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Inertia And Car Accidents

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Exp # 1

Title: Inertia and Car accidents.

Aim: To find out how inertia plays a part in accidents.


1. Wooden ramp, approx 1.5m long and 30cm wide.

2. Bricks or wooden blocks

3. 2 dynamics, trolleys or toy cars

4. Plasticine

5. metre rule


1. Two plasticine dummies weighing 20g each were made and placed on the trolleys.

2. Trolley B was placed 30-40cm in front of the ramp.

3. Trolley A was placed 100cm from the end of the ramp. Directly in line with the other trolley.

4. Trolley A was released and was let to collide into Trolley B, observations were made on what happened to the dummies.

5. The experiment was repeated twice making sure everything was in the same place.

Results: Refer to table 1.


1. What happened to the dummy on trolley A during the collision? Did it move during the collision? Did it move forward, backward, or stay in the same place?

The Dummy on Trolley A fell forward during the collision, as the gradient increased, the dummy fell further forward.

2. The conclusion I have drawn from the evidence suggests that the steeper the gradient, the greater the impact. The harder the impact is the further the dummy will move, due to inertia.

3. a) What Happens to passengers in a moving car when it collides with a stationary car?

The passengers in the moving car fly forward when the collides with a stationary car because of inertia which is the property of a body by which it remains at rest or continues moving in a straight line unless acted upon by a directional force.

b) What design features do cars have to reduce the risk of injury during this type of collision?

Car designers have created features such as:

- airbags to prevent the driver from hitting his/her head on the dashboard.

- Crumple zones, to prevent the car from folding or collapsing on the drivers and passengers.

- Headrests so when the drivers head flicks



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