Vehicle Safety Research Project: Kinetic Energy and Newton`s Laws of Motion

From the moment automobiles were created, our lives had drastically changed as well, and our transportation systems had been developed and improved to the point where traveling between two places had become an easy and common lifestyle. However, with all the positive impacts and changes the creations of automobiles and cars had brought onto our life, they had also caused us great distress. The death tolls from the vehicles had increased from the moment cars where created, due to the fact that road fatalities and car safety had not been considered once the car had been created. However, as the year progressed, death tolls are slowly beginning to decrease. Starting with over 44 thousand deaths in the year of 1975 and with over 37 thousand deaths as of last year. This is all due to the safety measures that are being incorporated into the designs of the cars. The first safety measure that is incorporated into the car designs is seatbelts. The seatbelts were designed in order to keep the person in place and inside the vehicle if any accident were to happen. Next are airbags, depending on the speed the car was traveling in during the moment of impact and the car’s strength and stiffness, the airbags that are located in the front of the car will be inflated in order to stop the person from going into either the steering or the dashboard, the side airbags prevent the person from going into the windows and doors. Another essential design that had been incorporated into the design of the car is brake systems, the brake systems were included if the driver is found in a position where they need to suddenly stop the car. What the breaks do is stop the movement of the wheel in order to allow friction to do its job and slowly, or suddenly depending on the velocity of the car, will come to a stop.

During the collisions, several types of energy transfers happen that are also related to the designs of the cars. The main force used is connected to Newton's Laws of Motion. However, due to it being an inelastic collision, the kinetic energy the car experiences are lost, however, the total energy of the car will be conserved. And all the kinetic energy that was lost would be converted into something else such as heat and sound or be transferred to the other car (if hit by one). Going back to Newton’s Law of Motion, his first law, which related back to Inertia, where it states that an object in motion will stay in motion unless an outside force act on it. As for Newton’s second law relating to the equation of force is equal to the mass times the acceleration, if one were to take an example of a car colliding with an unbreakable wall in a certain acceleration, once the car hits the wall, its velocity would immediately become 0 representing Newton’s second law. Finally, if we were to take the same example, the force that had been exerted onto the wall from the car, will be the same amount of force that is exerted onto the car from the wall. That would be the Third Law of Motion which states that every action has an equal or opposite reaction. Relating the energy transfers back to the designs that are incorporated into the structure of a car. Starting with airbags, with the incorporation of airbags, the people sitting in the passenger and drivers’ seats would not experience the whiplash and head injuries from the force that will be suddenly directed into the car following the collision. Seatbelts also prevent the force of the impact in causing the driver or passenger to be flung out of the car.

Car collisions are also related to Impulse and Momentum. Impulse itself is the change found in momentum, however, during collisions the momentum cannot be changed, meaning the Impulse of the vehicle will not change as well. Another aspect of the design of the car that I haven’t talked about earlier is the front and rear crumple zones located at the front and back of the car, these crumple zones are another idea using impulse where it would reduce the force being applied onto the car. These zones are incorporated so that if the car were to ever be in a serious accident and the force applied onto the car had been too great, the damage is to be taken to these two zones increasing the period of time of the force acting on the car, therefore the force will act on a longer period of time where not a lot of harm could come to the rest of the car and the people.   

07 July 2022
Your Email

By clicking “Send”, you agree to our Terms of service and  Privacy statement. We will occasionally send you account related emails.

close thanks-icon

Your essay sample has been sent.

Order now
Still can’t find what you need?

Order custom paper and save your time
for priority classes!

Order paper now