Everyone knows that going over the speed limit can get you a speeding ticket. Another thing which is exceeded is the limits of humans to respond. According to generally accepted data, it takes at least 1.5 to 2 seconds for a person to perceive and react to danger. A speeding motorist – or a motorist trying to avoid someone speeding like in this video, cannot possibly react in time to avoid a collision and the painful consequences for all. Response time is the sum of reaction time plus movement time.
Here’s a simple example. Calculations are from: http://www.csgnetwork.com/stopdistinfo.html
Suppose a person is driving a car at 60 mph (88 feet/sec) during the day on a dry, level road. He sees an obstacle, such as a pedestrian or a car pulling out in front of him, and applies the brakes. What is the shortest stopping distance that can reasonably be expected? Total stopping distance consists of two components:
Reaction Distance. Reaction time can vary widely, depending on how much attention the person is paying, the distractions in the vehicle (including talking on cell phones or texting while driving), their age, and weather conditions. Generally, minimum reaction time is cited as 1.5 to 2 seconds under ideal conditions.
Brake Engagement Distance. Most reaction time studies consider the response completed at the moment the foot touches the brake pedal. However, brakes do not engage instantaneously. There is an additional time required for the pedal to depress and for the brakes to engage. This is variable and difficult to summarize in a single number because it depends on urgency and braking style. In an emergency, a reasonable estimate is .3 second, adding another 24.2 feet to your stopping distance.
Therefore, if you’re going 186 mph, like the motorcyclist in this video: http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/25/justice/canada-motorcyclist-arrest/index.html?hpt=hp_t1, your distance from noticing danger to reacting is 493 feet. Your stopping distance is more than a mile: 7,238 feet. The motorcyclist in this video deserves the 5 years of potential prison time for heedlessly endangering others.
If you’re doing a more normal 60 miles per hour, your stopping distance is 304 feet once you press the brake pedal. It pays to leave space between you and other vehicles.