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2. How does kinetic energy affect the stopping distance of a vehicle traveling at 30 mph compared to the same vehicle traveling at 60 mph?
3. How does kinetic energy affect the stopping distance of a small vehicle compared to a large vehicle?
4. Keeping in mind the kinetic energy of a moving vehicle, how can a driver best prepare to enter sharp curves in the roadway?
5. Using information about natural laws, explain why some car crashes produce minor injuries and others produce catastrophic injuries.
Best Answer: When a car is moving, it has Kinetic Energy.
Kinetic Energy = 0.5 * mass * velocity^2
Suppose that the car takes a distance "d" to stop, and that the brakes exert a stopping force "F"
Work done by this force to stop the car = force * distance
= F * d
The Kinetic Energy is equal to the work done to stop.
So F * d = 0.5 * mass * velocity^2
Distance to stop, d = 0.5 * mass * velocity^2 / F
We can now see how the distance to stop is affected by the other quantities:-
If you can e.g. double the braking force, the stopping distance halves, if the others do not change.
If you can make the car lighter, e.g. halve its mass, the stopping distance halves, if the others do not change.
However, if you halve your speed, the stopping distance becomes one quarter ( half squared), if others do not chenge.
Speed , or lack of it, is very important. ( since velocity is squared here.)
If you travel 2 times faster (double the speed), then you take 4 ( 2 squared) the distance to stop.
3 times faster, and its 9 times further, etc.
The "easiest" way to cut down your stopping