Lesson 4: Test your Knowledge on Laws of Motion – Part 3

Scene 2: Fast and Furious Car meets Boat 

Watch a scene from the movie “2 Fast 2 Furious” in which two characters speed up their car, jump a ramp and crash into a yacht. After watching this segment try to answer  the following questions:

What Law of Motion does this scene defy?

What would happen to the passengers if this happened for real?

The car was moving at 120 mph when it jumped the ramp. The force on the car from the crash would be what (According to the laws of motion)?

Is wearing seatbelts enough to prevent them from flying of? What would happen to their bodies around the areas they are wearing the seatbelt?


Click here to read a discussion on the scene and compare your thoughts.

This scene illustrates the Third Newton’s Law of motion. In this scene a car jumps off a ramp and crashes into a yacht. In this situation, the car is moving at 120 mph when it jumps the ramp. Now remember that the Third Law of Motion states: when a force is being applied on another body, there is an opposite and equal force being applied back (imagine pushing the wall, in reality, you cannot, because the wall if pushing you back with equal force). In this case, assume that the air drag and other factors are negligible. If the car smashes into the yacht at 120 mph, it would feel as if the yacht crashes back into the car at 120 mph. What would you think the effect of crashing at 120 mph is? Naturally, if you look at the scene, the passengers come out pretty much intact. Even assuming that the crash did not hurt them, what do you think would happen to their bodies from wearing the seatbelts? Because they crashed at 120 mph, it only seems logical that they would be thrust forward by the yacht’s opposing force. Indeed, if they weren’t wearing seatbelts they would have flown through the front window; but because they are wearing seatbelts, that force is cancelled by them, which would hurt a lot. In real life, they would have more likely been killed on impact.