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Why Tailgating on Freeways is Unsafe: A Real-life Example Using Quadratic Equations

We discuss how to compute the stopping distance of a car traveling at a given speed-- a real life application of a math topic, quadratic equations, and science topics, such as motion, kinetic energy, and work done. We also discuss the idea that while mathematics can be utilized to model real life situations, there is much more to consider, if one wants more refined and appropriate solutions to real life problems.

Grade Level: High School (9-12)
Curriculum Topic Benchmarks: M8.4.11, M8.4.15, M8.4.25, M8.4.28, S11.4.2, S12.4.6, S12.4.7
Subject Keywords: Acceleration, Algebra, distance, energy, equations, Estimation, motion, proportion, Quadratic equations

Author(s): Ramakrishnan Menon
PUMAS ID: 12_31_11_1
Date Received: 2011-12-31
Date Revised: 2012-04-12
Date Accepted: 2012-04-12

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