first_imgHe added: “The Highway Code is based on a lot of assumptions, a clear road, perfect brakes, perfect weather. It is a theoretical scenario and there are many variants that could affect it but we wanted to highlight the importance of the thinking time component.”RAC spokesman Rod Dennis described the new figures as striking and called for them to be taken seriously.He said: “From time to time, new evidence will come to light that means it is necessary to update the Highway Code and perhaps this is one such instance.”While the ability for cars to be able to brake more quickly has improved, our reaction times clearly haven’t.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The Highway Code should be updated because its stopping distances are woefully short and underestimate drivers’ thinking time, campaigners say.The charity Brake said that distractions in cars, such as using mobile phones, bad weather, dodgy tyres and less than perfect brakes would only slow stopping times further.A study commissioned by Brake estimated that it takes an average of 1.5 seconds to spot a hazard and apply the brakes, more than double the figure of 0.67 seconds used in the Department for Transport’s book.The new study calculated that the stopping distance of a car travelling at 40 miles per hour is 51 metres, compared with the figure of 36 metres in the Highway Code.This is the equivalent of an extra 3.75 car lengths and Brake urged the Government to increase stopping distances in the book “as a matter of urgency”. The charity’s spokesman, Jason Wakeford, said: “These figures suggest stopping distances taught to new drivers in the Highway Code fall woefully short.”A true understanding of how long it takes to stop a car in an emergency is one of the most important lessons for new drivers.”Understanding true average thinking time reminds all drivers how far their car will travel before they begin to brake – as well as highlighting how any distraction in the car which extends this time, like using a mobile phone, could prove fatal.”center_img Campaigners have warned that hte Highway Code underestimate drivers’ thinking timeCredit:PA Campaigners have warned that hte Highway Code underestimate drivers' thinking timelast_img

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