Driving a Car. Yep…You Use Math There, Too.

I’m a firm believer that math can be as easy, or as challenging, as we choose it to be.  But, we have to recognize the importance of math and how it helps us in our day-to-day activities.  That being said, I developed a website called CalcuNATION to help show examples of math calculations that help us.  Because of this, I tend to keep my eye out for examples of how we use math in our everyday lives.

I recently got married and we decided to get away for the weekend on a short trip to the mountains in Tennessee.  I annoy my wife from time-to-time with my mathematical observations.  So, I have a blog and website I can focus these observations on so I don’t annoy her too much.

When driving, math is being utilized both in a general understanding, and in actual use.  You use math to make calculations and adjustments as you drive.  You need to understand math skills to know how your vehicle is operating and how the environment is changing around you as you drive.

When I think of using math, the first thing I think of is speed.  I’m almost unconsciously adding and subtracting as I adjust my speed to the posted speed limits.  A mathematical understanding of speed rates and distances is important to know as well.  As you drive you adjust your speed not only for the posted limits, but for warnings of obstacles and other vehicles ahead.  If you see a sign that there is a sharp curve 2 miles ahead, you may not slow down very quickly.  If the same sign says 1/4 mile ahead, you most likely will adjust speed immediately.  Do you see what I’m saying?

Another easy example of math would be with fuel.  Understanding the concept of fuel mileage, volumes, distances, and even the financial part of fuel purchasing is important.  I’m always keeping an eye on my fuel mileage so that I can get the most distance for every dollar I spend on the road.

Where do you see other examples of math in use while you drive?  How about engine temperature?  Even tire pressure can be important.  What else is there?

For more information on some of the math principles listed, try some of these online calculators:

Fuel Mileage Calculator

Speed Calculators

Length Conversion Calculators 

Vehicle Loan Total Cost Calculator

CalcuNATION is a website featuring online calculators and educational resources for mathematics.  Other Mathematical Blogs ( CalcuNATION on EduBlogs and CalcuNATION on Blogger)

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