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What happens when a moving car hits another car moving in the same direction?

And what happens when a moving car hits another moving car in the opposite direction?

Are collisions between 2 cars computer elastic, completely inelastic or a combination of these?
And does the direction of the car’s initial velocity affect the elasticity of the collision?

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3 Responses to “What happens when a moving car hits another car moving in the same direction?”

  1. Live to ride said :

    It’s called an accident

  2. Ralph 124c41 said :

    The the real world, car collisions are a combination of elastic and inelastic. Since cars are not uniform blocks of material many factors affect the distribution of energy dissipation. Direction (front and rear of a car do not behave the same), speed and placement of impact are all important factors. Mathematical analysis is problematical which is why manufacturers still have to do crash tests.

  3. rex said :

    Cars are designed so that collisions in any direction are as inelastic as possible. Elastic collisions involve greater changes of momentum for the components of the collision and so much greater harm to the occupants of the vehicles. Inelastic collisions might wreck the car but the relatively slow crumpling of the body means that the contents ( us ) are given some time in which to lose our kinetic energy, resulting in survival.

    In a head to head crash, there is little bounce back and the collision is almost totally inelastic.

    In a nose to tail shunt, with lower relative speeds involved, a degree of elasticity is possible – the amount will be very variable.

    So I think that the direction of the vehicles will have some bearing on the elasticity of collision but the relative velocities will be more significant. And the faster they are, the less elastic the collisions ( because the body of the vehicles will be deformed past their elastic limits.


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