You are sitting in a car that isn't moving; suddenly, the car quickly accelerates. Your body seems to be pushed back against the seat. Which word best explains why your body seemed to be pushed...

You are sitting in a car that isn't moving; suddenly, the car quickly accelerates. Your body seems to be pushed back against the seat. Which word best explains why your body seemed to be pushed backward against the seat?

Expert Answers
gsenviro eNotes educator| Certified Educator

According to Newton's first law of motion, bodies that are at rest will continue to stay at rest and those that are in motion will continue in the same state of motion, unless and until an external force is applied on them. 

In the current case, when we are sitting in a car at rest, our body is also at rest. When the car suddenly accelerates, our body will follow Newton's first law of motion and would like to stay in the original state of motion, which is at rest. Thus, when the car moves forward, we fall backward, because the body resists the change in state of motion. 

The best term to describe this is inertia, which is the ability of a body to resist a change in its state of motion.

Hope this helps.