The importance of strong braking skills

Strong braking skills are crucial in any driving situation. Teach your teenager how to brake properly and what to do in tough situations. Hear what Timothy Smith has to say about braking.
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The importance of strong braking skills

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Developing good braking skills are essential for keeping your teens safe on the road. And you can help improve their braking skills with a couple easy exercises. First understand that braking occurs in 3 phases. First you have to think about your need to stop. Then you have to get your foot over to cover the brake. It takes most teens about 3 seconds to understand the need to stop and move their foot over to the pedal. At 60 mph, in those 3 seconds, they're going to travel nearly the length of a football field before braking even begins. So the first thing you want to do is work to shorten the reaction time it takes to understand they need to brake, and to get the foot over to the pedal. Now, to increase their braking efficiency, move to the biggest, emptiest parking lot, with the fewest obstructions you can find. Get to the far end of the parking lot and in increasing speeds beginning at about 15 mph and getting up to about 30-35 mph, have them hit the brakes hard and bring that car to a complete stop. Most teens have never had experience braking hard. And they need to understand what the brakes feel like, how the car reacts, and most importantly, how long it takes for their car to come to a complete stop at various speeds. Remember, today's anti lock brakes need constant force and pressure. No pumping. Also remember that at night, your reaction time and vision decrease, so they've got to be on the brake a little more quickly. And in bad conditions - rain, fog, sleet - anything that makes the road more slippery or their vision decrease, they've got to be quicker on the brake and brake more carefully. It could take 2-3x the distance to stop in bad conditions. So if you work on decreasing your teen's reaction to braking, and increasing their braking efficiency, you'll have fewer fender benders and rearenders.
TEEN, Responsibilities, Driving

Strong braking skills are crucial in any driving situation. Teach your teenager how to brake properly and what to do in tough situations. Hear what Timothy Smith has to say about braking.

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Timothy Smith

Author & Teen Driving Expert

Timothy Smith is a healthcare executive living in the Chicago area with his wife and three children.   He got involved with teen driving several years ago when a number of teenagers were killed in multiple crashes near his home, virtually all due to driver error.   His search for information to help his teens avoid car crashes yielded little of value, so he became a certified driving instructor, got trained and licensed to race cars, took defensive driving courses and ended up writing Crashproof Your Kids: Make Your Teen A Safer, Smarter Driver.  He is also Chairman of Aegis Mobility, a software company which has developed technology to manage and reduce cell phone use while driving. 

Driving, Bonding with Teens
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