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Crash Testing and Physics

Brief Youtube videos of people not wearing seatbelts, PSAs, and actual crash test footage. Students are then asked to use equations of motion to calculate the difference in stopping distance and time to slow down from 70 mph to 35 mph, and from 55 mph to
by

Brian White

on 28 September 2011

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Transcript of Crash Testing and Physics

5 Column Chart
and Driving Safely

What does a car crash
look like when the passenger
is not wearing a seat belt?
Front end crash tests
are carried out at 35 mph. The
National Highway Safety
Administration requires automakers
to prove passengers can survive this
crash. Beyond 35 mph, you're on
your own...
Your job as a driver is not
to ever crash.
If that's not an option, your
next job is to get your speed
under 35 mph.
Calculate:
1. How much time does it
take to slow down from 70 mph
to 35 mph? How much distance?

2. How much time does it take to
slow down from 55 mph to 35 mph?
How much distance?

3. A typical car can accelerate at
-30 ft/s^2 in dry conditions.
From 70 mph to 35 mph it takes
1.7 s and 130 ft

From 55 mph to 35 mph it takes
1.0 s and 66 ft.
Write a conclusion discussing these
results and your own driving habits
on the interstate and on rural roads.
It takes almost TWICE as long and
TWICE the distance to get from 70 mph
to 35 mph as it does from 55 mph.

You probably have enough time and distance to do that if you're driving
on an interstate highway.

But what about on a rural road? Or in
slippery conditions?

A poorly designed car
A well-designed car
Full transcript