Outback Safer Driving Series Episode 6

Season 1 Episode 6 – Brake Test

Season 1 Episode 6 – Brake Test

Welcome to episode 6 of the Outback Safer Driving series.

Two things that really make a difference out here are speed and 4wd.

Check out our video series at visitcornercontry.com.au to see this exercise visually. 

What did we do? We performed a braking exercise towing a camper trailer, on both bitumen and on dirt.

On the bitumen at 60k’s an hour, our full blooded stop was 18 meters. At 80’ks an hour It was 35 meters on the bitumen, almost double that of the higher speed.

In two-wheel drive on the dirt, our stopping distance was 28 meters at 60k’s an hour, and 48 meters at 80k’s an hour. So, a whopping 20 meters difference there as well.

And just for a bit of an exercise, I put it into four-wheel drive to do an 80k stop on the dirt. And that knocked 10 meters off the distance. So at 80k’s, it was down from 48 meter to 38 meters for the stop.

During real world driving, your reaction time before the brake pedal is applied can greatly increase the distance it takes to stop. In rural settings, reaction time could be as much as 2.5 seconds, which is a distance of 42 meters at 60 kilometres an hour, and 56 meters at 80 kilometres an hour. That’s a huge difference.

What does this teach us? Easy, drop off a bit of speed, especially when you’re on the dirt. And if you can, stay in 4wd in dirt too.

And that could mean the difference between hitting that wildlife that is crossing the road or enjoying a beer in camp with your mates.

Remember to check the website for the latest safety information and check the road conditions before you leave.

Stay safe. See you on the road.


The advice in these videos is for general information and entertainment purposes only. Road users are responsible for knowing and following the road rules. Consult a professional before travelling.

Links to relevant road rules: