5 Stopping distances


1. Through the use Chart Wizard on Microsoft Excel, I have generated the following graphs:

Already, we see that thinking distance is a linear function. From 32km/hr onwards, every time speed increases by 16km/hr, the distance travelled by the woman before braking increases by a constant 3m.

The additional braking distance however, shares a nonlinear relationship with speed. With increasing speed, the braking distance travelled appears to increase at an even faster rate. The gradient of the curve becomes steeper and steeper, in contrast to the first line, where the constant slope gives it its linearity.  

Join now!

Logically speaking, the data makes sense. If you are driving at 112km/hr, you will obviously travel much further before actually pushing the brakes than someone driving at 32km/hr, simply due to the sheer velocity of the car. The actual momentum of the car is what makes braking a lengthier task at higher speeds than at slower speeds (as momentum is mass x velocity), accounting for the increasing rates of braking distance with rising velocity.

2. (a) Since the function for speed versus thinking distance is linear, we can use the form y = mx + c to determine ...

This is a preview of the whole essay