Brake, BRAKE, BRAKE NOW!
Hope you've never heard those words. Ever thought about how a vehicle slows down?
Brakes are pads that a pedal or lever pushes onto a car or bike's wheels to stop them rotating. This transfers the kinetic energy of the car into heat energy and sound energy through friction. The time taken to stop a vehicle - the overall stopping distance - depends on its speed and includes both the
- time for the driver to react and
- time for the brakes to actually bring it to a halt.
A driver's or cycle rider's reaction time can be affected negatively by many things but two that can easily be remedied are
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison, a minimum 2 year driving ban and a requirement to pass an extended driving test before being able to drive legally again. But simply being found unfit to drive through drink or drugs carries only a maximum 6 month jail sentence. Is this fair when any drunken driver is a potential killer?