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Homework Help: Top speed of vehicle on a curved road

  1. Dec 9, 2007 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Fifteen clowns are late to a party. They jump into their sporty coupe and start driving. Eventually they come to a level curve, with a radius of 31.5 meters. What is the top speed at which they can drive successfully around the curve? The coefficient of static friction between the car's tires and the road is 0.800.

    2. Relevant equations


    3. The attempt at a solution

    I don't know...i'm kinda confused on this problem
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 9, 2007 #2


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    In mechanics the first step is always to draw a diagram of the forces.
    You have the weight of the car (acting downwards) the centrifugal force acting outward parralel to the rowd and friction acting inward (opposing the outward slide)

    Note, Friction force is = friction coef * downward force.
  4. Dec 9, 2007 #3
    hmm i know F,friction= coef friction x normal force...but its still not helping me
  5. Dec 9, 2007 #4


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    You know the outward force F = m V^2 / r
    You know the frictional force resisting this F = cf * weight = cf m g

    Set these equal and solve for V, note that m cancels, you don't need to know it.
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