# Help solving for average force please

• xxphysics
In summary: does not seem to be useful either because it only provides information about the magnitude of the force, not the time it takes to produce it.
xxphysics

## Homework Statement

When it crashes into a bridge support that does not move, a car goes from 85 km/h to 0 in 1.23 m.
A) What is the impulse delivered to the 70-kg driver by the seat belt, assuming the belt makes the driver's motion identical to the car's motion? Assume that the initial direction of motion of the car is the positive direction.
B) What is the average force exerted by the belt on the driver?
C) If the driver were not wearing the seat belt and flew forward until he hit the steering wheel, which stopped him in 0.0145 s, what would be the average force exerted by the steering wheel on him?

F = m*a
J = delta p
p = m*v

## The Attempt at a Solution

So I got part A, -1650 N*s, by just converting 85 km/h to 23.61 m/s and multiplying that by the mass (70 kg). Then for part B I found what I thought was the acceleration by dividing the 23.61 m/s velocity by 1.23 m (73.8 s). I got 0.319992 m/s^2 and multiplied that by the 70 kg mass to get the force. This gave me an answer of -22 N, which was wrong. I then checked to see if I interpreted the "1.23 m" wrong, checking to see if I should've used 83 s instead of 73.8 s, and got - 20 N but this was still wrong.

What am I doing wrong?

Do you really think that it takes 73 seconds for a seat belt to stop you in a sudden collision?

Chestermiller said:
Do you really think that it takes 73 seconds for a seat belt to stop you in a sudden collision?
I mean no, but could you help me think of another way to approach this problem? What would be another way to find the acceleration so I can use F = m * a ?

You determined the acceleration incorrectly. Are you familiar with the suvat equations? If so, which one of these equation involves velocities, acceleration, and distance only?

Chestermiller said:
You determined the acceleration incorrectly. Are you familiar with the suvat equations? If so, which one of these equation involves velocities, acceleration, and distance only?
ohhhh meters instead of minutes; dumb mistake, thank you.

xxphysics said:
ohhhh meters instead of minutes; dumb mistake, thank you.
So which suvat equation do you propose to use?

xxphysics said:

## Homework Statement

When it crashes into a bridge support that does not move, a car goes from 85 km/h to 0 in 1.23 m.
A) What is the impulse delivered to the 70-kg driver by the seat belt, assuming the belt makes the driver's motion identical to the car's motion? Assume that the initial direction of motion of the car is the positive direction.
B) What is the average force exerted by the belt on the driver?
C) If the driver were not wearing the seat belt and flew forward until he hit the steering wheel, which stopped him in 0.0145 s, what would be the average force exerted by the steering wheel on him?

F = m*a
J = delta p
p = m*v

## The Attempt at a Solution

So I got part A, -1650 N*s, by just converting 85 km/h to 23.61 m/s and multiplying that by the mass (70 kg). Then for part B I found what I thought was the acceleration by dividing the 23.61 m/s velocity by 1.23 m (73.8 s). I got 0.319992 m/s^2 and multiplied that by the 70 kg mass to get the force. This gave me an answer of -22 N, which was wrong. I then checked to see if I interpreted the "1.23 m" wrong, checking to see if I should've used 83 s instead of 73.8 s, and got - 20 N but this was still wrong.

What am I doing wrong?
Where does the 73 seconds come from?

Chestermiller said:
So which suvat equation do you propose to use?

xxphysics said:
Excellent. So now what do you get for a?

Chestermiller said:
Do you really think that it takes 73 seconds for a seat belt to stop you in a sudden collision?
Oh, I see it. 1.23 m times 60 seconds per minute = 73 seconds.

However, the 1.23 m actually means 1.23 meters.

Obtaining a average (over time) force is difficult without assuming constant deceleration. Obtaining an average (over distance) force is easier.

Chestermiller said:
Excellent. So now what do you get for a?
- 226.598 m/s^2 and -15862 N. Thanks again!

How do we find the force that the belt exerts on the driver?

THE BRAINIAC said:
How do we find the force that the belt exerts on the driver?
Welcome to PF.

What is the definition of "Impulse"? What is the Relevant Equation?

berkeman said:
Welcome to PF.

What is the definition of "Impulse"? What is the Relevant Equation?
Unfortunately the time for which the belt exerts a force is not given, so the equation for impulse is not going to help.
Further, the equation xxphysics used to find the acceleration assumes it is constant. There is, as @jbriggs444 noted, no way to answer the question as posed. Instead of asking for average force, the question should have asked what the force is assuming it is constant.

@THE BRAINIAC, what SUVAT equation did xxphysics use and what variable was it used to find? How does that quantity relate to the force required to stop the driver?

berkeman
haruspex said:
Unfortunately the time for which the belt exerts a force is not given, so the equation for impulse is not going to help.
Oops, you're right. I only skimmed the problem and thought I saw time mentioned, but re-reading I see now it's the distances that are given. Thanks.

## 1. What is average force and how is it calculated?

Average force is the measure of the overall force acting on an object over a certain period of time. It is calculated by dividing the total force applied by the duration of time in which the force was applied.

## 2. What are the units of measurement for average force?

The units of measurement for average force are newtons (N) in the metric system and pounds (lbs) in the imperial system.

## 3. How do you solve for average force in a physics problem?

To solve for average force in a physics problem, you will need to know the mass of the object, its initial velocity, final velocity, and the time period in which the force was applied. Using the formula F = (m x Δv)/Δt, you can calculate the average force.

## 4. Can you give an example of calculating average force?

Sure, for example, if a car with a mass of 1000 kg accelerates from 20 m/s to 40 m/s in 5 seconds, the average force can be calculated as follows: F = (1000 kg x (40 m/s - 20 m/s))/5 s = 2000 N.

## 5. What is the importance of calculating average force?

Calculating average force can help us understand the motion of objects and how forces affect them. It is also essential in many real-life applications, such as designing vehicles or structures that can withstand certain forces.

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