# Explain speed limits on curved ramp with Newton's Laws

• Mayp
In summary, Newton's Laws can be used to explain the introduction of transportation safety features such as speed limits on curved ramps. According to Newton's first law, objects in motion will want to stay in motion. This can make it harder for a car to brake on a curved ramp as it gravitates towards the center of the curve. The second and third laws also play a role in determining the appropriate speed limit for a curved ramp, taking into consideration factors such as the coefficient of friction on different surfaces and the force of the car on the road. Ultimately, these laws help to ensure the safety of drivers and passengers by regulating speeds on curved ramps.
Mayp

## Homework Statement

Discuss how Newton’s Laws can be used to explain the introduction of transportation
safety features such as:

Speed Limits on curved ramps

## Homework Equations

Newton's 2nd Law: F=ma

## The Attempt at a Solution

I believe that according to Newton's first law objects that are in motion would want to stay in motion. So it would be harder for a car to break on a curved ramp, as it gravitates towards the centre of the curve.

Im not sure how the second and third law apply to this question though

Mayp said:
I believe that according to Newton's first law objects that are in motion would want to stay in motion. So it would be harder for a car to break on a curved ramp, as it gravitates towards the centre of the curve.
Did you mean "brake"?
Even so, you did not explain why a curved ramp has a speed limit. You may wish to think about what considerations go into setting that speed limit. Why is the speed limit lower when the radius of curvature is smaller? Why is it easier to make the turn when the ramp is tilted inward as opposed to being horizontal? Why is it easier to make a turn when the road is dry as opposed to icy? And so on ...

I know that there is less friction on an icy road rather than a dry one, as the coefficient of friction is less with rubber on ice as supposed to rubber on concrete or asphalt. Same with it being wet as the coefficient of friction is less, resulting with less friction, and being unable to slow down faster. We haven't really gone into curvature so based on something I read on a forum I assumed the car would gravitate towards the centre of the curve, however, we had not learned this in class. I also know the third law is for every action there is equal and opposite force, however, I don't see how this applies to this situation. I know that the car has a force on the road, and the road is pushing up on the car, but does that have anything to do with the speed?

Mayp said:
I know that there is less friction on an icy road rather than a dry one, as the coefficient of friction is less with rubber on ice as supposed to rubber on concrete or asphalt. Same with it being wet as the coefficient of friction is less, resulting with less friction, and being unable to slow down faster. We haven't really gone into curvature so based on something I read on a forum I assumed the car would gravitate towards the centre of the curve, however, we had not learned this in class. I also know the third law is for every action there is equal and opposite force, however, I don't see how this applies to this situation. I know that the car has a force on the road, and the road is pushing up on the car, but does that have anything to do with the speed?
There is quite a bit of extraneous stuff there.

Let's go back to something you stated in your first post.
Mayp said:
I believe that according to Newton's first law objects that are in motion would want to stay in motion.

There's a bit more to Newton's first law. What is the full statement of this Law ?

## 1. What is the purpose of having speed limits on curved ramps?

The purpose of having speed limits on curved ramps is to ensure the safety of drivers and passengers. Curved ramps, also known as cloverleaf ramps, are designed to allow vehicles to exit or enter highways at high speeds. However, the centrifugal force created by the curve can cause vehicles to lose control and potentially lead to accidents if they are traveling at excessive speeds. Therefore, speed limits are imposed to prevent these accidents and keep drivers and passengers safe.

## 2. How are speed limits on curved ramps determined?

Speed limits on curved ramps are determined by considering various factors such as the radius of the curve, the banking angle of the ramp, and the friction between the tires and the road surface. These factors are directly related to Newton's Laws of Motion, specifically the laws of inertia, acceleration, and action and reaction. By taking these factors into account, engineers can calculate the maximum safe speed for a curved ramp and set appropriate speed limits.

## 3. Can a vehicle exceed the speed limit on a curved ramp without losing control?

Technically, it is possible for a vehicle to exceed the speed limit on a curved ramp without losing control. However, this greatly increases the risk of accidents and is not recommended. As mentioned earlier, the speed limit is set to ensure the safety of drivers and passengers. Exceeding the speed limit also puts additional stress on the vehicle's tires and suspension, leading to potential mechanical failures.

## 4. How does Newton's First Law of Motion relate to speed limits on curved ramps?

Newton's First Law of Motion, also known as the law of inertia, states that an object will remain at rest or in motion at a constant velocity unless acted upon by an external force. In the case of a vehicle on a curved ramp, the external force is the centrifugal force created by the curve. If a vehicle is traveling at a high speed, the centrifugal force will be greater and can cause the vehicle to lose control. Therefore, speed limits are set to prevent excessive centrifugal force and maintain control of the vehicle.

## 5. Are there any exceptions to speed limits on curved ramps?

In some cases, there may be exceptions to speed limits on curved ramps. For example, emergency vehicles such as ambulances and fire trucks may be allowed to exceed the speed limit in order to reach their destination quickly. However, these vehicles are equipped with specialized training and equipment to safely navigate curved ramps at high speeds. It is important for all other drivers to follow the posted speed limits to prevent accidents and ensure the safety of everyone on the road.

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