How to Calculate Speed & Distance

By Carter McBride; Updated April 24, 2017
Calculating basic physics formulas has many practical everyday uses

Calculating speed and distance has many practical uses in the everyday world. People can use these calculations in sports, for example, to see how fast a baseball is thrown, when traveling, or to see the distance they traveled while driving. The formula for speed is distance divided by time. The formula for distance is speed times time.


Determine the distance traveled. For example, a person walks half a mile to work each day.

Determine the time it takes to travel the distance. In the example, it takes the person 30 minutes.

Divide the distance by the time. In our example, 0.5 miles divided by 0.5 hours equals a speed of one mile an hour.


Determine speed when traveling. For example, a person driving to work travels at an average speed of 30 miles per hour.

Determine the travel time. In the example, it takes the person 45 minutes or 0.75 hours.

Multiply the speed by the time to calculate the distance. In our example, 30 miles per hour times 0.75 hours equals 22.5 miles traveled.

About the Author

Carter McBride started writing in 2007 with CMBA's IP section. He has written for Bureau of National Affairs, Inc and various websites. He received a CALI Award for The Actual Impact of MasterCard's Initial Public Offering in 2008. McBride is an attorney with a Juris Doctor from Case Western Reserve University and a Master of Science in accounting from the University of Connecticut.