Numberphile Calculates a Car Crash and it Will Forever Change How You Drive

The Mathematical Sciences Research Institute-supported YouTuber works his usual mathematics magic and discovers that your intuition plays dangerous tricks while on the road.
Loukia Papadopoulos

Using the kinetic energies and velocities of two speculative cars on the road, YouTuber and number-lover Numberphile, real name Brady Haran, is back for another fascinating video where he now calculates a car crash illustrating, as usual, his process. For this session, he even features equally number-passionate mathematician Ben Sparks.

Illustrating a very plausible accident scenario, Haran shows why crashes are actually extremely dangerous even if you are being careful. "This completely sobered me up," says the mathematician.

"It is powerful! It made me slow down. The crucial thing to take away is that it is the square of your speed that affects the pull of your energy and that is the bit our intuition is really bad at," explains Numberphile.

Haran says car manufacturers have not yet taken this on board and we definitely hope they do so soon-- for everyone's safety. We won't tell you the details-- Haran does that so much better than us-- but we promise you will never drive the same again after watching this illustration.

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