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Instantaneous Velocity

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The Reality of Speeding

The Reality of Speeding

License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Everyday millions of Americans drive on the freeways in California. Of those drivers, approximately 100,000 are given a ticket for speeding. Besides the 100,000 that were given tickets, there were nearly 10,000 traffic fatalities that were related to motorists speeding.

Why it matters

  • The time it takes you to get to a destination is based on average velocity not instantaneous velocity.
  • For someone who is running five minutes late for an appointment that is 30 minutes away at 65 mph, he/she would need to drive at an average speed of 78 mph. (This means you would have to travel at a significantly higher velocity to account for slower cars, entering/exit the freeway and stoplights.)

Can You Apply It?

Using the information provided above, answer the following questions.

  1. Why is it unrealistic to think you will get to your destination on time if you are running late in the scenario described above?
  2. If your average velocity for the first half of a trip is 30 mph and 20 mpg for the second half, what is your overall velocity?
  3. How much faster would someone reach their destination if they increased their average velocity from 50 mph to 60 mph on a 30 mile trip?

Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ License: CC BY-NC 3.0


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