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A second of distracted driving can cause a crash

While most residents of the Killeen and Fort Hood areas probably recognize that it takes some time and distance to stop a car, they may not really stop to think exactly how long a car or, especially, a large commercial vehicle like a truck is going to travel before it is able to stop.

Specifically, a car traveling at a highway speed of 65 miles per hour is going to need a little over 300 feet, or about the length of a football field, to come to a complete stop. This distance accounts for two things: first, it takes a driver a split second or two to actually hit the brakes in order to stop the car; second, the laws of physics and momentum mean that the car is going to travel several hundred feet before it actually stops.

Texans should be aware that slowing down a bit can help reduce braking distance. The more a vehicle weighs and the faster it is traveling, the longer it is going to take to stop. However, the real important thing that these numbers teach is that a driver needs to pay full attention to the road at all times so he or she can react immediately if a stop is called for.

After all, a driver can only do so much about the time it takes for a car to stop once the brakes get applied. The driver can, however, do a bit more about his or her decision-making and reaction time simply by being aware of his or her surroundings.

Even a split second checking that text or even taking a bite of food can mean the difference between a safe arrival and an accident that leaves someone with a serious personal injury.

Texans have an obligation to pay attention while driving, and the science of how long it takes a car to stop backs that up. When someone gets hurt because another driver did not live up to this responsibility, the injured person may be eligible to receive compensation.

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