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Newton's First law: Barrier on large transport trucks

  • #1

Homework Statement


Explain why large transport trucks have a hard steel barrier between the load and the driver's cab. Consider Newton's first law in your answer.

Homework Equations


no equations required.


The Attempt at a Solution



According to Newton’s first law, if no net force acts on an object, it maintains it state of rest or its constant speed in a straight line. The hard steel barrier between the load and the driver’s cab is there to protect the driver from injury. If there was no barrier and the cab stopped abruptly, the load would continue to move in a straight line at its original speed, and collide with the cab. There is no external force to alter the speed or direction of the load, so it will continue moving forward. Therefore it is important to have a hard steel barrier between the load and the driver’s cab to stop it from moving in a straight line and hitting the cab.

Is this correct?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
201
51
That is correct.

As a footnote: That steel barrier is also called a headache rack.
 
  • #3
Ok thanks for the help and the footnote : )
 
  • #4
963
213
According to Newton’s first law, if no net force acts on an object, it maintains it state of rest or its constant speed in a straight line. The hard steel barrier between the load and the driver’s cab is there to protect the driver from injury. If there was no barrier and the cab stopped abruptly, the load would continue to move in a straight line at its original speed, and collide with the cab. There is no external force to alter the speed or direction of the load, so it will continue moving forward. Therefore it is important to have a hard steel barrier between the load and the driver’s cab to stop it from moving in a straight line and hitting the cab.

Is this correct?
i think you are correct; you could have added a force of friction between the load and the truck's base which may reduce the velocity of the load in forward direction.
 
  • #5
SammyS
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Gold Member
11,248
967
i think you are correct; you could have added a force of friction between the load and the truck's base which may reduce the velocity of the load in forward direction.
Of course, this explanation goes beyond Newton's 1st law.
 

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