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The "reaction time" of the average automobile driver is about 0.700 s. (The reaction time is the interval between the perception of a signal to stop and the application of the brakes.) If an automobile can slow down with an acceleration of 12.0 ft/s^{2}, compute the total distance covered in coming to a stop after a signal is observed (a) from an initial velocity of 15.0 mi/h (in a school zone) and (b) from an initial velocity of 55.0 mi/h.

  • physics -

    The total stopping distance is:

    X = Vo*(reaction time) + (a/2)*(deceleration time)^2

    Reaction time = tr = 0.70 s
    Deceleration time = Vo/a

    X = Vo*tr + (1/2)(Vo^2)/a

    (a) If Vo = 15 mi/h = 22 ft/s,
    X = 22*(0.700) + (1/2)(22/15)^2/0.12
    = 15.4 + 6.1 = 21.5 ft

    (b) repeat calculation for Vo = 55 mi/h = 80.67 ft/s

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