In this unit:

Return to Safety Unit

Speed Unit Home Page

Equations

Injuries and Damage as they relate to speed

What happens to the passenger?

Braking

Reaction Time

Practice problems

Introduction

This unit is an introduction to the physics behind what happens to motor vehicles and specifically the occupants of those vehicles during traffic accidents. The unit was originally planned as a small part of a larger unit on traffic safety but students showed enough interest that the lesson on physics was made so it can also be used as a stand alone lesson. Students using the lesson should have a background in 1 and 2 dimensional motion, energy and momentum and/or an interest in what happens during an automobile accident. Students should use the links at the left of the page to follow the lesson.

If a driver stops in a car crash over a distance of one foot at 30 miles per hour the force on a 160 pound driver is 4800 pounds or 30 gs.

The links at the left of the page will take you through the lesson.

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