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Winter Driving

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Don't let four-wheel drive fool you, because any car can spin out on icy, snowy turns. In wintry weather, drivers must slow down or shovel their way out of a snow bank. Why must drivers slow down? The coefficient of friction between rubber tires and snow is much less than the coefficient of friction between rubber tires and dry pavement.

The coefficient of friction between pavement and tires is about 1.00; whereas, the coefficient of friction between snow and tires is about 0.30.

So, how much must a person really slow down while driving around a banked turn?

vmax=(urg)1/2 r= radius of turn, u= coefficient of friction, g=9.81m/s2

vmaxpavement=(1.00 x 10.0m x 9.81m/s2)1/2= 9.9m/s=22.1mph

vmaxsnow=(0.30 x 10.0m x 9.81m/s2)1/2= 5.4m/s=12.1mph

Physics proves you must slow down!

1 Comment

Good point, goalkeeper! Overpasses and snow drifts are especially dangerous this time of year. :snowman: Thanks for the warning with evidence

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