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The physics of Traction Control.



One day when I was driving in the terrible weather of Rochester, I thought, "Hm, why aren't I dead yet? My tires don't slide, even though it is icy." Then it hit me. My car has traction control. Mr. Fullerton wouldn't tell me how it worked, and told me to make a blog post.

Traction control is a feature on most newer cars that controls the speed of the tires as they spin. There are sensors in the gas pedal and the wheels that move the car. (ie: front wheels on a FWD car) If the tire sensor senses that the tire is spinning without moving the car, it automatically slows down the tire by decreasing the amount of gas being used to move the car.

This connects to physics because of all the friction worksheets we were forced to do. We all know that slowing the tire will allow the tire to grab on to the road and start moving. we learned this in physics class and drivers ed.

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