Distance-Time Graphs

Constructing graphs of an objects motion gives a better idea of the behaviour of the moving object.

A distance-time graph is constructed by having the distance as the vertical axis and the time as the horizontal axis. By recording the distance travelled over different intervals of time and plotting these values a distance-time graph can be plotted. From this plot information about the moving object can easily be extracted.

The animation below shows a distance-time graph:

Points to remember

In a distance-time graph:

  • The average speed can be determined from the slope/gradient of the graph.
  • The steeper the gradient the higher the average speed.
  • A horizontal line indicates the object is stationary (not moving).