Last Tuesday night, police officers were dispatched to the remote icy intersection of Elm Road and Winding Way for a routine collision investigation. The driver of a car seems to have lost control of his vehicle on the ice and crashed into a black van sitting idle on the side of the road.

Investigators took some measurements at the crime scene in order to determine how fast the car was going before it hit the van. Since the car skidded on an icy road, there were no tire tracks to measure to determine its speed. However, the van was parked on a sandy shoulder, and investigators were able to measure the distance it was pushed when the car hit it.
The marks in the sand show that the van was pushed 1.6 meters when it was struck by the car. According to the car manufacturer, the car has a mass of 1000 kg.


  • Establish a relationship between the momentum of a vehicle and the distance a stationary object moves when the vehicle hits it.
  • Accurately gather data from a collision of a vehicle with a stationary object.
  • Establish a relationship between the distance an object moves after a collision with a vehicle and the momentum of the vehicle.