|Getting the best out of your Stop-O-Meter
The whole point of the Stop-O-Meter is that it gives you an instant indication of the distance and time to what is called your ‘stop horizon’.
The trick to using the Stop-O-meter is to try and estimate whether or not you
could stop before you reach a roadside feature somewhere up ahead. As you are driving along at a steady speed, touch the screen and let the app tones countdown to zero. The distance you have travelled between touching the screen and hearing the last tone is the amount of distance you need to bring the car to a halt with a correctly performed emergency stop.
||Here are the rules for use:-
From a steady speed.
Pick a roadside feature somewhere up ahead.
Touch the screen.
Listen for the countdown tones.
If the tones finish just before you reach the feature, you have estimated your stopping distance correctly.
If the tones finish after you have passed the feature, you have underestimated
your stopping distance.
Continue practicing until you get your estimations correct at every attempt.
|Continued use of the Stop-O-Meter, will very soon give you a very clear picture of the real world distances involved between travelling at steady speed and bringing your vehicle to a complete halt.
|Why knowing your ‘stop horizon’ is very important.
The stop horizon is that point somewhere on the road ahead where lives can be changed in an instant. A good example is when a child runs out into the road in front of you. If they run out beyond your stop horizon, then you know you can safely bring your car to a halt with no risk of hitting the child. If however the child runs out between you and your stop horizon, then you know you will not be able to stop before hitting the poor little thing. In any such case, your only course of action has to be to swerve to try and avoid hitting them. Experienced drivers gain this knowledge over a considerable period of time and are therefore ready to perform such a manoeuvre should the circumstances dictate. As a new driver, you will have had very little experience of this and would probably hesitate when faced with such a circumstance. Attempting to brake when you should be swerving, wastes
valuable time and precious real estate as you do the wrong thing. Knowing your stop horizon at a wide range
of differing speeds will help you to avoid this mistake and maybe even save somebody’s life one day.
The two second rule.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia www.wikipedia.org
The two-second rule is a rule of thumb by which a driver may maintain a safe following distance at any speed.
The rule is that a driver should ideally stay at least two seconds behind any vehicle that is directly in front of the driver's vehicle. The two-second rule is useful as it works at any speed. It is equivalent to one vehicle-length for every 8 km/h (5 mph) of the current speed, but drivers can find it difficult to estimate the correct distance from
the car in front, let alone to remember the stopping distances that are required for a given speed, or to compute the linear equation on the fly. The two-second rule gets around these problems, and provides a simple and common-sense way of improving road safety. The practice has been shown to dramatically reduce risk of
collision, and also the severity of an accident should an accident occur. It also helps to avoid tailgating and road rage for all drivers. The risk of tailgating is largely caused by the accident avoidance time being much less than the driver reaction time. Driving instructors advocate that drivers always use the "2-second rule" regardless of speed or the type of road. During adverse weather or hazardous conditions, it is important to maintain an even greater distance of three or four seconds behind the vehicle in front of you. It tells a defensive driver the
minimum distance needed to reduce the risk of collision under ideal driving conditions. The allotted two-seconds
is a safety buffer, to allow the following driver time to respond.
A method is generally needed to estimate the elapsed time, so that the driver can adjust accordingly. To
estimate the time, wait until the rear end of the vehicle in front of you passes any distinct and fixed point on the road - e.g. a road sign, line/crack/patch in the road. However, don't take your eyes off the vehicle for more than
a second or that would defeat the purpose. As you count to yourself the elapsed time in seconds, the front of
your car should pass the same point no less than two seconds later. If the elapsed time is less than this,
increase the distance, then repeat the method again until the time is at least 2 seconds. One can count the duration of time simply by saying "one... two..." but for greater accuracy, it is suggested that drivers say
"only a fool breaks the two-second rule". At a normal speaking rate, this sentence takes approximately two seconds to say, and serves as a reminder to the driver of the importance of the rule itself.
The Eco Driving module shows you how smooth you are driving and how well you are anticipating and planning
for approaches to junctions etc. The smoother you can drive, the less fuel you will use and here’s why. Driving a car requires that the energy locked up within the fuel is converted by the engine into rotary motion of the driving wheels. The amount of fuel used to achieve a given speed is dependent on a number of factors
such as wind resistance, vehicle weight, corner radius, tyre type and pressure, surface conditions, degree of braking and acceleration and so on. A certain percentage of your fuel is wasted in wearing out various components, such as tyres and brake pads. These components wear by having energy, gained from the fuel,
put into them. The more energy you put in, the faster they wear out. Brake pads will wear out very quickly if you are a very heavy user of the brakes, but will last a very long time if you are nice and gentle with your braking. Similarly tyres won’t last very long if you are aggressive with your steering and braking. A racing driver doesn’t much care about fuel consumption and only cares about going fast and to go fast in a race, they have to be
very aggressive with the steering and the brakes. Although they will go fast, they won’t be able to go like that for long as the tyres and brake pads will be quickly worn out and they will run out of fuel. If that wasn’t the case, then races wouldn’t require pit-stops. Eco driving requires that unlike the racing driver, you use the very minimum of input to the controls to reduce the forces that are trying to wear out your valuable brakes and tyres. The key to this type of driving is being smooth. When the Eco Driving display is selected on the Stop-O-Meter you will see
a grey oval in the middle of which is a small blue ball. You will know you are driving smoothly if you can keep the ball within the boundary of the oval. Accelerating, braking or cornering harshly will cause the blue ball to be pushed outside of the oval and when this happens a bell is sounded to warn you that your standard of eco
driving could be better. As you continue to drive you will see that the blue ball leaves a boundary trace which shows the direction and quantity of the forces acting on your car from the accelerator, brakes and steering.
A truly expert eco driver will be able to keep the ball and trace well within the boundaries of the oval, even when
it is on its most difficult setting. The bell boundary is oval because there are different magnitudes of forces in
play between those concerned with accelerating/decelerating and those concerned with cornering. You can change the sensitivity of the Eco Driving module by selecting Settings from the i button. The central oval will change size from small at the hardest setting to quite large on the easiest. The instant feedback afforded by
The Eco Driving module will help you to fully understand the importance of smooth driving in much less time
than would normally be the case.