What Are the Natural Laws of Driving?

What Are the Natural Laws of Driving

We’ve spent a fair bit of time on this blog talking about how important it is to know the rules of the road. However, the natural laws of driving also have a huge impact on how you drive, and today we’ll be exploring that impact. 

What Are the Natural Laws of Driving?

The natural laws of driving are basic physics principles that impact how you drive, they include:  

Gravity: Gravity or gravitation, is a natural phenomenon by which all things with mass or energy, including planets, stars, galaxies, and even light, are attracted to (or gravitate toward) one another. 

On Earth, gravity gives weight to physical objects, like your car.

How gravity impacts your driving:

  • When you are driving uphill gravity is working against you, meaning that it is pulling your vehicle in the opposite direction.  You need to use more engine power in order to reach the top of the hill and to maintain the speed limit. 
  • When driving downhill, gravity will push your vehicle forward causing it to accelerate. It is a good idea to push your brakes gradually and slowly in order to slow down safely and to maintain control of your vehicle. 

Inertia: Inertia is the resistance of any physical object to any change in its velocity. This includes changes to the object’s speed, or direction of motion. An aspect of this property is the tendency of objects to keep moving in a straight line at a constant speed, when no forces act upon them.

How inertia impacts your driving:

  • All objects in a car moving at a given speed are also moving at the same speed. Which means if your car is going at 60mph, so are you and everything else in it. Which rather highlights the need for seatbelts and airbags.

Friction: Friction is the force resisting the relative motion of solid surfaces, fluid layers, and material elements sliding against each other. The most common type of friction in driving is dry friction, but lubricated friction comes into play when the road it wet

Dry friction is a force that opposes the relative lateral motion of two solid surfaces in contact. Dry friction is subdivided into static friction between non-moving surfaces, and kinetic friction between moving surfaces.

Lubricated friction is a case of fluid friction where a lubricant fluid separates two solid surfaces, like rainwater or oil between your tires and the road.

How friction impacts your driving:

  • Friction is how braking works to slow your car. It can be increased by the weight of your vehicle or decreased if your tires are worn smooth, over-inflated or under-inflated.
  • Lubricated friction is important because of how it influences your driving and braking patterns when the road is wet. The lubricant, in this case water, decreases the static friction between your tires and the road, meaning you need to brake earlier and leave further between you and the car in front of you.

Learn to Drive in Nevada Today!

The Northwest Driving School and Traffic School provides the Las Vegas community with live driving and traffic classes taught by seasoned instructors. All of our driving instructors have passed background checks.

Each automobile is DMV safety-approved, and every member of the Northwest family is committed to providing excellent driver’s education and behind-the-wheel instruction.

At Northwest, you can expect to find outstanding classes, both on campus and behind the wheel, that are engaging, fact-filled, entertaining, and geared toward success. 

We make no bones about it, we believe that Northwest provides the best driving lessons in Las Vegas, no matter your age or background. We are proud of the fact that 98% of our students pass their test on the first try. Call us at (702) 403-1592 to start your driving adventure with one of our expert instructors.

Written by:
Rich Heinrich
Master Instructor / General Manager

Instructor and Office Administrator

Frankie works and karaoke's in Las Vegas but his out-of-doors-heart is still out East. Born in Boston, Frankie loves the snow and mountains. As an avid snowboarder, Frankie has never seen a snow day he didn't LOVE! A graduate from…Read More