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Grade: 10

                        

Your car skids across the centreline on an icy highway. Should you tum the front wheels in the direction of the skid or in the opposite direction (a) when you want to avoid a collision with an oncoming car and (b) when no other car is near but you want to regain control of the steering? Assume rearwheel drive, then front-wheel drive.

5 years ago

Answers : (1)

Jitender Pal
askIITians Faculty
365 Points
							For the rear wheel drive:
(a)
The car skids due to locking of rear wheels, and the car would tend to rotate about the axis passing through the front wheels. To avoid collision with the car coming from the other end, one must allow the car to rotate swiftly about the front wheels. This would be easier if the front wheels are turned in the opposite direction relative to direction of skidding.
(b)
When no other car is near you, it is better to gain the control over steering, and to do this the front wheels of the car must be turned in the direction of the skidding. This will displace the car a longer with skidding and avoid rotations about the front wheel, but at the cost of control over steering.
For the front wheel drive:
(a)
The car skids due to locking of front wheels such that the frictional force on the rear wheels would be larger than that on the front wheels. Therefore, the skidding of front wheels force the car to skid rather than rotate about the axis of rotation, and to avoid the collision, the front wheels must be turned in the direction opposite to that from which the other car is heading.
(b)
The car tends to skid in front wheels drive rather than rotate about the axis of rotation. Therefore to regain the control of the car, the front wheels must be turned in direction of skidding.
5 years ago
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