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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.


Ramakrishnan Menon

Date Accepted: 2012-04-12 Grade Group: High School (9-12) Benchmarks: M8.4.11 M8.4.15 M8.4.25 M8.4.28 S11.4.2 S12.4.6 S12.4.7 Keywords: acceleration algebra distance energy equations estimation motion proportion quadratic equations Microsoft Word: 12_31_11_1.docx PDF Document: 12_31_11_1_2.pdf