There may be certain conditions where the driver needs to anticipate how the vehicle will react in the particular condition, however for that one should have a clear understanding of natural law for driving. And hence we shall further discuss here various physical terms that have a significant impact on your vehicle especially while driving. This is also taught to you in driver training school in California.
It can be defined as the force that pulls an object towards the center of the earth. As we all know gravity affects almost every object on the earth. So your vehicle also has some effects due to gravity while driving uphill or downhill.
It is more or less common that when you are driving uphill, the gravity is against your vehicle and so you need to apply more force to climb the road and maintain the speed limit. However, while coming downhill the gravity is in your vehicle’s direction only, so it will push your vehicle forward causing it to accelerate. Also while moving downhill it is advisable to push your brakes gradually in order to reach down safely.
Before studying the impact of inertia on your vehicle we should first know the law of inertia that is stated below:
- Objects at rest will prefer to stay at rest.
- Objects in motion will prefer to stay in motion with the same speed and direction.
- Objects can change their direction due to the influence of an unbalanced force.
This law of inertia not only applies to the vehicle but also to the objects inside it. So the vehicle, as well as objects, would be in motion until some obstruction like brakes are applied or an accident with a wall happens. Suppose a car is moving at a speed of 60km/hr then both the vehicle and objects inside it are moving at 60km/hr. So if an accident happens then the car is stopped but the objects inside it are still moving at 60km/hr. This signifies the importance of wearing a seatbelt while you are in the car. And the most important thing to do while giving your behind the wheel driving test in California.
In simple terms, potential energy means the energy stored in an object. The most common potential energy is when an object is attracted by gravity to move towards the center of the earth. For example when you park a car on a slope it will have potential energy as gravity is pulling it downwards to the center of the earth.
It is defined as the energy possessed by an object during motion. For eg when our vehicle is in motion it will be having some kinetic energy. Kinetic energy always depends on the speed of an object. So if your vehicle is moving at a higher speed then it will possess more kinetic energy and hence more energy will be required to stop the vehicle.
Friction is caused when one surface comes in contact with another surface. While driving keep these points in mind:
- It is increased due to the weight of your vehicle
- It can decrease over-inflated or under-inflated tires.
- Depends on the condition of the road and your tires.
Circular Forces(Centrifugal and Centripetal)
These forces come into account only while driving on a curved path. The centripetal force pulls your vehicle to the center of the circle while centrifugal forces pull it away from the center. These forces are important to know as they will help you to find a balance between understeering and oversteering on a circular path.
It is a type of force found in a moving object. It varies directly with the mass and speed of the object. So if your vehicle has a high mass and you are driving it at a higher speed then it will have high momentum and vice versa. While slowing down the vehicle you must decrease the momentum of the vehicle to ensure your safety. These decrease in momentum can be done by:
- Using brakes will generate friction forces.
- By lowering the gear to generate compression force
- By friction force between tires and road which is generated naturally.
Importance of Knowing Natural Driving Laws
These are some physical concepts that affect your vehicle unknowingly irrespective of the quality of the driver as well as the vehicle. It is obvious that you do not have to think of this physics while driving but having knowledge about these would help you to anticipate the effect of some turns or high speeding on your vehicle. Once you are fully aware of these concepts you will have the following advantages:
- Make smart driving decisions
- You would have more control over your vehicle.
- You would be knowing physics so you can be prepared for any type of situation while driving.
- Helps you pass your driver’s license test in California.