Driving & Traffic

Safe Stopping

As a driver, it’s important to understand how to stop safely in any given situation. 

Responsible motorists see stops ahead, safely check their surroundings, begin braking early and stop smoothly. 

The City is sharing tips for safe stopping and the importance of obeying the posted speed limit.

Choose Safety. Stop Safely. Check your mirrors, begin braking early and stop smoothly.

Stopping tips

  • Before slowing down or stopping, check your mirrors. Having awareness of your surroundings can help you prevent a rear-end collision.
  • In wet weather conditions, leave extra space between you and the vehicle in front of you. Icy and wet roads can make stopping more difficult and may require motorists more time to come to a complete stop.
  • Always maintain a safe driving and stopping distance. A safe distance between you and the car in front of you depends on how fast you’re travelling and weather conditions. The faster you’re driving, and the worse the weather conditions, the more space you’ll need to leave between yourself and the vehicle ahead of you.
  • Don’t assume that other drivers see a stop sign ahead. Drive with caution and always try to make eye contact with other road users at 2 or 4-way stops.
  • Ensure your brake lights are operational so that you can communicate to other drivers that you’re braking.
  • Commercial vehicles and school buses stop at railway crossings. If you’re driving behind one of these vehicles, leave space and prepare to stop.

Understanding stopping distance

  • If you put on the brakes of your vehicle, it does not stop automatically. Stopping distance is the amount of distance the vehicle will continue to travel between the initial braking and when the vehicle comes to a complete stop.
  • A driver’s reaction time and the cars speed are both factors that determine how quickly a car can stop.
  • The slower the vehicle, the less distance is required for the car to stop.
  • A vehicle travelling 40 km/hr needs significantly less distance to come to a complete stop than a car travelling 50 km/hr or 60 km/hr which is why it’s important to obey the posted speed limit.
  • Travelling on wet, icy or snowy roads can also increase stopping distances significantly.

For tips on stopping at intersections, pedestrian crossovers, railway crossings and more, visit Ministry of Transportation - Stopping