Engineering >> Civil & Environmental Engineering

Stopping Distance

by Josh Walker


Submitted : Spring 2015

When analyzing traffic and its fluidity, civil engineers must see all aspects of the system.  One of these aspects is safe deceleration. When designing a road one must take into account the speed limit of the road and upcoming hills and turns that would limit the driver’s view of upcoming intersections/stop signs/etc. which would require proper deceleration by the driver.  To make this most comfortable for the driver and to maintain fluid traffic flow, braking distance and time must be taken into consideration.

            I took a simple situation, a high-speed road that, then, approaches an intersection with a stoplight, like we sometimes have here in Florida with highways that have low volume roads running off them.  In my scenario the high-speed road approaches a curve, which is shortly followed with the intersection a certain distance along the curve. The point of the project was to use a formula to find the time needed to stop at a comfortable deceleration and the stopping distance.  Taking into account the reaction time of the everyday human, the result would be the line of sight that a driver would need to comfortably come to a stop upon approaching a red light at such an intersection.



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Advisors :
Arcadii Grinshpan, Mathematics and Statistics
Joseph Foley, Physics
Suggested By :
Abdul Pinjari