High Speed Risk
Learning Strategy: Data work
Topic: Graphing motion
A constable who did 160 mph on a motorway has been cleared of speeding and dangerous driving. He'd been trained to drive fast and said he was just practicing the skills he'd been taught. But was this a wise thing to do? Accident prevention specialists think not! But expert drivers claim it's a case of 'use it or lose it' - high speed driving needs to be practiced. In this activity students decide who's right by extrapolating safety data and assessing the risk the constable took.
Published: 2nd June 2005
Reviews & Comments: 5
Pupils will practice their graph plotting skills and increase their understanding of ethical issues by exploring the risks and benefits of sanctioning high speed driving.
Try the activity
You will need Acrobat Reader installed to open the activity sheets.
Curriculum link9k Speeding Up
• Know the units in which speed is measured.
• Manipulate and apply the quantitative relationship linking distance, time and speed.
• Select and use appropriate methods for communicating quantitative data.
Ideas about science
• Assess risk.
Running the activity
Page 1 introduces the issues and sets the first task. Students have to extrapolate data from the Highway Code to find the PC's expected stopping distance at his maximum speed. Page 2 gives them the data they need and provides a template for their graphs. Page 3 sets a second task. Students score arguments for and against letting the police practice high speed driving on public roads.
Answers are given on the downloadable version of the teacher's notes.
- BBC coverage of the original news story.
- Road Safety Website
- Lots of background on road safety.
- Physics classroom
- Animations of the relationship between speed and braking distance.
- The Institute of Advanced Motorists website with links to information about training to drive well at high speeds.
Reviews & Comments
Write your online review to share your feedback and classroom tips with other teachers. How well does it work, how engaging is it, how did you use it, and how could it be improved?
link up with Y10
May 3rd, 2011
Used the think 30 for a reason and high speed risk. Took parts from both. Really gave point across especially as video link was graphic. Girls understood and enjoyed lesson. thanks.
Reviewer: brenda goodwill
Jul 22nd, 2010
This was a good resource and it offers an appropriate level of challenge for my class group. Many thanks
Reviewer: Henry Airen
Feb 7th, 2010
this is a nice lesson for set one to do and it allows you to bring in real life situations. Thankyou
Reviewer: susan smith
High speed risk
Nov 7th, 2007
nice activity to practice graph skills
Reviewer: Phill Thomas
High Speed Risk
Nov 11th, 2005
I used High Speed Risk with a top set in year 9 after we had measured speeds of cars outside our school. Projecting the activity sheets onto the whiteboard, we did the Maths together and a student completed the graph, we then had a lively discussion about the implications. I also used the activity with a bottom set where we avoided the Maths but the final sheet sparked a great discussion and the students talked about the effectivelness of the 'reduce your speed' adverts they had seen on tv, we finished with a vote on whether the risk is justified - they all got really involved and listened to each other's views. I felt it went very well with both ends of the ability range and was pleased to be able to teach it with very little preparation time and such good outcomes.
Reviewer: Frances Pinsent