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Accelerating

When you are driving your vehicle, your
ability to control your speed depends on
looking where you want to go and using
the accelerator correctly. Gradually press
on the accelerator to move the vehicle,
and then hold it at the proper position for
the selected speed. This will take some
practice. Keep the following in mind:
• Accelerate smoothly.
• Adjust to the weather, road and
  traffic conditions.
• Do not accelerate or reduce speed
  unnecessarily.
• Never exceed the posted speed limit.
• Do not accelerate so quickly that the
  vehicle’s tires spin.
• Drive with the flow of traffic to reduce
  the risk of being in a collision. Driving
  too slowly can be a hazard.
• Glance occasionally at your
  speedometer to check your speed.

Stopping time and
distance

Knowing how much time and distance it
takes to apply your brakes to completely
stop your vehicle can help avoid errors
in judgment that can lead to a collision.
Three factors determine the time and
distance it takes to stop.

PERCEPTION TIME:

Perception time
is how long it takes
to recognize a situation and understand
that you need to stop. This can take
about three-quarters of a second. Drivers
with less experience often take longer

to realize a danger exists. Perception
distance
is how far a vehicle travels
during this time.

REACTION TIME:


Reaction time is how long it takes to
respond to a situation by moving your
foot from the accelerator pedal to the
brake pedal. The average reaction time
is three-quarters of a second. Reaction
distance
is how far a vehicle travels
during this time.

BRAKING TIME:

Braking time
is how long it takes a
vehicle to stop after the brakes are
applied. Braking distance is how far the
vehicle travels during this time.

        Perception distance
 +    Reaction distance  
 +    Braking distance

 = 

 TOTAL STOPPING DISTANCE

The chart below illustrates the minimum
stopping distance for various speeds.

The stopping distances are averages for
stopping on smooth, dry pavement.

CHAPTER THREE                                                                                                    THE BASICS OF DRIVING  47

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