What Is Distance?
Distance is the measure of space between objects or individuals, or the extent to which something has moved, determined by a continuous linear path. It is measured in units such as miles, kilometers, meters, centimeters, inches, and yards. The choice of unit depends on the context; for example, miles are more suitable for car travel, while centimeters are more appropriate for measuring the space between items on a desk. Miles are larger units than centimeters, so they are more applicable to larger scales.
Distance traveled is linked to the change in one’s position. Position refers to one’s location at a specific point in time, and if your position shifts by 5 meters, you have traveled at least 5 meters. However, distance should not be confused with change in position. Here’s why.
Calculating Average Speed
One activity involving distance is calculating average speed. Speed represents the rate at which distance changes, typically measured in meters per second or miles per hour. It indicates how many meters you cover every second or how many miles you travel each hour.
For example, a speed of 50 miles per hour means your distance changes at a rate equivalent to traveling 50 miles every hour. Meanwhile, 75 miles per hour is faster than 50 miles per hour because you would cover 75 miles every hour at this pace.Read Also: Force Equation
However, when considering variable speeds, such as driving a car while accelerating, decelerating, and accelerating again, it’s more useful to compute average speed.
How To Calculate Average Speed
To calculate average speed, follow these steps:

Determine the total distance: Add up the distances covered during each segment of your journey. Make sure all distances are measured in the same unit, such as meters or miles.

Determine the total time: Add up the time taken for each segment of your journey. Ensure all time measurements are in the same unit, like seconds or hours.

Divide the total distance by the total time: Using the values from steps 1 and 2, divide the total distance by the total time to find the average speed.

Include the correct units: Don’t forget to include the appropriate units in your final answer, such as meters per second (m/s) or miles per hour (mph).
Here’s a simple example:
Imagine you drive 30 miles in 1 hour and then 70 miles in 2 hours. First, calculate the total distance (30 + 70 = 100 miles). Next, find the total time (1 + 2 = 3 hours). Finally, divide the total distance by the total time (100 miles ÷ 3 hours = 33.33 miles per hour). Your average speed is approximately 33.33 mph.
How To Find Average Speed ?
To find average speed, follow these simple steps:

Calculate the total distance: Add up the distances covered during each part of your journey. Make sure to use the same unit for all distances, such as kilometers or miles.

Calculate the total time: Sum the time spent for each part of your journey. Ensure that all time measurements use the same unit, like hours or minutes.

Divide the total distance by the total time: Take the values obtained in steps 1 and 2, and divide the total distance by the total time to find the average speed.

Include the appropriate units: Remember to include the correct units in your final answer, such as kilometers per hour (km/h) or miles per hour (mph).
For example:
Suppose you travel 40 miles in 1.5 hours and then 60 miles in 2.5 hours. First, calculate the total distance (40 + 60 = 100 miles). Next, find the total time (1.5 + 2.5 = 4 hours). Finally, divide the total distance by the total time (100 miles ÷ 4 hours = 25 miles per hour). Your average speed is 25 mph.
How To Find Average Speed In Physics
In physics, average speed is defined as the total distance traveled divided by the total time taken. To find the average speed, follow these steps:

Calculate the total distance: Add up the distances covered during each segment of your journey. Ensure all distances are measured in the same unit, such as meters, kilometers, or miles.

Calculate the total time: Sum the time taken for each segment of your journey. Make sure all time measurements are in the same unit, like seconds, minutes, or hours.

Divide the total distance by the total time: Using the values obtained in steps 1 and 2, divide the total distance by the total time to find the average speed.

Include the appropriate units: Remember to include the correct units in your final answer, such as meters per second (m/s), kilometers per hour (km/h), or miles per hour (mph).
Example:
Imagine you travel 100 meters in 5 seconds, then another 200 meters in 10 seconds. First, calculate the total distance (100 + 200 = 300 meters). Next, find the total time (5 + 10 = 15 seconds). Finally, divide the total distance by the total.
How To Find Average Speed With Distance And Time
To find average speed using distance and time, follow these steps:

Determine the total distance: Calculate the overall distance traveled during your journey. Ensure all distances are measured in the same unit, such as meters, kilometers, or miles.

Determine the total time: Calculate the overall time taken for the journey. Make sure all time measurements are in the same unit, like seconds, minutes, or hours.

Divide the total distance by the total time: Using the values obtained in steps 1 and 2, divide the total distance by the total time to find the average speed.

Include the appropriate units: Remember to include the correct units in your final answer, such as meters per second (m/s), kilometers per hour (km/h), or miles per hour (mph).
Example:
Suppose you travel a distance of 180 kilometers in 3 hours. First, note the total distance (180 kilometers) and the total time (3 hours). Next, divide the total distance by the total time (180 km ÷ 3 hours = 60 km/h). Your average speed is 60 km/h.
How To Find Average Speed On A Graph
To find the average speed using a distancetime graph, follow these steps:

Identify the axes: On the graph, the horizontal axis (xaxis) typically represents time, and the vertical axis (yaxis) represents distance. Ensure you understand the units used on both axes.

Determine the initial and final points: Locate the starting point (initial) and the endpoint (final) of the journey on the graph.

Calculate the total distance: Determine the difference in distance (yaxis) between the initial and final points. This difference represents the total distance traveled during the journey.

Calculate the total time: Determine the difference in time (xaxis) between the initial and final points. This difference represents the total time taken for the journey.

Divide the total distance by the total time: Using the values obtained in steps 3 and 4, divide the total distance by the total time to find the average speed.

Include the appropriate units: Remember to include the correct units in your final answer, such as meters per second (m/s), kilometers per hour (km/h), or miles per hour (mph).
How To Find Average Speed With Two Speeds
To find the average speed when given two different speeds, you need to know the distance or time traveled at each speed. Follow these steps:

Determine the distance or time: Calculate the distance covered (or time spent) at each of the two speeds.

Calculate the total distance or total time: Add up the distances (or times) for each part of the journey.

Calculate the total time or total distance: If you have distances, find the total time taken using the formula Time = Distance ÷ Speed for each part of the journey, and add them up. If you have times, find the total distance traveled using the formula Distance = Speed × Time for each part of the journey, and add them up.

Divide the total distance by the total time: Using the values obtained in steps 2 and 3, divide the total distance by the total time to find the average speed.

Include the appropriate units: Remember to include the correct units in your final answer, such as meters per second (m/s), kilometers per hour (km/h), or miles per hour (mph).
Example:
Imagine you travel at 40 mph for a distance of 80 miles and then at 60 mph for a distance of 120 miles. First, find the time spent at each speed:
Time1 = Distance1 ÷ Speed1