Accident Investigation

When a driver slams the brakes on a car, skid marks are created on the road. Accident investigators can measure the length of the skid marks to estimate the speed of the car. This involves using a quadratic function.

In this module, students use a quadratic model to predict the length of skid marks for various car speeds. The derivation of the quadratic model is shown algebraically and graphically. Students then use the model to solve a quadratic equation, given the total stopping distance.

This module assumes that students are familiar with quadratic functions. Students will get a real understanding for how quadratic functions are used in the real world.

Math Concepts

  • Functions
  • Problem Solving
  • Ratios and Rates
  • Equations

Learning Objectives

  • Develop a quadratic model
  • Analyze graphs of quadratic functions
  • Solve quadratic equations graphically

Prerequisite Skills

  • Understanding of functions and their graphs
  • Familiarity with quadratic functions and equations
Common Core Standards CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.8.F.B.5, CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.HSF.IF.B.4, CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.HSF.IF.C.7
Lesson Duration 25 mins
Grade Range 8th - 10th Grade

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