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SAFETY MOMENT: Consequences of speed on the road

When I was a teenager, my friends and I thought we were invincible: From death defying stunts on our dirt bikes to performance testing a homemade amphibious vehicle in the middle of a pond, we pressed the limits of our own mortality. By the grace of God, we all grew up to tell the tales, much to our mothers’ dismay.

Thankfully, age brings wisdom, and safety has become an everyday part of my thought process. In a recent safety meeting with our Seneca Meadows team, we reviewed some eye opening data on reaction time in a vehicle and the distance a vehicle will travel during that reaction time. We’d like to share this valuable information with you.

  • At 55 MPH, how far will your car travel in the 1 ¾ seconds it takes for you to recognize that you need to hit the break? 142 feet.
  • At 55 MPH, how far will your car travel in the ¾ – 1 second that it takes to actually hit the break? 61 feet.
  • At 55 MPH, how far will your car travel while you are braking? 216 feet.

In total, at 55 MPH, your vehicle will continue to travel 419 feet while you perceive a need to break, hit the break, and eventually stop. At greater speeds, that distance increases, and so does the need to leave more space between you and the vehicles in front and behind you on the road.

Stay safe!

Kyle Black is the district manager for Seneca Meadows. Safety is the company’s number one core value, and weekly safety talks with employees are just one way that the company helps foster a safety culture.

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