How Do Bumper Cars Work?


Quick Answer

Bumper cars work by utilizing the rubber bumper to diffuse the force of the collision from the other car, which keeps the drivers safe. The bumper cars themselves are powered through the poles on the back of the cars that carry electricity to and from a wire grid on the ceiling of the bumper car ride.

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Full Answer

The grid carries electrical energy, which can then be converted to power the car. Drivers must wear a seat belt even though the bumper cars are not dangerous because of the inertia. When the cars collide, the inertia of the driver will carry the driver forward even though the bumper car has stopped or is in the process of changing direction. A seat belt will ensure that the driver stays in the car and does not hit the steering wheel or anything else within the bumper car.

Bumper cars can be a great learning experience for children whose parents or teachers walk them through the science behind the bumper car, which is Newton's third law of motion. Newton's third law of motion says that if a body exerts a force on to a second body, then the second body will exert a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body. This is the law of action and reaction, and it explains why a person feels a small jolt when his or her bumper car collides with another.

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