The Physics Of Car Safety Essay

Aim :

To analyse the physics behind a car accident and a passive safety device used to reduce injury during an accident.

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Outline :

To undertake a project looking at the parameters involved when a car is involved in a collision with a stationary object. To calculate the forces involved upon both the car and an occupant during an unrestrained collision at a specific speed.

Develop the analysis to look at the effect of a safety device (crumple zones, a seat belt, or an air bag) on the severity of the impact for an occupant in the vehicle.

To examine and analyse car accident data to illustrate the need or effectiveness of a specific passive device in reducing death and/or injury in road traffic accidents.

Task :

To produce a word processed A5 information leaflet about the operation and effect of a specific passive car safety device.

Theory and Background Reading :

You should read through your text book and notes about Newton’s equations of motion, friction and about their relevance to Vehicle safety.

In addition you should read through and make use of the related articles you have been provided with. Such articles include At the Velodrome, Car Safety, SATIS – The Physics of Stopping these articles are available on the main school network or on the AS physics student CD-ROM or in paper form in the physics department.

Finally you should attempt to locate information using your own research, this may be from other school texts, libraries and the internet.

Hints for Content ; Presentation :

You should take a standard family car as the vehicle for analysis.

Make suitable assumptions about the mass of the vehicle and any other data you require to undertake the assignment.

Your analysis should focus impact at a single speed of either 30 mph ( 48 km/h / 13 m/s) or 50 mph ( 80 km/h / 22 m/s) or 70 mph ( 112 km/h / 31 m/s)for the basis of any calculations.

Remember that all calculations should be in SI units, this means ms-1, s, m, N etc.

Your main report should be in the form of an 4 page A5 booklet, you should provide a full report with appendices for assessment and enough booklets for the rest of the group to also have one each.

Any sources you do use, including those provided by your tutor should be clearly identified in a bibliography appendix at the end of your report.

Make sure that you also include the downloaded pages from the internet as another appendix to your work along with FULL details of the searches you undertook to find and access the data. Clearly show how you have used and adapted the information for use in your leaflet.

The appendices do not need to be included on the 4 A5 pages of work but must be submitted along with the copy for assessment along with an initial draft leaflet as evidence for key skills verification.

Assignment first issued : Deadline for Presentation :

Assessment Criteria

Determine the effectiveness of a number of secondary car safety systems on protecting the occupants of a vehicle during a range of accidents.

IT 3.1

Produce a word processed document using word97 or higher.

Include a digital photo or image related to the chosen device.

Use text formatting to enhance layout including:-

* Superscript and subscript functions.

* Italic, bold, and underlined functions.

* Bulleted or numbered lists.

* Space tabulation and text justification.

Save document to disk.

Print out draft and final versions of document.

IT 3.2

Undertake and include details of internet searches made and used in the task.

Internet results clearly used and adapted in the task.

Page set up / formatting used to create 4 page A5 sized final document.

Present accident data in both tabulated and chart form.

Use spellchecker to ensure accuracy of typing.

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