# How fast can a human safley accelerate?

• jon79
In summary: But as you indicate, it is hard to find good references on this topic.In summary, the discussion was about the maximum safe acceleration for a human, regardless of their strength or age, while strapped in a seat. The conversation covered various examples of accelerations experienced in different situations, such as on roller coasters, airplanes, and during space shuttle launches. It was suggested that the safe range for passenger comfort in railroad carriages is between 1-3 m/s2, with 1 m/s2 being perceived as "firm acceleration" and 3 m/s2 being perceived as "hard breaking". The direction of the acceleration was also noted as an important factor, with vertical g-forces being more tolerable than horizontal g-forces.
jon79
In a straight line, on sea level (if it matters), how fast can a human safley accelerate? Not just the strongest human, but even the weakest, like an elderly or a child. Assume that they are strapped in a seat.

I'm thinking about those maglev trains in air evacuated tunnels and how fast they could actually reach 8000KM/h, as some suggests is possible, without harming anyone.

apparently this guy survived some 46Gs of acceleration.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/space/gravity-forces.html

I'm not sure if the human body cares much about the orientation of the acceleration with respect to the direction of Earth's gravity at that high an acceleration, because gravity in that case is only a small component of the total acceleration vector.

kurtlesker said:
apparently this guy survived some 46Gs of acceleration.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/space/gravity-forces.html

I'm not sure if the human body cares much about the orientation of the acceleration with respect to the direction of Earth's gravity at that high an acceleration, because gravity in that case is only a small component of the total acceleration vector.

Well ok, thanks, but it didn't really answer my question.

I would imagine the safe acceleration for general public would be similar to that designed for commercial aircraft.
lists thrust to weight ratios, which should allow one to figure out accelration with some assumption on the weight of a beoing 777...

8 minutes of 1/2 g acceleration would get the train to speed with minimal effect on humans. That would be the same force acting on the body as a continuous 15 degree banked turn in an airplane and that's hardly noticable.

The space shuttle limited sustained (several minutes) acceleration to 3g's, and a few of the astronauts were fairly old, or civilians. Some roller coasters pull higher g's than this for shorter periods of time, but that is downwards which is worse since it tends to drain blood from the brain.

g forces will have different effects on different occasions. A fighter pilot, pulling out of a dive would pass out if it were not for the g suit he wears. This is a glorified pair of tight trousers, which prevent the blood from going down into his legs as his body is forced upwards.
Incidentally, those giant 'swing boat' rides at the funfair give you 3g at the bottom if they start off with the support arm horizontal. This is irrespective of the radius of the arm.
Passenger aircraft pull about 1g as they accelerate along the runway.

sophiecentaur said:
g forces will have different effects on different occasions.

Yes, but I think my question was pretty specific.. =p

Yes it was. But the word "anyone" leaves it a bit open.

i see, so i guess in your particular case of accelerating perpendicular to the direction of upright sitting person you wouldn't worry too much about draining blood from the brain. but have to worry about breaking rib cages tho.

maybe figure out strength of human bone, multiply that number by 2/3 to account for aging for infancy, and divide that force by an average human mass to figure out that acceleration that's safe for a rib cage?

jon79 said:
In a straight line, on sea level (if it matters), how fast can a human safley accelerate? Not just the strongest human, but even the weakest, like an elderly or a child. Assume that they are strapped in a seat.

Without being able to cite a specific reference, I believe that the maximum horizontal acceleration that will maintain passenger comfort in railroad carriages is in the order of 1-3 m/s2, with 1 m/s2 being perceived as "firm acceleration" and 3 m/s2 being perceived as "hard breaking". If passengers are strapped-in and seated in seats that "supports" heavy horizontal acceleration (like in airplane seats during takeoff and landing) it may be (my guess) that it will be possible to use higher acceleration without significant loss of comfort. Also note that passenger comfort for a particular acceleration profile in general depends not only on the "maximum" value but also on the vibration spectrum. A completely smooth acceleration profile (that is, one with no perceptible vibration) will probably be able to "achieve" the same passenger comfort at a higher maximum acceleration that if significant vibration is present.

sophiecentaur said:
Passenger aircraft pull about 1g as they accelerate along the runway.
Vertically, yes; horizontally, no. Typical would be around 1/3 g.

Last edited:
Filip Larsen said:
Without being able to cite a specific reference, I believe that the maximum horizontal acceleration that will maintain passenger comfort in railroad carriages is in the order of 1-3 m/s2, with 1 m/s2 being perceived as "firm acceleration" and 3 m/s2 being perceived as "hard breaking".
1/10 g is considered detectable but just.

mender said:
1/10 g is considered detectable but just.

The word "firm" was a somewhat loose interpretation on my part. I've seen figures around 1 m/s2 (or 1/10 g as you say) being quoted as the comfort acceleration limit for train passengers; presumably this limit (when applied smoothly) will still allow old ladies to walk down the aisle without too much trouble as the apparent incline only is around 6 deg.

## 1. How fast can a human safely accelerate?

The maximum safe acceleration for a human varies depending on factors such as age, physical fitness, and health conditions. However, research has shown that the average human can safely withstand an acceleration of up to 9.8 meters per second squared, which is equivalent to the acceleration due to gravity on Earth.

## 2. Can humans accelerate faster than 9.8 meters per second squared?

Yes, humans can accelerate faster than 9.8 meters per second squared, but it may not be safe for everyone. Extreme accelerations can cause discomfort, loss of consciousness, or even serious injury. It is important to consider individual factors and consult with a medical professional before attempting high acceleration activities.

## 3. What is the fastest acceleration a human has ever experienced?

The fastest acceleration a human has ever experienced was during the launch of the Apollo 16 mission in 1972. The astronauts experienced a peak acceleration of 7.19 g (70.4 meters per second squared) during liftoff. However, they were trained and prepared for such extreme accelerations and were in excellent physical condition.

## 4. Is there a limit to how fast a human can accelerate?

There is no definitive limit to how fast a human can accelerate, as it can vary depending on individual factors and the specific situation. However, there are physical limitations to consider, such as the strength of the human body and the effects of high accelerations on the body's organs and tissues.

## 5. How does acceleration affect the human body?

Acceleration can have various effects on the human body, depending on the magnitude and duration of the acceleration. High accelerations can cause temporary or permanent changes to the body's organs and tissues, such as loss of vision, hearing, or consciousness. It is important to understand and consider the potential effects of acceleration on the body before engaging in activities involving high accelerations.

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