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Q: How do I brake?

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How do I brake?

A: If you’ve driven a car before, you’ll know ...

If you’ve driven a car before, you’ll know braking your vehicle effectively requires perception and efficiency in your reaction time. For newer drivers: perception time is the moment you decide to push the brake pedal, while reaction time is completing the actual action of pressing the brake pedal.

The average driver’s reaction time is approximately 3/4th of a second. This means that if your vehicle is moving at 60mph, your vehicle will travel about 66 ft during your reaction time, before you car comes to a stop. This distance can be quite long in the context of an emergency, so it’s important to pay attention and keep your perception time to a minimum.

When braking your vehicle, be sure to do the following to ensure everyone’s safety:

  • Keep ample distance between your car and any vehicles in front of you.

  • Avoid heavy braking when unnecessary.

  • Don’t drive too fast or too slow. Instead, keep at pace with the rest of the traffic.

Tip

If for some reason the engine of your vehicle stops while the vehicle is still being driven, brake normally and do not pump the brakes. Pumping the brakes can actually make the brake pedal harder to push.

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