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As Fast As you can

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Susy Lumsden – Physics – Internal Assessment.

P2 Topic 9 – As Fast As You Can.

Table of Results:


Thinking Distance/m

Braking Distance/m

Stopping Distance/m

























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It is clear that the results follow a positive correlation and that the stopping distance equals the braking distance plus the thinking distance. Therefore, because the overall stopping distance must be a larger integer then the result for this must possess a steeper gradient. The stopping distance is therefore dependant upon the speed at which you are travelling because as the speed increases, the gradient of the stopping distance increases. This is evident because when the speed is at 30mph, the stopping distance is 23m but when the speed has increased to 60mph then the stopping distance inclines to 73m.

Thinking Distance

Thinking distance is calculated by the general equation:

Thinking distance is the distance covered in the time it takes for a reaction to occur. In what can be a fraction of a second, a substantial amount of ground can be covered.

        Human reaction time is usually between 0.2 and 1 second. However, there can be various conditions and factors that can dramatically affect this. Smoking whilst

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Reliability and Validity

        The data source is reliable as it is produced by the highway code. However, the data was accumulated in 1965 (by the Highway Code), and has not been updated ever since. Even though reaction time will not change any time soon, braking distance could certainly be altered due to various factors such as road enhancement, motor vehicle advances (brakes and tyres).

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