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Car Crash Puzzle

02/16/2007 8:57 AM

Scenario: Two identical cars, both moving at the same speed, have been arranged to collide perfectly square and in-line head-on

Question: Would they both sustain exactly the same damage?

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#1

Re: Car Crash Puzzle

02/16/2007 12:03 PM

Yes and No depending on the weight of the car. There was a posting on here about that, sorry I can't remember the title, but what it show was that a head on collision will not line up exactly the same height if one car is loaded down than the other. I'll try to find the link or the title of that post.

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#3
In reply to #1

Re: Car Crash Puzzle

02/16/2007 2:00 PM

Here is the link I was talking about ealier in my post:

http://cr4.globalspec.com/blogentry/1031

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#5
In reply to #3

Re: Car Crash Puzzle

02/17/2007 9:03 AM

Makes you want to drive more defensively doesnt it?

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#2

Re: Car Crash Puzzle

02/16/2007 1:20 PM

horace40, this is the kind of question that lead us to a statement like:

"Consider a chicken to be perfectly spherical, and without atrict with the air..."

The two identical cars would have to be loaded the same way, with suspensions in the same heigh from the ground, perfectly leveled ground, no wind, all the materials from which both cars are built being exctly the same, until the last weld spot and heat affected zone, etc. In this case, yes, the damage would be the same.

As all those statements will never be all true, there will always be differences after the crash. But they should result in a similar cost of repair, if it's enough for you...

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#4

Re: Car Crash Puzzle

02/17/2007 9:03 AM

Ooooh. Thats spookey. Thats almost exactly what happened here in Melbourne (Werribee actually) early Friday morning. 19 YO Guy driving his Holden Commodore @~100km wrong way down Freeway. 2 Guys in Statesmen pull out from behind a truck @ ~100K's. Authorities say it was complete headon so that both vehicles stopped dead and the two cars "moulded" together. The two guys in the Statesman died instantly. The 19 YO in the Comodore had an airbag and was taken to hospital in a critical condition.

Here is a quote from the attending police.

"Both vehicles had head on damage right across the front and they were crushed by more than a metre in length."

"What's happened is the vehicles' centre of gravity has been aligned on impact and that's why they've locked together."

Here is a link to a photo that illustrates the situation you have raised.

http://www.geelongadvertiser.com.au/article/2007/02/17/1482_news.html

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Anonymous Poster
#6

Re: Car Crash Puzzle

02/17/2007 11:51 AM

In a perfect world, where, down to the molecular level the cars were an exact match, maybe it could happen. Any deviation from one another, would throw your question out the window. What if the hood on one had been produced with an imperfection? Let's say it's thinner in the middle. It would not sustain the same damage as a hood produced with a thicker mid-section because it would be stronger. There are too many holes in your question.

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Anonymous Poster
#7

Re: Car Crash Puzzle

02/17/2007 1:46 PM

both cars bilaterally symetrical (including stearing gear), why not?

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#8

Re: Car Crash Puzzle

02/18/2007 11:27 PM

No two cars are exactly the same. The perfect circle is just a concept. So it is very unlikely that the damage to the cars will be identical.

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#9

Re: Car Crash Puzzle

02/19/2007 12:35 AM

One car's left will be the other car's right in a head-on collision and so the layout of components inside the bonnet will be different. Therefore the likelihood of the cars sustaining the same damage is highly improbable.

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#10

Re: Car Crash Puzzle

02/19/2007 1:15 PM

Well, I think the answer is in the way you presented the question. First of all, the cars are IDENTICAL and they collide PERFECTLY square. So I think, given those conditions, the answer would be yes. As a matter of fact, I would think that each wrinkle in the skins of the vehicles would be identical in depth, size, and shape. And, in a perfect world, both insurance companies would pay the same.

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Anonymous Poster
#14
In reply to #10

Re: Car Crash Puzzle

02/27/2007 4:07 PM

No fault insurance? Some see it as perfect; others not. Why are you among the former group? Just curious.

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Active Contributor

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#11

Re: Car Crash Puzzle

02/19/2007 1:25 PM

Oh ye naysayers and negative thinkers. Please re-read the question. The question explicitly states that everything is PERFECT. To say that nothing is ever perfect, so this could never happen, would get you a big fat F on your final exam. Please read the problem and answer the question given the parameters. It's a perfect black and white hypothetization, nothing gray.

It would be eerie, but OF COURSE they would sustain EXACTLY the same damage. How could they not? Einstein would be turning over in his grave.

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Guru
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#12
In reply to #11

Re: Car Crash Puzzle

02/20/2007 7:01 PM

In a perfect world, yes, two identical damages. I think everybody here stresses that it doesn't happen just because this is the point. There's no doubt that it would happen if the cars were perfectly equal to each other, and collide perfectly aligned and leveled. That's all, do not blame people...

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#13
In reply to #11

Re: Car Crash Puzzle

02/26/2007 2:14 AM

Your point is correct; but think again. As indicated above, the cars would need to be identical, mirror images of each other, not "perfectly" identical. Others say it is not likely, which is true. But the original question does not preclude the practically possible--in fact, implies that very interpretation.

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