Last week I travelled from London to Leeds, a distance I measured as 174 miles.
I started at 9.15am and completed the journey with an average speed of 40 miles per hour.
On the way back, in the evening, I travelled exactly the same route, starting at 5.15pm. The traffic was light and I completed the journey with an average speed of 60 miles per hour.
What was the overall average speed for the round trip?
The answer is not 50 mph.
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Remember that Time = Distance ÷ Speed, and Speed = Distance ÷ Time.
48 miles per hour.
Time = Distance ÷ Speed
Speed = Distance ÷ Time
The outward journey took 174 miles ÷ 40 mph = 4.35 hours.
The return journey took 174 miles ÷ 60 mph = 2.9 hours.
So I travelled a total of 2 x 174 = 348 miles. I did this in a total of 4.35 + 2.9 = 7.25 hours.
My overall average speed was therefore 348 miles ÷ 7.25 hours = 48 miles per hour.
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