Tailgating Activity 
In this activity, students will apply their knowledge of kinematics to a tailgating problem. After testing individual reaction times and researching deceleration rates of various automobiles, they will use a computer model to test the safe following distance for a given situation. They will compare the results from the model to the safe following rule given to them in the driver's education classes. 
TEACHER RESOURCES
Teacher Materials Student Activity Student Assessment Learning Goals/Standards 
COMPUTER MODEL STELLA Version

COMPUTER MODEL Vensim Version

Distance_Back_Car(t) = Distance_Back_Car(t  dt) + (Chg_Dist_Back) * dt INIT Distance_Back_Car = 0 Chg_Dist_Back = Velocity_Back_Car*1.47 Distance_Front_Car(t) = Distance_Front_Car(t  dt) + (Chg_Dist_Front) * dt INIT Distance_Front_Car = Carlengths_Between*16 Chg_Dist_Front = Velocity_Front_Car*1.47 Velocity_Back_Car(t) = Velocity_Back_Car(t  dt) + ( Decel_Back_Car) * dt INIT Velocity_Back_Car = Initial_Velocity_Back Decel_Back_Car = if time<(5+Rxn_Time_Back) then 0 else Decel_Rate_Back*0.682 Velocity_Front_Car(t) = Velocity_Front_Car(t  dt) + ( Decel_Front_Car) * dt INIT Velocity_Front_Car = Initial_Velocity_Front_mph Decel_Front_Car = IF time<5 then 0 else Decel_rate_Front*.682 Carlengths_Between = 4 Collision = if Collision_Velocity>0 then PAUSE else 0 Collision_Velocity = if (Distance_Front_CarDistance_Back_Car)>0 then 0 else Relative_Velocity Decel_Rate_Back = 28 Decel_rate_Front = 28 Distance_Between = ABS(Distance_Front_CarDistance_Back_Car)/16 Initial_Velocity_Back = 45 Initial_Velocity_Front_mph = 45 Relative_Velocity = DELAY(ABS(Velocity_Front_CarVelocity_Back_Car),DT) Rxn_Time_Back = 0.45 

