Forces acting on car during collision: Why a car leaves the road on a bend, Factors affecting overall stopping distance, Airbag Physics, Seatbelt Physics, Recent Car Safety

Essay by trevvyHigh School, 11th gradeA, September 2006

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1. Stopping distance is the distance traveled from the moment a driver first registers danger, to when the vehicle comes to rest. Describe significant factors which can affect your overall stopping distance and how this can be reduced.

Two components which directly affects overall stopping distance is: Reaction time and braking distance, both can be reduced to see a decline in stopping distance.

Reaction time

Reaction time is when the driver becomes aware of a hazardous situation; a period of time must elapse before the driver takes corrective action towards it. There are various factors affecting reaction which basically includes the human physiological system which involves the brain, nervous system and muscle system.

Major factors affecting reaction time are:

* Urgency - drivers generally brake faster when there is a great urgency to, therefore causing the car to skid, where the force applied by the locked brakes is greater then force of friction.

* Driver's attention (state) - Reaction time of the driver may be heavily influenced and reduced, while under the influence of alcohol where the driver's sense and perception sensors are slightly blocked and therefore causing a longer span of time for him/her to react. Another substantial component is other driving/non driving matters take part in the driver's attention and hence increase the reaction time.

* Response capability - humans have highly complex sensory and perception sensors which identify possible dangers and allow the body react in an effective manner in order to avoid the danger, however while in motion of collision, drivers usually steer in the opposite direction of motion to balance out the left and right sliding forces. However while on heavily traffic congested roads; the driver may approach oncoming traffic.

Braking Distance

Braking distance is the distance required for a vehicle moving at a speed...