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University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Transportation Systems Engineering

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Lesson Overview
Lesson Title:
Crash Data

Mr. Todd Noble (Primary)
Mr. Todd Noble (Primary)

Brief Description:
Students will use real-life data from a crash test to determine the speed of a vehicle. Students will learn how to apply their knowledge of the Distance Formula.

Topics Introduced:
Roadside safety

Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics Curriculum Framework Components Addressed:
Transportation Systems/ Infrastructure Planning, Management and Regulation
Health, Safety and Environmental Management
Suggested Grade Levels:
9th Grade
10th Grade
11th Grade
12th Grade

Standards Taught:
8.4.1 Math 2006
8.4.2 Math 2006
8.4.3 Math 2006
8.4.4 Math 2006
8.4.5 Math 2006
8.4.6 Math 2006
12.4.1 Math 2006
12.4.2 Math 2006
12.4.3 Math 2006
12.4.4 Math 2006
12.4.5 Math 2006
12.4.6 Math 2006
12.4.7 Math 2006

Lesson Information
Learning Expectations:

Students will use the distance formula

Plan Of Action:

*Please see Hand outs, Assignments, and Suppporting Materials

1. Warm up - Discussion about Road Safety and guardrails. See Lesson Plan attachment.

2. Introduction - Share information from UNL's Midwest Roadside Safety Facility. See Lesson Plan attachment.

3. Show crash test video
The team at the MWRSF use high-speed cameras and accelerometers to find what the forces will be on the occupants of the vehicle.

4. Hand out of crash test data and Worksheets

5. Answer keys

6. Closure
The distance formula told us how far the vehicle traveled. When we divided by the time, we were finding the slope of our data.

The MWRSF is now an internationally-known facility for its development of of SAFER walls for NASCAR racing.

According to Dr. Aemal Khattak at UNL, 40% of all deaths involving 16-18 year-olds in the US are the result of motor vehicle crashes.

The best advice of all comes from Dr. Ron Faller. He says, “Wear your seatbelt.” It will keep you in the car and give you the best chance of surviving a crash.

Data Set Used:

Please see attached Handouts and Videos.

Materials Needed:

Computer with overhead screen and ability to play videos and Geogebra
Attached Worksheets/Handouts
VLC Media Player - needed to show several of the videos. Get a free download at

Preparation Period:

Make sure that you have an overhead view screen, calculators, and


Implementation Period:

I introduced this lesson at the beginning of the year in Geometry

when discussing the distance formula.  It could also be used to talk

about slope.

Science, Math, Engineering and / or Technology Implications:

Students will learn about the decisions and experiments that engineers use to design safe roads and guardrails.
Students will also learn how to apply the distance formula and slope from a mathematical perspective, as well as, speed and velocity from science.

Unexpected Results:

Students were fully engaged in the lesson when I tried it with 3 classes.

Considerations for Diversity in Education:

40% of all deaths involving 16-18 year olds are from vehicle crashes.

Lesson Files
Crash Test Data Worksheet
Worksheet for the students to use during lesson.
[size: 46080] [date uploaded: Apr 09, 2009, 8:53 am ]

Crash Test Worksheet Answer Key
Answer Key to the Crash Test Data Worksheet
[size: 37376] [date uploaded: Apr 09, 2009, 8:58 am ]

Crash Lesson Plan
A description of the lesson and the order in which it is presented
[size: 34304] [date uploaded: Apr 09, 2009, 9:00 am ]

Safety Images Document
Pictures of roadside features
[size: 2848768] [date uploaded: Apr 09, 2009, 9:03 am ]

Crash Geogebra File
Plotted points of the path of the vehicle.
[size: 21646] [date uploaded: Apr 09, 2009, 9:05 am ]

Main Crash Video
Video showing the actual crash corresponding to the data in slow motion
[size: 2211342] [date uploaded: Apr 09, 2009, 9:08 am ]

Crash video (2)
A full speed headon video of the crash (Play with VLC video player)
[size: 497898] [date uploaded: Apr 09, 2009, 9:09 am ]

Crash Video (3)
Crash Video as the car comes towards you. (Play with VLC player)
[size: 759206] [date uploaded: Apr 09, 2009, 9:10 am ]

Crash Test Video (4)
Crash test video looking at an angle in the back of the truck (Play with VLC)
[size: 734714] [date uploaded: Apr 09, 2009, 9:12 am ]

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