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Homework Help: Newton's First law: Barrier on large transport trucks

  1. Apr 29, 2016 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    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.

    2. Relevant equations
    no equations required.

    3. 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?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 29, 2016 #2
    That is correct.

    As a footnote: That steel barrier is also called a headache rack.
  4. Apr 29, 2016 #3
    Ok thanks for the help and the footnote : )
  5. Apr 29, 2016 #4
    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.
  6. Apr 29, 2016 #5


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    Of course, this explanation goes beyond Newton's 1st law.
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