work, and completed quickly!

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE