Shunt collision worksheet other worksheets
for use with the Crumple zones shunt crash simulation
from the materialworlds Crash simulations
© 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.

Two cars are hit by a truck. One has crumple zones. What difference does this make?

1. Describe what happens to each car through its first collision with the truck, and how the collisions differ.
You don't need to describe the cars' subsequent collision with the wall, nor refer to the graphs for this question.
Make sure you describe the forces (red arrows) the cars experience, the different ways each is distorted in the collision (either temporally or permanently), and how their velocities (blue arrows) and orientations change.

a) What happens to the car without crumple zones?
b) What happens to the car with crumple zones?
c) How do the collisions differ?

2. During each car's initial collision with the truck:
a) How does the acceleration within the passenger compartment of each car compare?
b) What are the safety implications of this?

a) Describe and compare the movements of each car after the initial collision with the truck but before any other collisions.
b) How has the presence or absence of crumple zones led to this difference?
c) In which car are the later collisions likely to be more dangerous - and why?

a) Does the truck continue in the same direction after it's initial collision the with cars?
b) Why?