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SITEMAP   School Physics Notes: Forces & motion Section 5.3 Thinking distance factors

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Forces and Motion 5.3: Factors affecting the thinking distance of a road vehicle driver (ultimately affecting stopping distance too)

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INDEX of physics notes: reaction times, stopping distances of road vehicles, Newton's 2nd Law, KE calculations


5.3 Factors affecting the thinking distance (ultimately affecting stopping distance too)

What factors affect thinking distance?

Speed is the first obvious factor.

The faster you are going, the further you will travel for the same 'best' reaction time you can manage, so the greater the thinking distance, which you can do nothing about.

The longer your reaction time, the greater your thinking distance

 You can only keep this to a minimum by being fully alert and able to respond as fast as your body is able to.

The effects of tiredness and alcohol will affect your alertness and increase your response time and thinking distance.

There other factors too.

Are you on medication that might affect your alertness?

Are you distracted by watching/thinking about something else other than the road ahead or in your vehicle?

Are you talking to somebody else in the car, are the kids being silly?

Even using a mobile phone legally with a hand-set, is still potentially a distraction.

Poor visibility e.g. fog or smoke, will delay you spotting a hazard and reacting to it, so effectively increasing your thinking time.

 

INDEX of physics notes on reaction times, stopping distances of road vehicles, Newton's 2nd Law, braking friction force, KE calculations


Keywords, phrases and learning objectives for the physics of road vehicles - thinking distance factors

Be able to describe and explain factors affecting the thinking distance of a road vehicle driver ranging from mobile phone use, excess speed, drinking alcohol drinks, using drugs or prescribed medication, tiredness, talking, poor visibility and realise these factors ultimately affect the total stopping distance too.


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INDEX of physics notes on reaction times, stopping distances of road vehicles, Newton's 2nd Law, braking friction force, KE calculations

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