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Position and Displacement

Factors related to physical quantities of motion.

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Driving Safely at Night

Driving Safely at Night

Credit: Laura Guerin
Source: CK-12 Foundation
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Every year, thousands of individuals get into car accidents because they are overdriving their headlights. Overdriving your headlights refers to driving at a velocity that will not allow a car to stop safely when a danger just enters your field of view. It becomes impossible to bring the vehicle to a complete stop before hitting the object in front of you.

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Credit: Flickr: Chris Yarzab
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/10957255@N08/2957925933
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Driving appropriate speeds will help avoid accidents [Figure2]

  • Overdriving is a result of the displacement of an object during deceleration. If you see an object that is 150 meters away, and you travel a distance of 153 meters while attempting to slow down, there will be a collision. 
  • The dangers of overdriving aren?t limited to only driving at night. Fog, snow, and even rain can limit the driver's field of view.
  • Always drive at an appropriate speed for the given conditions.

Can You Apply It?

Using the information provided above, answer the following questions.

  1. If you are in a car that has a velocity of 10.0 m/s and it takes you 2 seconds to stop, what must your acceleration be? (Don't forget the correct sign)
  2. Using the information in the previous question, would you be able to stop in time if a tree fell 20 m in front of you?
  3. Name two other factors that must be taken into account when looking at the total displacement of a car coming to a stop.

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Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: Laura Guerin; Source: CK-12 Foundation; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: Flickr: Chris Yarzab; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/10957255@N08/2957925933; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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