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Old 02-11-2015, 05:58 PM   #28 (permalink)
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TopGear UK had a short, but relevant test on this weeks episode. They wanted to see how fast a common car, the Vauxhall Insignia, would need to be travelling to require the full stopping distance (315 feet) at 70 mph.

The answer? 112 mph. That's a huge increase in Kinetic Energy over 70 mph.

People also seem to neglect that you can't always avoid an accident. You might avoid hitting the stopped car in front, but the person behind might not avoid hitting you!

A 500kg car would stop in far less distance than a 1000kg one, and if you consider that 5 metres of stopping distance is the difference between stopping safely and having a severe accident, it's hard to say that safety technology does anything more than make you feel safe (which probably makes you less safe).
A 500 kg car, with weaker, low-assistance brakes and a smaller contact patch would probably struggle to match a modern 1000 kg car.

And let's not forget, some of these systems do the braking for you. Automatically. My friend believes his Merc's auto-brake actually avoided an almost inevitable accident because it was able to apply the brakes harder and faster than most drivers.
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