# Momentum Problem involving minimizing collision impact

1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

I just did a lab on inelastic collisions and this was one of the discussion questions:

Consider a situation in which you are the driver of a car stopped at a red light and you see a car of similar mass approaching rapidly from behind. Use the results of your experiment to discuss possible strategies for reducing the impact of the impending collision. For example, should you take your foot off the brake? should you accelerate forward?

2. Relevant equations

M1v1i + M2vf1 = v (M1+M2)

3. The attempt at a solution

I equation above was the equation that the lab was based on. Initially, I thought this might have had to do with impulse, but time (I don’t think) is a variable you can control in that situation. I’ve also thought of what would happen if you "accelerated forward", but it still doesn’t make sense because that would just increase momentum, and a larger momentum doesn’t really "reduce" the impact of a collision in anyway. A large momentum (at least to me) doesn’t indicate the force/impact of a collision. Intuitively, I would imagine that accelerating forward would be the answer, but I don’t know how to prove it, numerically.

http://ift.tt/1mBrJUQ