Factors affecting braking distance 2 Factors affecting braking distance 2


When a force is applied to the brakes of a vehicle, work done by the friction force between the brakes and the wheel reduces the kinetic energy of the vehicle and the temperature of the brakes increases.

The greater the speed of a vehicle the greater the braking force needed to stop the vehicle in a certain distance.

The greater the braking force the greater the deceleration of the vehicle. Large decelerations may lead to brakes overheating and/or loss of control.

Students should be able to:

  • explain the dangers caused by large decelerations
  • (HT only) estimate the forces involved in the deceleration of road vehicles in typical situations on a public road.

WS 1.5 -Evaluate risks both in practical science and the wider societal context, including perception of risk in relation to data and consequences.







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