Wheels (Australia) - - Tyre Test 2016 -

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.

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