Stopping Distances for Driving Test

Brake Lights Stopping

Brake Lights Stopping

This post includes a little tip I read somewhere, but I can’t for the life of me remember where. I read so much stuff before I did my theory test. In my opinion stopping distances are kinda useless, since you can’t really calculate them on the fly, but you still need to know them. Its more a visual or spacial awareness thing while driving.

You know *your car* need “this” much space to stop and thats kind of it.

I mean without any extensive thought, some of the variables are Road Condition:  Wet / Dry, Weather: Hot / Cold, Humidity: Dry / Wet, Tyres: Slick / Knobbly / Worn, Road Material: Loose / Firm / Soft, Tyre Pressure: Over Inflated / Under Inflated / Correct, Brake Type:  Disk / Drum, Brake Material: Steel / Carbon / Ceramic, this before we get to Electronic / Mechanical like ABS, Stability Control and Brake Assist and without too much thought, the variables must be into millions of permutations.

Stopping Distances by DVLA

Stopping Distances by DVLA

All these are dependent on when the driver actually realises they need to stop, and their reactions and indeed actions. 

However you need to know these for your theory test and I guess for your actual driving test because of the Show Me, Tell Me Section and / or when the examiner asks you questions during the independent driving portion.

Top Tip: Easy Braking Distance Calculation

There is an easy way to calculate these, its quick and easy. Which makes me equally proud of the mathematics but also suspect about authenticity of the figures. Not to mention if they actually have any real world correlation or basis.

You basically multiply the speed by using an incrementing modifier, so for example..

The Overall Stopping distance in feet:

Speed (MPH)  Qualifier (Feet)  Multiplier Distance (Feet) 
20 mph 20 ft 2x 40 ft
30 mph 30 ft 2.5x 75 ft
40 mph 40 ft 3x 120 ft
50 mph 50 ft 3.5x 175 ft
60 mph 60 ft 4x 240 ft
70 mph 70 ft 4.5x 315 ft
100 mph 100 ft 6x 600 ft
160 mph 160 ft 9x 1140 ft


You maybe thinking, but I need to know meters not feet. Negative, the theory test gives you the distances in both feet and meters. 

The Fastest Travelling Speed

This got me thinking about the fastest speed I have travelled, which were 155mph in a car with a NOS kit, along the lines of what the Wizards of NOS do, obviously not driver. We were in moist conditions on a slight down gradient and talking with music on, which can slow reaction times…

Lowes Motor Speedway Quater Mile Marker

Lowes Motor Speedway Quater Mile Marker via Wikipedia.

155mph slightly distracted by music and chatter giving slower than average reaction times, on moist/damp conditions makes the stopping distance 3,135 ft / 956 meters. 

The Earths curvature means at absolute best a 6 ft man can see between 1.8 km and 5 km away through a telescope or binoculars before the Earths curve obstructs your view. Whether your eyes could see anything smaller than a bus at a distance of 956 meters is debatable.

The above image is taken at around 500 meters / 1,600 feet from the building. I don’t think you’d be able to see the child and their father on the left from double this at 1,000 meters. Assuming you could even see them, my guess it they would be road kill at anything over 80 mph, at 158 mph, the driver and passengers would need to be steam cleaned off the buildings wall.

155mph = 70 meters per second.

That building is approx 6-7 seconds away at that speed and about 13 seconds away with the breaks on. Not even a Bugatti Veyron would be able to able to stop in time and that has some of the best brakes and air breaks in the world. 

This isn’t really an anti-speeding post, its more an awareness post, 1,000 meters or over half a mile sounds like a long distance, but when you think, at 70mph its 30 seconds away. 


Brake Lights Image by Myles Davidson.

Yes, Prime Minister

Banksy Missing Slave

Banksy Missing Slave

I was watching “Yes, Prime Minister” on TV, the conversation went something like “We raised the age of education so children could learn more to prepare them for life.”. The other guy said “No, Prime Minister we raised the age of education so we could get the teenagers off the job market to lower the rates of unemployment”. 

I read a story about increasing the school age to 18, and / or the school hours to 5pm to 5:30pm and various other ideas, it kind of made me think. It sure does sound like a hell of a way to reduce youth employment, and force more parents into working and dramatically drop unemployment rates. A by product would possibly increase spending as more people would need more things, parents would have more money, god that’s really vague. 

School kids will need more uniforms and books, Workers more food, clothing, Rush Hour will become rush hours since there wouldn’t be a staggering of School Run and End of Day workers, so more fuel and more car repairs and maintenance. So nice little boost in the economy. 

There are many stories about this from the USA, where longer school hours and indeed lots of after school clubs and classes seems to be working very well. This page Time to Learn makes a compelling argument, and makes me think it could well be the way forward. 

On a serious note, the Americans Glee Club, Electronics Club, Mathletes, Football Clubs and various other after school (and during school hours) clubs do seem like a damn good idea. The summer, christmas and end of year parties and stuff seem solid as do year books. Maybe if schools were extended some of these ideas could be transposed over here. The sorority house idea failed shockingly but maybe the best bits could work.

With all the Brexit stuff and UK based xenophobia, this article (openly admits) xenophobia and DAMNED!!!  Kinda funny tho, go on and check it out about the UK’s Failed Sorority. On a side not the TV Show Greek made the yankee greek system look amazing . 

Change Is In The Air for Learner Drivers

L Plate

L Plate

I posted a while ago about the practical driving test getting an update the first major update to the practical test in 20 years. It were thought these changes would be here by now, but the official date is scheduled for 4th December 2017. I still maintain some of these changes are pointless, adding a “manoeuvre into a parking bay” is crazy, they already have the “Bay Park Manoeuvre”, is it that much harder to drive in forward ?

The Sat Nav update is good, many people spend far too long looking at the Sat Nav, this may teach people (myself included) to use it effectively within a routine. You have time to check your interior mirrors, right mirror, speedo, left mirror and look a head while driving safely, adding another glance at the Sat Nav in your routine shouldn’t be too hard.

Just to emphasis it, I was at the side of a police car and the driver were rolling down a hill with traffic and didn’t look up once. He was busy looking at the Sat Nav or police computer or radio, if highly trained drivers can be distracted, this can only be a good thing.

Motorway Update

Motorway Speed Light Lines

Motorway Speed Light Lines

I was kind of hoping by the time the rules came to fruition that the motorway lessons would be mandatory. On another forum, someone said “They may not be ready to drive on the motorway.”, I commented “They shouldn’t be allowed to pass their test then.”, and I was banned from the forum. Surely this day and age motorway lessons are essential, the whole game of driving changes when your at speed. 

I would like some training attached to first driving offences for new drivers, rather than losing your license you should be given more training. I know you get 1 shot at this per 3 years as a regular driver, I think a second one should be offered if a different minor offence within the first 2 years. 

Independent Driving Increase

The independent driving driving section has been increased. Its not clear if the Sat Nav element is due to be included here. Independent driving currently consists of you following road signs. The Examiner will say follow road signs to X place, now follow to Y place, and so on. 10 minutes can vanish in no time at all if you hit traffic. 

It would make sense to include the Sat Nav section here, I always thought it would be good to include a map reading section, but this is less and less important now. Its also been said that it 1 in 5 won’t be asked to do the Sat Nav driving, so for those the 20 minute independent drive will feel like a life time. 

Its also been clarified that if you make a mistake, it won’t matter as long as you don’t commit a fault. 

Show Me, Tell Me Changes

This update maybe good at well. Currently they ask you a few questions before you start driving. Tell Me, where they ask you how you would do something. In my case it was, Tell me how you would check the break is working, I think. Due to the weather being pants, I was asked to show them how I would use the screen washer and wipers. Self preservation played its hand there I think. 

Now they will ask you the Show Me question while you are mobile, so it would be “Show me how you use the demister” or “Show me how you put the hazard lights on”. This maybe good, the number of times when I first passed that I would be looking for a control and take my eyes of the road and end up drifting. Hopefully having to learn this during lessons will teach you to drift less. Now I can do it mostly without drifting and I’m getting better, so practice while learning would be good. 

Edit: Mickey Stafford posted a comment with a link for the Official Show Me Tell Me Questions

Manoeuvres Updated

I don’t really agree with this update, but reverse around a corner is no longer done, neither is 3-point-turn or turn-in-the-road as they call it now.  Instead they are going to ask you to do one of 3 new manoeuvres. 

  • Parallel Park.
  • Park in a Bay. Either drive in and out of a space. Either reverse in, Forward out, or Forward in, Reverse Out. 
  • Pull up on the right side of the road, reverse 2 car lengths backwards, then rejoin traffic. 

I can see the last item causing major issues both for the learner and for the other vehicles. 

Sat Nav image by Pixabay, Motorway image by Tookapic.

Buying Drop Lists

Previously, I talked about Zone File AccessDAC Connections, then started a Quadrology of Articles; Part 1: What You Need To Build A Drop List, Part 2: Building A Drop List, Part 3: Maintaining A Drop List and Part 4: Accessing Drop Lists

Now I am going to cover the easiest, cheapest and least painful (on the pocket) method of obtaining drop lists.  I’m not going to discus if the lists are cherry picked or filtered or anything else, since its futile. All I’m going to say is, depending on how the list were built covers how complete it is, which accounts for missing names. I’ll cover how older lists were made briefly later on. 

Generally beyond a week will cost anywhere from £10-50 per month depending on the metrics (data points provided) and how far into the future the lists go. £10-15 per month will get 7-30 days, £15-25 will get you 30-60 days, £40+ per month will get you 60+ days. I’m not aware of anyone who is offering unrestricted access to complete zone files, most people who have this have built their own.

I am aware of 1 or 2 people who offer a PRSS style look up, where you give them a keyword and they return X many records which match. Prices are usually £2-3 per query, using my guide you could build your own system even without Dac Access. 

Free Drop Lists

Domain Lore Droplist

Domain Lore Droplist

This is by far the easiest option, but also the most limiting option. It really depends what you require from the drop lists.

The main limitation with free drop lists is the date range, I believe the longest publicly accessible range is 10 days, but I haven’t seen it with my own eyes. Most I have seen are 7 days, some are 7  Days + Today. Domain Lore and Caught are the first 2 in this group which comes to mind.

Domain Lore use the old PRSS Generated Zone file from 2006-ish, which were around 2 million names out of a current 11 million. The upside is, it contains the early names which are arguably the better names. It’s also shorter at around 700 per day.

It doesn’t include .UK at all, extremely limited and, the former will become more critical as we draw closer to 2019.  Domain Lore includes some metrics, and has some sort functions. 

Caught, I’m not sure where their data comes from, but likely built up over the years. Again I’ll cover the method I suspect here in the building part later on. Neither of the above have paid options or offer a complete drop lists at last I checked.

Domain View Quick Drops

Domain View Quick Drops

DomainView, which currently uses the Nominet zone file, and previously used the .com zonefile and word lists. They offer pretty complete metrics. Rob the developer is always open to suggestions for new metrics to add. They even go as far as showing you what has been booked with their public catching service within the scope of your membership. 

They offer 2 days (Today/Tomorrow) of drop lists, but no metrics at all for free. The lists are often in excess of 4000-5000 names, and include .uk,,, and, I haven’t noticed any plc/ltd/ domains. The list is updated with hourly sweeps to remove dropped domains so it shortens through the day. More than 2 days are available for a price, but thats the next section. offers some basic metrics and but its limited. 

Paid Drop Lists

There are various paid services, the main 2 I’m aware of DomainView and Dropped.UK, I’m sure there are more than that, but that’s all I’m aware of. There were a few others such as DCE but they closed down.

Domain View Subs

Domain View Subs

DomainView (60 days, Zonefiles, Parking, Backorder Credits, Upto £15) offers a variety of subscription options beyond the 2 free days. These are 7, 14, 30 and 60 days ranging from £5-15 which include various other things. These extras include zonefile downloads (not .uk), backorder credits, parking system access and more.

The Current Metrics are… 

Main Domain Back Ordered, .UK BackOrdered, Domain Name, Length of Doamin, Register Year, Domain Keywords, Google Searches, Google Cost Per Click (CPC), Alexa Links, Alexa Rank, Google Page Rank, Registered in Other Extensions, Taken in .com, Taken in .net, Taken in .org, Taken in .us, Taken in .info, Taken in .biz, Taken in .mobi, Taken in .xxx, Majestic Backlinks, Majestic Referring Domains, Majestic .EDU Backlinks, Majestic Referring EDU Domains, Majestic .GOV Backlinks, Majestic GOV Referers, Majestic Trust Flow, Majestic Citation Flow, Moz Domain Authority, Moz Page Authority, Moz Backlinks, Moz Rank, Times in, First Date, IPS Tag, Scheduled Drop Date.

Some of the more interesting features is, they show you what domains have been booked by their backorder system and you can also catch under multiple names. Paid Droplist Paid Droplist

Dropped (61 Days, Backorder Credits, upto £20), I’m not 100% sure what metrics Dropped.UK offer, beyond a few basics. They are a more expensive option than domain view.

I should really use the free trial to see what metrics they offer just for the sake of this post but really they should show what you get rather than harvesting contact data.

Dropped do have a few nice catches to their tag, but it seems they book certain names for themselves, which I’m not keen on. They are not the only catching company which does this, and this isn’t really within the remit of this article. 

I’m sure there are other droplist services but I think I have covered the main free lists and paid lists, and some good options there. 

If you know of any others do use the comments and I’ll update this post, same for any corrections or new information. 

Body Power 2017 – STICKY POST

I have only missed one body power show since it started, I haven’t always managed the full weekend but this year I have cleared my schedule, turned work down left right and centre, I will attend the ball. I mean expo, I meant expo, honestly. 

You can see previous entries on Body Power 2016, and Nocco at Body Power, and Mark Felix at Body Power, the list of stars in attendance is awe-inspiring. 

Continue reading

Blind Spot with Weird Road Markings

I wasn’t sure if I should continue with the driving posts, since now I’ve passed I’m not a student now. I am however still learning and figure my insights and hard earnt lessons may help some other people. I’m not an expert so my interpretations may not be 100% accurate, so do take them as intended, as my insight. 

When I find something worth blogging on, I’ll post a little. On this occasion, my mother has mentioned this a few times but its not easy to picture it, or get what she meant. Since I passed my test, I drop her off for her dog walk at a trail near here. 

Blind Corner Road Markings

Blind Corner Road Markings

The above junction is a doozy, you must follow the RED arrows around the junction. Once you can see the line of sight in BLUE, thata where you stop, to make the turn. Its almost like a loose hairpin or half u-turn around. From the road while driving its hard to work out, you don’t have much time. 

If you come across this, you know the drill now. Drive to Arrow 3, STOP, look down the blue line of sight, then turn right, and follow it around. Nice and easy when you know, and will keep you massively safer once such bends.