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# Science in the news research

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

QUESTION ONE - Thinking distance is the distance that the car travels after the driver has seen the danger and before the brakes are applied. (http://www.fearofphysics.com/w.php?define=thinking%20distance)

Breaking distance It is the distance travelled by a car after the breaks are applied until it comes to a stop from when the driver applys the breaks to when the car stops

(http://www.fearofphysics.com/w.php?define=breaking%20distance)

Linked : Overall stopping distances (that is thinking + braking distance)

QUESTION 2A: thinking distance affected by: - speed of vehicle, how alert the driver is

QUESTION 2B: breaking distance affected by: - speed of the car, mass of the vehicle, condition of brakes, grip between the road and the tires.

The main factors that can affect the thinking distance for cars are influence, drugs, alcohol, unclear vision and mobile phones.

1. Alcohol / Drugs

2. Stress / Tiredness

3. Old age

4. Not full concentration on the road

5. Drivers Vision

Middle

120 feet

50 mph

50 feet

125 feet

175 feet

60 mph

60 feet

180 feet

240 feet

70 mph

70 feet

245 feet

315 feet

(USA = "Touchdown !")

80 mph

80 feet

320 feet

400 feet

These figures are based on the assumption that Because there are differences between various vehicles, the following tables are for guidance only. The biggest factor in stopping distances is the speed at which a driver reacts to seeing the hazard in question. Under ordinary driving conditions, very few drivers indeed can get onto the brakes within half a second, and two-thirds of a second to a full second is more typical.2

Most frighteningly, Australian research has shown that the very people we expect to have the fastest reactions -- young drivers -- are particularly prone to effectively 'freeze up' with fear, at the sight of an unexpected hazard ahead, and their reaction time can therefore exceed two seconds.

Lastly, don't forget that when you read the 60-0mph figures in literature for new cars, the automaker is giving you only the braking distance, not the overall stopping distance.

QUESTION 3B:

 80 mph 80 feet 320 feet 400 feet

(80+320) = 400 feet

Stopping distance = thinking distance + braking distance http://www.driveandstayalive.

Conclusion

obtain the maximum possible friction levels

http://scitation.aip.org/getabs/servlet/GetabsServlet?prog=normal&id=TSTCAU000006000002000125000001&idtype=cvips&gifs=yes

CRASH BARRIERS -

A crash barrier is a barrier on a road designed to prevent vehicles from leaving the roadway to improve road safety. Common sites for crash barriers are:

* median separators on multi-lane highways

* bridge supports

The design of the road barrier is generally such that a vehicle hitting the barrier is steered back onto the road. This may be achieved by designing the supports so that they break off on impact, allowing the barrier to deform and push the vehicle back on track. In some cases cost cutting has led to a failure of this mechanism, with so-called "duck-nesting" (after the shallow nature of a duck nest) of barrier support bases. When this happens the supports tilt over at the base instead of breaking off, allowing the barrier to collapse and the vehicle to go over the barrier. Motorcycles are very vulnerable to crash barriers.

Large vehicles with a high centre of gravity, such as Sport utility vehicles, are also vulnerable to going over barriers on impact.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Forces and Motion section.

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