A lab exercise in which students complete a simulation of investigating a vehicle accident by measuring the length of skid marks and calculating the speed of the braking vehicle. Students will measure the length using the number of revolutions and diameter of a rolling rotary device (such as sewing tracing wheel or pizza cutter.) This lab is designed for groups of 2 - 4 students and contains 5 different scenarios of the accident so different groups can analyze different situations. These materials include directions for the instructor as well as instructions for the student, record sheets, and a diagram of the accident scene.
This lab works well as a joint classwork and homework activity where students measure and perform the calculations in class and analyze the scenario/situation for homework. Students write a brief report of their investigation and could be required to make an oral report as well.
The information for the calculations comes from a manual for police officers which is available on the web for students or instructors who wish more information on accident investigation techniques.