You are driving to the grocery store at 20m/s

By Allen Kazadi
1 Min Read

You are driving to the grocery store at 20 m/s. You are 150 m from an intersection when the traffic light turns red. Assume that your reaction time is 0.50 s and that your car brakes with constant acceleration.

Required:
a. How far are you from the intersection when you begin to apply the brakes?
b. What acceleration will bring you to rest right at the intersection?
c. How long does it take you to stop?

Answer:

a. Use the formula d = st to solve:

d = 20 × 0.5 = 10m

150 – 10 = 140m away when brakes are applied

b. Use the following kinematic equation to solve:

vf² = vi² + 2ad

Plug in known values:

0 = 20² + 2(150)(a)

Solve:

0 = 400 + 300a

-300a = 400

a = -4/3 (≈ -1.33) m/s² required

c. Use the following kinematic equation to solve:

vf = vi + at

0 = 20 – 4/3t

Solve:

4/3t = 20

Multiply both sides by 3/4 for ease of solving:

t = 15 sec

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