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How to Calculate Distance Traveled from MPH

by Athena Hessong

How far you go in a given time depends on your speed. In the United States, MPH (miles per hour) measures the speed of a vehicle. Using the rate of miles divided by the hours for the speed, you need only the time you traveled to calculate your distance.Use this formula for any type of vehicle -- cars, planes or boats -- to determine your distance from the speed.

Step 1

Note the speed in miles per hour (MPH) by looking at the speedometer; maintain that speed as you travel, ideally with cruise control engaged. Start the stopwatch.

Step 2

After the desired period, stop the stopwatch and record the time elapsed.

Step 3

Convert the time traveled to hours by dividing the number of minutes by 60. For instance, if you traveled for 5 minutes that equals 5/60 = 0.83 hours.

Multiply the number of hours by the speed in miles per hour to find the distance traveled. For example, if you traveled 0.83 hours at a speed of 30 MPH, your distance would be 30 x 0.83 = 2.5 miles.

Items you will need

  • Stopwatch
  • Speedometer

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