THOSE who think about their driving probably give at least a passing thought to stopping distances, and therefore their gap to the car ahead. Just as it does for the salty snack you just dropped on the floor, the old three-second rule applies to setting the space between you and the car in front; you’re leaving enough space to stop if you pass a roadside marker three seconds later.
But did you ever think that you might need a bit more room when you have a car-load of people and luggage on board?
With the control tyres fitted to the Sportage, it was easy to find out how much difference three passengers made to the stopping distance. We knew the Kia could do a wet emergency stop from 80km/h in 26.5 metres on average. So its average of 28.3m with helpers Chris, Paul and Rohan in tow and its worst of 28.9m equated to as much as 2.4 metres of extra stopping distance. That’s up to half a car length, or about a nine percent increase.
So we need to count to 3.3 seconds to maintain a safe following gap with the boys along for the trip. Five-up with luggage, it wouldn’t be crazy for holiday-goers to count to four on the freeway.