“Belt-up in the back” (and front). Seat-belts help to prevent a car’s occupants being thrown forwards if the car is stopped suddenly. Cyclists and motorcyclists have no such protection and are likely to be thrown over the handlebars onto the road, or into a car windscreen. Hence the need for a crash helmet and leathers. You don’t need to be a Hell’s Angel to ‘fly’.
Have you ever wondered how far a biker might ‘fly’ when thrown off in an accident?
You might like to …
• design a trolley (or model bike) to carry a seated model rider, which is thrown off when the trolley hits an obstruction
• devise laboratory procedures for testing how far the rider is thrown forwards under various conditions; consider how you might monitor the trajectory of the ‘flying biker’; investigate the effect of the speed of the trolley/bike on the trajectory
• think about how the biker’s legs get past the handlebars, having started from below handlebar height; investigate whether the biker is initially launched upwards as well as forwards
• consider what other factors, besides speed, are likely to affect the trajectory; investigate one of these
• use your results to suggest how accident investigators can deduce the speed of a motorbike in an accident, knowing how far the biker was thrown.