Alison has a car. The part of each tyre in contact with the road flattened, is shown in the diagram.   When Alison gets into the car, the force on each tyre increases. What happens to the area...

Alison has a car. The part of each tyre in contact with the road flattened, is shown in the diagram.  

When Alison gets into the car, the force on each tyre increases. What happens to the area of the tyre in contact with the road?

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Expert Answers
gsenviro eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When a stationary car is on the road, the weight of the car is transferred to the road through the tyres and they get flattened a little bit. When extra weight is added to this system, in the form of people getting in the car and/or material (or goods) being put in the vehicle, a greater amount of weight has to be transferred. This is what happens when Alison gets into her car. Now the tyres are required to support the weight of both the car and Alison and hence the tyre surface area in contact with the road increases. One can also think of this in terms of pressure (which is the ratio of force and area). As the weight of the car increases, the road-tyre contact area increases, thus keeping the ground pressure constant. 

Hope this helps. 

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