Science behind the dangers of speeding

| Jan 5, 2021 | personal injury - car accidents |

Most drivers in Connecticut understand they face danger each time they take to the road. And driving a car faster than the posted speed limit will only add to this danger. Each year in the state, many traffic accidents happen because one or more drivers involved in the accident failed to control their driving speed.

Along with things like drunk driving, following another car too closely, and failure to yield the right of way, speeding ranks as one of the top causes of motor vehicle accidents and personal injury for drivers in Connecticut. One popular YouTube channel concerned with mathematics took a moment to evaluate an imaginary scenario. The evaluation helps to provide a fresh perspective on the dangers of speeding.

The scenario

The thought experiment involves two vehicles traveling along the same road in the same direction. One vehicle is traveling 70 MPH, and the other is moving quite a bit faster at 100 MPH. The drivers of both cars spot an obstacle in the road and press on their brakes simultaneously. If the car driving 70 MPH comes to a stop just before striking the object, how fast is the other car moving when it makes contact with the obstacle.

Finding the answer

Thoughts of energy, not speed, is the key to answering the question posed by the thought experiment. The kinetic energy generated by an object is proportional to the speed of its movement squared. This means that a vehicle traveling 40 MPH generates four times as much kinetic energy as a car traveling 20 MPH. The vehicle traveling at 100 MPH in the example will not slow to 70 MPH by the time the car traveling at 70 MPH comes to a stop. Considering the energy a vehicle generates, along with the speed it is traveling, makes the dangers of traveling even a little bit over the speed limit clearer.

Every driver that leaves home with their family is hoping for a safe return for everyone in the car. But sometimes, the safest driving practices are not enough to prevent an accident from happening. A personal injury attorney may prove helpful at securing compensation after an accident.