Many believed that the highway code should be updated since it was based on a 40-year-old study. According to Charity Brake, modern day distractions should be considered such as low-quality tyres, bad weather or even usage of mobile phones and low quality brake system. These distractions should be taken into considerations since this is one of the causes of accidents on major highways and roads.
Based on the study that Brake conducted, it was proven that an average of 1.5 seconds to spot a hazard and applying brakes, that is twice the figure that was in the Department of Transport’s handbook. This likely means that rules on the highway code don’t coincide with the real situation on the road.
Based on the calculation that was made recently, a car travelling at 40 miles an hour had a stopping distance of 51 metres, that is around 140% more than the indicated value in the book which is around 36 metres. According to charity’s spokesperson, this new study gives us a hint that the 40-year-old highway code falls woefully short in terms of estimating the stopping distances as shown below.
Speed – Brake/TRL study – Highway Code – Difference
20 mph – 19 metres – 12 metres – Seven metres
30 mph – 34 metres – 23 metres – 11 metres
40 mph – 51 metres – 36 metres – 15 metres
50 mph – 71 metres – 53 metres – 18 metres
60 mph – 95 metres – 73 metres – 22 metres
70 mph – 121 metres – 96 metres – 25 metres
The spokesperson also highlighted that the Highway Code is based on assumptions such as perfect weather, perfect tyre condition or even perfect road condition. It was also based on the theoretical scenario and that there is a lot of variances that could affect driver’s stopping distance, but also the importance of thinking components is another thing.
The new study should be taken seriously as it would be the basis for the new guidelines however the government is slowly accepting this new study as they are still questioning the legalities of this study and its new importance to the revision of the rule book.
RAC spokesman said that the ability of new cars must also be taken into consideration as they have been improved in terms of the brake system and the human reactions haven’t changed. The highway code must be change as there have been changes in terms of probabilities.