Using the Distance, Rate, and Time Formula
Learning Outcomes
 Use the problemsolving method to solve problems using the distance, rate, and time formula
$60$
miles per hour for $2$
hours? (This might happen if you use your car’s cruise control while driving on the Interstate.) If you said $120$
miles, you already know how to use this formula!The math to calculate the distance might look like this:
$\begin{array}{}\\ \text{distance}=\left(\frac{60\text{ miles}}{1\text{ hour}}\right)\left(2\text{ hours}\right)\qquad \\ \text{distance}=120\text{ miles}\qquad \end{array}$
In general, the formula relating distance, rate, and time is
$\text{distance}\text{=}\text{rate}\cdot \text{time}$
Distance, Rate, and Time
For an object moving at a uniform (constant) rate, the distance traveled, the elapsed time, and the rate are related by the formula$d=rt$
where
$d=$
distance, $r=$
rate, and $t=$
time.$\frac{miles}{hour}$
. Then when we multiplied by the time, in hours, the common units "hour" divided out. The answer was in miles.example
Jamal rides his bike at a uniform rate of$12$
miles per hour for $3\frac{1}{2}$
hours. How much distance has he traveled?Solution:
Step 1. Read the problem. You may want to create a minichart to summarize the information in the problem. 
$d=?$ $r=12\text{mph}$ $t=3\frac{1}{2}\text{hours}$ 
Step 2. Identify what you are looking for.  distance traveled 
Step 3. Name. Choose a variable to represent it.  let d = distance 
Step 4. Translate. Write the appropriate formula for the situation. Substitute in the given information. 
$d=rt$ $d=12\cdot 3\frac{1}{2}$ 
Step 5. Solve the equation.  $d=42\text{ miles}$ 
Step 6. Check: Does 42 miles make sense? 

Step 7. Answer the question with a complete sentence.  Jamal rode 42 miles. 
In the following video we provide another example of how to solve for distance given rate and time.
Example
Rey is planning to drive from his house in San Diego to visit his grandmother in Sacramento, a distance of$520$
miles. If he can drive at a steady rate of $65$
miles per hour, how many hours will the trip take?Show Solution
Solution:
Step 1. Read the problem. Summarize the information in the problem. 
$d=520$ miles$r=65$ mph$t=?$ 
Step 2. Identify what you are looking for.  how many hours (time) 
Step 3. Name: Choose a variable to represent it. 
let $t$ = time 
Step 4. Translate. Write the appropriate formula. Substitute in the given information. 
$d=rt$ $520=65t$ 
Step 5. Solve the equation.  $t=8$ 
Step 6. Check: Substitute the numbers into the formula and make sure the result is a true statement. $d=rt$ $520\stackrel{?}{=}65\cdot 8$ $520=520\quad\checkmark$ 

Step 7. Answer the question with a complete sentence. We know the units of time will be hours because we divided miles by miles per hour. 
Rey's trip will take $8$ hours. 
In the following video we show another example of how to find rate given distance and time.