How to Calculate Miles Per Hour

Calculate miles per hour to understand distances and gas mileage better.
Calculate miles per hour to understand distances and gas mileage better. (Image: Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

In mathematical terms, when you want to calculate miles per hour, you are seeking to determine velocity, or the rate at which you are traveling.

The basic mathematical equation to solve for miles per hour (MPH) is MPH equals distance in miles over time in hours. There are multiple ways to calculate miles, depending upon the mile and time increments involved.

Things You'll Need

  • Hours elapsed
  • Miles traveled
  • Calculator

Write down the information you know as an equation in order to make your calculation. The equation is Velocity (MPH) = Distance (in miles) / Time (in hours).

Turn on the calculator and enter your number of miles. Then push the key for division which will either be labeled with the division symbol or a "/" symbol.

Enter your number of hours. Then push the "=" key.

Write down your result and turn off your calculator. The answer is the velocity or miles per hour (MPH) rate at which you are traveling.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your time is less than an hour, you will need to convert the time into a decimal figure in order to calculate miles per hour. For example, 30 minutes converts to 0.5.
  • [3600 seconds = 1 hour; 60 minutes = 1 hour]
  • [5280 feet = 1 mile; 1760 yards = 1 mile]
  • If accuracy is important, double-check your work.

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