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Braking distance refers to the distance it takes to get a vehicle to a full, complete stop, once the brakes have been applied. Brakes are devices on vehicles that may be used to decelerate the vehicle, and ultimately bring it to a complete stop as required by varying road situations. There are several factors that can affect the braking distance of a vehicle, such as the size, or mass, of the vehicle; the initial speed of a vehicle; the type of braking system being used on the vehicle; and the coefficient of friction between the vehicles tires or wheels and the road. Braking systems can vary from sets of discs, or pads, to calipers, to old-fashioned fulcrum and lever types. The purpose of these braking systems is to dissipate the kinetic energy created by the movement of the vehicle. Disc brakes on automobiles, for example, rub against the rotor of the wheel, and dissipate the energy of motion into the energy of contact between the brake pad and the rotor surface. Each wheel has its own brake pads to accomplish this.
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