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Driving tips and other life stuff

Emergency stop – will it affect my braking feedback?

The emergency stop - that awful part of the driving test that makes learners quiver in their seats and something which hopefully you should rarely need to put into practice.

BUT, it happened. You were on your way home and that kid on the scooter suddenly decided to whizz out into the road causing you to slam on your brakes to avoid a tragedy. But what happens to your braking driving feedback now?

How is harsh braking worked out?

Braking is measured in g-force using the accelerometer in the box. Too sciencey? OK. This basically means that the quicker your car goes from moving to stopping, the bigger the force you'll create.

There’s also 2 other things at play here:

  1. Severity - how sudden it was

    You may have got distracted on your way to college and pulled out when another car was coming - so you hit the brakes HARD. It only happened once, but it's high in terms of severity.

  2. Frequency - how often it's happening

    Every day, you could be making the same mistake - not seeing other drivers pulling out. That means you're hitting the brakes pretty hard again and again during your commute. It's less extreme, but it's a driving trend.

  3. Does the black box know it's an emergency stop?

    Your black box records the good, the bad and the ugly. But, just like it can’t distinguish between who is driving at that time or whether it was raining that day, it also can’t distinguish the difference between a genuine emergency stop and whether you actually just took your eyes off the ball for a second.

    What can I do about it?

    We get it. There are some situations on the road that are simply unavoidable.

    Our main job is to look at your driving trends in order to build up a picture of your driving style. Although all harsh braking will be recorded we've made sure that the less severe braking incidents don't affect you dramatically. Harsh braking messages aren't something you can rack up from normal driving - as we understand braking is a huge part of driving safely. Duh!

    If you've been getting all 'Good' feedback for braking smoothly and then WHAM, another driver decides to pull out on you unexpectedly (despite it being a give way junction, GRR) - just let us know. If we can see this doesn't reflect your usual driving then we wouldn't want it to affect your good driving discount.

    Try to make a mental note of when and where this happened - we can then sift through all your journey data much easier to pinpoint exactly what your black box recorded.

    What if my braking generally needs some improvement?

    If the black box is telling us you're regulaly braking sharply, this is a driving trend: it's something that's happening consistently and is an area where you need to improve.

    We would still look into an emergency stop if you got in touch with us and it wasn't your fault, but we’d be more likely to give you some tips and advice on how to improve your braking style.

    Braking tips

    • Maintain a bigger distance from the car in front so you have more time to react if they hit their brakes
    • Keep an eye on the road further ahead, not just on the car in front of you
    • Look around you more to anticipate what's happening just that bit earlier

    We're not meanies

    Just talk to us.

    We don't want to penalise you for cautious and attentive driving. If you feel your braking is usually smooth and your driving feedback reflects this, we’re happy to take a second look at the day Mr Tiddles dashed out in front of your wheels.

    We're good like that.

    Want some tips on how to improve your braking feedback?
    Have a read


Katey Joined ingenie in 2014 and is in charge of all things social and content. She passed her driving test in 2015 and her first car is a Toyota Yaris T3 named Tyrone.