Head-on collisions worksheet other worksheets
for use with the Crumple zones:head-on and Size: head-on crash simulations
from the materialworlds Crash simulations
© materialworlds.com 2002

These collision simulations automatically repeat. Pause the simulation to examine a particular moment. Adjust the "Time" control to slow the simulation to study particular events in fine detail. To examine the graphs, pause the simulation.

What happens in head-on collisions between cars with and without crumple zones?

1. Describe the relative effects on cars and passengers of a head-on collision between two cars
a) without crumple zones.
b) one with one without crumple zones.
c) both with crumple zones.
d) Which car is safest to travel in - and how does this car affect the safety of others?

What happens in head-on collisions between cars of different masses?

Describe the relative effects on cars and passengers of a head-on collision between
a) two small cars.
b) a large and a small car.
c) two large cars.
d) Which car is safest to travel in - and how does this car affect the safety of others?

"In the interests of our own safety we should all drive bigger and bigger cars."
"Large cars are a danger to other road users and should be phased out."

What do you think?

Research this issue - using the links below if you wish.
Consider the different types of collision (single vehicle accidents - or collision involving two or more vehicles) and the different people who might be injured (occupants of the different sized cars, pedestrians)
Are the safety issues with SUVs any different than for large cars in general?

4. Are there any other costs or benefits of small or large cars - apart from safety issues?


Car mass and safety - and the SUV debate

Size and Safety: the different effects of a 100 pound weight reduction for cars and for light trucks

An alternative view - does higher vehicle mass significantly improve driver safety - or is good design more important?

The Aggressivity of Light Trucks and Vans in Traffic Crashes:

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety: Vehicle compatibility in crashes

Impassioned rant against SUVs:
http://www.net-monster.com/blather_suvs_part1.html / part2 / quotes (including the following)

    SUVLOVE "I want to drive a tank..."

    "We really hate it when the wreckage of Honda Accords gets all tangled up in our fenders"

Hyperphysics car - truck collision

Vehicle mass and crumple zones discussion
- read post from pete98m3, comment from mlangner and reply from pete98m3

SUV dangers and precautions

Friends of the Earth SUV site - safety issues

SUVs and the environment

Friends of the Earth SUV site - environmental issues

California Greenhouse Gas limits hit SUVs

CSE/CEI conservative thinktank responses