Topic – How Friction Helps Us

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Read about friction, or click on the play button below to listen aloud.

How Friction Helps Us

How does friction help us in daily life? Friction stops us from slipping.

Slippery Ice

There can be lots of ice on sidewalks in winter. Ice is very smooth, so ice is easy to slip and hurt yourself on. Why? A smooth surface rubbing against a smooth surface creates very little friction.

Winter boots help us from slipping on ice. Why?
A rough surface rubbing against a smooth surface creates medium friction. Winter boots have rough soles that create friction. Friction slows or stops movement. The rough soles on boots stop us from slipping on ice.

Sometimes people put sand on ice. Sand makes the ice surface rough. It is harder to slip on sandy ice.
The sand creates friction between the ice and your boots.

Slippery Stairs

Slipping on stairs is very dangerous. You could hurt yourself badly if you fall down the stairs.

Stairs are often made of smooth wood. When shoes rub against smooth wood, there might not be enough friction.
The shoes might slip off the step. Socks are even worse.

Carpet can add friction to stairs. Rough strips of material work, too. The added friction stops people from slipping.

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