LOUISVILLE, Ky. — We’re not going to be the only ones to tell the community this week to slow down in school zones. And, let’s be honest—most of those warnings will be ignored. Still, we want to actually show you WHY you’re putting kids in more danger when you don’t follow the school zone speed signs. These numbers come from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

There are two main factors that go into your stopping distance when driving. The first is actually recognizing that a child has entered the roadway, which takes about 0.75 seconds. The second is the act of slamming on your brakes, which takes another 0.75 seconds. That puts us at 1.5 seconds so far.

Now, we figure out the distance it will actually take your car to stop. Say you’re going the speed limit in a school zone, which is 20 miles per hour. Even in ideal conditions, with dry roads, your car will stop in 63 feet—44 feet for your reaction time (assuming you were alert and paying attention) and 19 feet for braking distance.

If you’re speeding—going 30 in a 20—you almost double the distance it will take to stop. Your car will stop in 119 feet, which is about half a football field. Going 20 mph over the speed limit? It will take you 164 feet to stop.

The mechanics of your car, the conditions of your tires, and the road conditions all play a role, too—proving even more that seconds and speed count when it comes to saving lives.


Contact reporter Rob Harris atrjharris@whas11.com. Follow him onTwitter (@robharristv) andFacebook.