259 car pile-up on the Autobahn...

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by CyberPitz, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. Raziaar

    Raziaar I Hate Custom Titles

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    High speed and rain don't mix.
     
  2. Ennui

    Ennui The Freeman

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    Wow, it's amazing nobody was killed.
     
  3. VirusType2

    VirusType2 Newbie

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    Sometimes the unpredictable happens! I have analyzed drivers for nearly 20 years on the road and every once in a while, they do something that does not make sense! Sometimes the only option is to drive off the road - if you are lucky enough to have that option!
    259 Cars, that must be a world record! Looking forward to the Youtube footage!

    I completely agree with you on this part at least! Unfortunately, this is not always safe or legal! For example: in a blind turn, you cannot simply go 10 miles per hour (safe speed for your line of sight) or you may receive a ticket or be rear ended!

    http://www.halflife2.net/forums/showthread.php?t=155577
     
  4. Warped

    Warped Newbie

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  5. Letters

    Letters Tank

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    I can't picture how this could have happened at all!

    And Virus did you just continue a conversation from 3 months ago? NO! OUTSIDE!
     
  6. The Monkey

    The Monkey The Freeman

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    There are no such narrow blind turns on any freeway I'm aware of.
     
  7. Barnz

    Barnz Content Creator
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    reminds me an episode of Alarm für Cobra 11
     
  8. VirusType2

    VirusType2 Newbie

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    It's doesn't have to be a freeway, and it doesn't have to be a blind turn!

    You follow three seconds behind and you think that will give you time to stop, but sometimes things are in the road that aren't moving: felled trees, deer, building materials, boulders, police officers, people laying in the road, drunken retards, dead babies, etc.!

    Due to thick fog, I hit a felled tree at 65 MPH in an RX7! The shit came out of ****ing nowhere! I didn't even make it to my brake pedal!

    Driving slower due to adverse conditions does not necessarily make you safer due to the fact that other people will probably be speeding, making rear-end collisions a high risk!
     
  9. Krynn72

    Krynn72 The Freeman

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    You're an idiot for driving at 65mph in thick fog.
     
  10. Anthraxxx

    Anthraxxx Tank

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    Ouch. Insurance nightmare...
     
  11. VirusType2

    VirusType2 Newbie

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    Driving slower due to adverse conditions does not necessarily make you safer because other people will be speeding, making rear-end collisions a high risk!

    I could have been driving 30 miles per hour and wouldn't have been able to stop in time! Who would expect a tree laying in the highway!
     
  12. Krynn72

    Krynn72 The Freeman

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    If this is the extent of your visibility, you should be driving no faster than 15 miles an hour. Even that may be too fast. And your rear end collision argument is pointless, because driving at your speeds increase your risk of you hitting someone or something, as clearly demonstrated by you hitting something. Its better to take the smaller risk of being rear ended than to put yourself at a higher risk of running head on into something while trying to avoid being rear ended.
     
  13. VirusType2

    VirusType2 Newbie

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    I don't have permission to view your amazing photo!
     
  14. Krynn72

    Krynn72 The Freeman

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  15. VirusType2

    VirusType2 Newbie

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    You were there!
     
  16. repiV

    repiV Tank

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    ...on a section of the Autobahn that was limited to 75mph.
     
  17. VirusType2

    VirusType2 Newbie

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    I guess you posted this after I had already responded.

    Well, that's a good point, but the truth is, nobody slows down to less than 15 miles per hour on a highway, ever. Well, except perhaps if it is the shittiest snowstorm of the year, but otherwise, you better just get off the road. Especially people in trucks like to speed in the snow and rain, and they take forever to slow down.

    At the time, I didn't have the luxury of just not going to work or showing up an hour late because it was too foggy. But, you are right that I should have been going slower!

    I remember not too long ago when I had a DUI bike, I couldn't go to work one night because it was a lunar eclipse (pitch black to where you can't see your hand in front of your face), and I was fired! Even though I called in and explained. Assholes!

    If that's true then lucky it was on a 75 mph section. If it was one where they do 140+ miles per hour, they might have 259 dead people/families.

    I am interested in what changes they will be making due to this accident.
     
  18. swan_song1973

    swan_song1973 Newbie

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    im kinda surprised this doesnt happen more often.
     
  19. repiV

    repiV Tank

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    What on earth makes you draw that conclusion?
     
  20. Sam

    Sam Newbie

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  21. nurizeko

    nurizeko Newbie

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    Goodbye speed, hello limits.
     
  22. VirusType2

    VirusType2 Newbie

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    Yes, obviously it's not an open and shut case where everyone dies, but I suppose I used survival rate to draw my conclusion.

    There are many factors that can determine survival in an automobile accident. However, let me say that even though someone crashes and lives does not mean they will just get better like nothing happened. A significant number of cases result in life-long rehabilitation or permanent damage.

    More information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survival_rate

    Let's look at some statistics from the US dept of transportation:
    Rear impacts are one of the least fatal types of crashes. However, impact speed of these collisions in the US are generally significantly less than what we might see on the autobahn. Importantly, in a pile-up, the vehicle receiving a rear impact is stopped, which significantly increases impact energy.

    Let's ask a scientist:
    Additional statistics from the US dept of transportation:
    This suggests that lowering the speed limit requires tougher enforcement, otherwise, drivers will speed anyway, causing a dangerous situation due to a greater speed differential; exactly why having no speed limit is dangerous.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traffic_collision

    Pertaining to speeders:
    Car fatality statistics:
    Finally, something to think about for RepiV:
     
  23. repiV

    repiV Tank

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    My point is that you assume the accident happening was a foregone conclusion and that had it been an unrestricted section of the autobahn, the accident would have occured at twice the speed. Both of these assumptions are nonsensical.

    For a start, the possibility of no speed limit doesn't mean that they would have been travelling at three figure speeds in the rain. Secondly, a traffic situation congested enough to allow a 259 car pile-up would render those kinds of speeds impossible to achieve anyway. Thirdly, the fact that nobody died suggests the collisions happened at a far lower speed than 75mph. Finally, it's quite probable that the low speed caused the drivers to bunch up too closely together and/or lose concentration which subsequently caused the pile-up. Pile-ups aren't caused by speed, they're caused by inadequate following distance and inadequate attention. It's pretty safe to say that people travelling at 140mph don't tailgate.

    Now, as for 259 deaths if that section of the autobahn had been de-restricted. Firstly, just because there is no speed limit doesn't mean people will be travelling at high speeds regardless of the conditions. Secondly, it's very unlikely that this kind of accident could occur at such a high speed as the following distances you would maintain at 140+mph and the concentration required to drive at such a speed render it very improbable. Not to mention that those speeds would be unattainable with these kinds of traffic volumes. Finally, speed limits themselves are a contributory factor in causing these sorts of accidents as when people are forced to travel unnaturally slowly they compensate by driving far too close to the vehicle in front and they also lose concentration.

    If anything, the fact that this section of the autobahn had a speed limit is more likely to have contributed to the accident than it is to have lessened the consequences of it.

    Speed differentials are a good thing. They stop the traffic from bunching up and becoming congested, keeping vehicles OUT of close proximity and out of each others' blind spots and thus out of danger. They also force people to drive in a disciplined and alert manner, to keep in the correct lane and to watch what's going on around them.

    If having no speed limit is dangerous, then why are the autobahns some of the safest motorways in the world and the US highways the most dangerous in the developed world? That very fact alone demonstrates that your rhetoric is illogical - and wrong.

    The fact that somebody chooses to ride a motorbike doesn't mean they are ignorant of the dangers, it just means that they have different priorities in their decision making process than you may have. In Devon, bikers make up 1% of traffic and 33% of fatalities. It's really not news to me. What the statistics don't tell you is that far and away the vast majority of those fatalities are easily avoidable.
     
  24. Rico

    Rico Tank

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    Anyone who doesn't know that increased speed = increased risk of death has to be dense...

    Increased speed, increased danger, decreased reaction time. How does a pileup start? First one accident, then 258 other cars crash because of the original accident.

    Why did this happen in the autobahn? Simple... decreased reaction time. Driving on a highway, if someone slams on their brakes due to an accident you're traveling slower, therefore your stopping distance is shorter and your reaction time is better. If you're going 100+ MPH and there's an accident a mile in front of you, you probably will have less luck avoiding it than if you were going slower.

    But then again, some people refute science and say evolution never happened, so I don't expect certain people to understand.
     
  25. repiV

    repiV Tank

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    Then you must be a complete retard if you ever dare to fly on a passenger jet. On a wing and a prayer you might just make it out alive.
     
  26. repiV

    repiV Tank

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    Ah, you actually elaborated on your post instead of just making an inflammatory statement. So, here we go...

    Luck? Luck?!

    You profess to know what you're talking about when you think averting an accident comes down to LUCK?

    It's not "simple", AT ALL. Well, it is, but your assessment of it is epic fail. Reaction time is a byproduct of speed, distance and alertness/perception. You make sure you always have time to stop in the distance you can see to be clear at any speed. Which simply means you need to leave four times the space at 140mph as you would at 70. And it doesn't matter for shit if you're dawdling along at 50mph if you're not paying attention or driving up the arse of the person in front - or both. They're the idiots that cause pile ups, not people doing 100mph (which isn't even that fast) in light traffic.

    Pile-ups occur due to people driving too closely and not paying attention. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with speed, since the distance and time aspect of the equation varies with speed. Following traffic on a motorway is travelling at a set speed so it's the distance aspect of the equation that needs to be taken into account.

    Your grasp of science is particularly poor. And if you rely on setting arbitrary limits on things in the hopes it will save you when you do something stupid because of your lack of skill (whereas you perceive that you could have done nothing to avoid the accident), I would suggest you rely just as much on faith as any religious man.
     
  27. 13LACKBISHOP

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    If you are a mechanic in Germany its your lucky day.
     
  28. Raziaar

    Raziaar I Hate Custom Titles

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    Man... I was driving down from South Dakota with my family once... and it was my turn to drive. It was raining, but then it rapidly turned into the fastest, heaviest downpour I have ever seen in my life. Visibility was reduced even further than in that photo, and it was one of the scarier moments of my life because I knew I had cars behind me and in front of me. Had to slow down rapidly to avoid collisions, while hoping somebody behind me didn't hit us. It let up really quickly, but my god I've never seen anything like that before and I've been doing road trips for a lot of my life.

    I think I posted an after the fact photo here on these forums. Didn't show any of the visibility which was instantly returned, it just showed the sky in the distance.

    EDIT: Here is that photo. Nice godrays.

    [​IMG]

     
  29. repiV

    repiV Tank

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    That last picture is pretty awesome. It looks like the aftermath of some kind of mini-apocalypse.

    Weather that sneaks up on you can be a bitch, one night back in December I was in the car with a couple of friends and we were on a dual-carraigeway (kinda like a highway, sort of) doing about 90 slowly overtaking another car on a slight bend. Then all of a sudden, out of absolutely NOWHERE, the car gets entirely enveloped in this cloud of fog that was completely impossible to see through. It couldn't be seen up ahead, it was just *there* all of a sudden. That was a real heart-in-mouth moment. Fortunately it passed after a couple of seconds or I think we probably would have gone into the barrier.

    I hate fog. It used to be a rare and cool occurence but now I live by a river and it's foggy about half of all days in the winter. Some nights coming home you just can't go any faster than about 15mph, stick the hazard lights on and just hope there's not some total bellend screaming up behind. The worst though is when it occasionally collects in patches at certain points along the road (which follows the the river), because if you're not expecting it you can be on top of it very quickly and can be hard to spot it at night. Not good on a road full of sharp bends if you hit a patch of thick fog at speed...
     
  30. Asuka

    Asuka Companion Cube

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    Thats what i thought.
     
  31. Parrot of doom

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    God there are some imbeciles on this thread. The pile-up has little to do with speed, and everything to do with being able to safely stop in the distance you can see to be clear ahead.
     
  32. VirusType2

    VirusType2 Newbie

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    And so you fit right in.

    The faster you are going, the more distance you need exponentially. Even more so at high speeds, the three second rule is not going to be sufficient when the braking distance of cars varies wildly.

    My car probably stops 5 times faster than an everyday 2 ton truck, and I constantly have someone getting way up my car's ass, even just under light braking.
     
  33. repiV

    repiV Tank

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    Who said otherwise? How does this prove your point?

    So you have this problem (a problem that I never have), and you also by your own admission drive ridiculously slowly. What on earth does this have to do with speed?

    If anything, the only speed-related point this proves is precisely the opposite to that which you are trying to - you drive too slowly, probably piss people off in the process, and leave yourself vulnerable to being tailgated.
     
  34. VirusType2

    VirusType2 Newbie

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    + or - roughly 7 miles per hour, I drive the speed limits at all times, which - in the US - are up to 70 miles per hour.

    I know you like to make things up, but I'm going to have to ask you to point out where I claimed I drive ridiculously slowly.
    Traveling at a lower speed [than whatever speed they were driving] could have made all the difference. In this graph you can see that braking distance increases with speed:

    [​IMG]
    source

    The weight differences of motor vehicles on a highway varies from about 450 pounds for a motorcycle to 80,000 lbs for an 18 Wheeler. (the maximum legal weight of a vehicle in the US) An 18 Wheeler can - and does - travel at up to 80 MPH or more.

    Not accounting for tire grip here for the sake of the example, weight difference is obviously significant in the stopping distance. Not only that, but the faster we are traveling, the greater the difference of the stopping distance between two different vehicles.

    At 15 miles per hour, the stopping distance of two vehicles isn't very significant. At 75 miles per hour or more, the difference is usually substantial.

    I'm not talking about being tailgated, try not to fool yourself. I clearly stated I'm talking about the '3 second rule' or the accepted safe following distance is not sufficient, particularly at greater speeds. The following vehicle could be adhering to the 3 second rule, yet if I were to stop suddenly from 75 miles per hour, the reaction time and increased stopping distance of the following vehicle could mean I would be hit anyway.

    By the way, in the past, I've frequently been tailgated when I was going 80 in a 65, in which case I get out of the way as soon as it's clear.

    While driving in a bunching up of cars increases the risk of an accident, please see Smeed's Law. Here is the introduction:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smeed's_law
    More cars on the road, more congestion = less accidents - not necessarily bunched up! This obviously increases the risk of an accident, even in a 0-5 mph grid-lock.

    Indeed following distance is the main culprit, yet at lower speeds it could have been avoided. How in the world would you get 259 cars running into the back of each other at - say 35 MPH?

    If one of them was driving slower due to the weather, and others were going the 75 mph speed limit, then you can see where the speed differential becomes a factor in this accident. Thus the speed limit was too high.

    Accidents are often blamed on speed, speed is never the direct cause of any accident, it just makes all the other factors including reaction time, stopping distance and tire grip more on the verge of their limits, and impact damage and risk of property damage and bodily harm increases with speed. Therefore, lower speeds inherently do alleviate risks of these factors.

    http://german.about.com/library/listening/bllisten-sil-autobStudy2.htm
    This isn't the first time this has happened!
    http://news.smh.com.au/world/up-to-100-cars-involved-autobahn-pileup-20080325-21j7.html
    I don't think you can put a blame on simply having a speed limit. If there was no speed limit in this section, then speed differential would be greater, and damage and injury would have gone up almost in tandem with speed.

    It's obvious the accident was due to driving too fast for conditions. If the speed limit was lower and strictly enforced, then perhaps this massive accident could have been avoided.

    You dispute it and offer absolutely no proof to back your statements.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traffic_collision

    Speed differential is what makes 'same direction' accidents dangerous. If two cars are traveling at almost identical speed and direction, a collision would produce a slight tap. However if two cars are traveling parallel at significantly different speeds, the collision impact would be the difference of the two speeds. Car 1 @ 180 mph hits Car 2 @ 90 miles per hour = the impact would be like hitting a stopped vehicle at 90 mph.
    http://dailyheadlines.uark.edu/8286.htm
    Varying speeds increases passing instances which increases chances for an accident and increases impact speed of the collision!

    This data is for a speed differential of only 10 miles per hour! Imagine passing an 80 MPH car at nearly 200 MPH.

    No, the Autobahn is no longer considered one of the safest. Following in the footsteps of the 60-100 car pile up last year, this 259 car pile-up is the worst accident in 240 year history of automobiles.

    Also, you're going to have to stop making up facts with no source. The US road system is not the most dangerous in the world. In fact, I've got a long list right here of the worlds most dangerous roads from 2007, and The US doesn't even make the list.
    http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/travel/2007-08-13-roads-chart_N.htm

    Here is another source with 40 of the most dangerous roads that, while has several US roads ranked starting at 19th, you'll see that England has several roads listed as well. Don't forget that The US has a much larger system of roads
    than any other country.

    According to the New York Times:
    The present road situation in the United States may be briefly summed up as follows: In mileage we have the most tremendous system of roads which any country has ever possessed since the world began. According to a careful road census the length of all of our roads amounts to 2,155,000 miles.
    More than 2 million more miles of road than England!

    In the past decade, many changes have been made that are quickly making US roads safer. However, you don't just replace 2 million miles of roads, it takes time.

    Obviously, he was talking about passenger cars, but I'll bite anyway. Flying in a plane, not only do they have air traffic controllers using radar and communication with the planes, 360 degrees of avoidance, and they don't have to stick to a particular line (like a road), but probably most importantly, it is no comparison due to the very low amount of traffic.

     
  35. repiV

    repiV Tank

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    "Ridiculously" was my choice of word. You give the impression that you dawdle around everywhere.

    So? Only by coincidence. Taking a different road, driving a different car or travelling an hour later could have made all the difference too, it's still an irrelevance.

    So? You're supposed to leave a gap that means you shouldn't ever have to use the brakes on a motorway, not one where you can just about stop in an absolute emergency if you're paying full attention. This should never be relevant, and it's certainly not relevant to travelling speed.

    If you needed to stop suddenly from 75 miles per hour, you already made a catastrophic error in judgement. That should never happen. I've NEVER had to perform an emergency stop outside of urban areas. EVER.

    Ok.

    How can you possibly claim that congestion reduces accidents? That's absurd. You try driving in London.

    Only by coincidence and luck. You should be driving properly at any speed, not going slowly to compensate for your uselessness.

    If they followed too closely and weren't paying attention, that could happen. Exactly as it did in this case.

    Yes it does. People driving too slowly lose concentration and become complacent, which causes rear-end accidents.

    Travelling at a set speed doesn't require any grip. Acceleration requires grip. I reach similar maximum speeds on stretches of straight road in the wet as I would in the dry, I just build the speed more gradually and slow down earlier for the corners. You're not just suddenly going to fly off the road from doing 150mph on a wet piece of tarmac. You might just have a problem if you come careering up behind something you didn't see and haul on the brakes. Hence we come back to...distance, attention and time.

    And yet... Deaths skyrocket after speed limits introduced. Try explaining that one? It's not the only occurence of this phenomenon either, by ANY means.

    Or more likely the accident would never have occured in the first place.

    The speed limit was already fairly low. German speed limits are strictly enforced. You don't even know they were travelling at the limit.

    Speed, distance, time. You can't ever consider one in isolation. The simple fact that you obsess solely about one factor of a complicated equation discredits you entirely. For that matter, everyone has a level of risk that they are happy to accept and what you take away in one area they will add to somewhere else. So if you slow people down beyond the point they are comfortable with, they'll just drive up the arse of the guy in front and drift off.

    I explained why they're a good thing. How exactly is traffic that collects together in one big homogenous lump (which is what happens when you strictly enforce a speed limit that is too low) going to help avert accidents? That's beyond ridiculous.

    So don't run into the back of the car in front. It's not dangerous if you never have the accident.

    Being surrounded by a convoy of other vehicles that you have no control over increases chances of an accident, that's for sure.

    How can it be the worst accident when nobody died?

    It's one of the safest because it has one of the lowest accident/injury/death rates of any motorway system. A full half that of the US highway network.

    I didn't say the US road system is the most dangerous in the world. I said that the US has the worst road safety record of any developed country.

    No shit, a lot of our roads are old narrow treacherous tracks that have been tarmaced. One of the local main roads round here has a 25% climb with two switchback hairpin bends at that gradient.

    It's not the roads that are dangerous, it's the standard of driving.

    So you're saying that the safe speed varies with the amount of traffic. Well yes that would explain why there is no notable danger in a competent driver travelling at 150mph down an empty straight road, contrary to popular opinion.

    You aren't providing sources of proof, you're providing sources of conjecture. It's entirely irrelevant whether I've driven a car before (which actually I have), riding a motorbike requires many times more skill, awareness and intelligence than driving a car ever could. And the basic principles of good roadcraft are the same whether you're in a car or on a bike. Most people drive their entire lives without knowing shit about roadcraft, and they get away with it, but if you take that attitude to riding a bike you're pretty likely to get killed sooner or later.

    Say, don't you think it's in my interests more than anyone's to know what I'm talking about?
     
  36. Raziaar

    Raziaar I Hate Custom Titles

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    Whoa, hey Sterns... cut it out!
     
  37. xcellerate

    xcellerate Tank

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    [​IMG]

    I hate these charts.

    "It takes bruce lee 4.5 seconds to react to something! Then it takes an F1 car 9 miles to stop from 30 mph! HOW DOES YOUR STUPID ASS EXPECT TO DO ANY BETTER IN YOUR HONDA!" /scaretactics

    An '06 ford explorer takes 130ft to stop from 60mph, and at 60mph that's 88 feet per second, so a half-second for reaction time and we're talking about 174ft. Yet amazingly, the chart says nearly double that distance.

    You can't just assume the driver will take 2 seconds to react to something on the road and make a chart from that. You make a chart with best and worst case scenarios for reaction time...but of course that wouldn't scare anybody into paying attention.

    http://www.edmunds.com/apps/vdpcontainers/do/vdp/articleId=107918/pageNumber=4
     
  38. Parrot of doom

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    You should consider reading again what I posted. In fact, read it a few times, and attempt to take it in. It really is an extraordinarily simple concept that everybody should learn—including yourself.

    If you don't possess the intellect to understand a simple premise then perhaps you shouldn't be driving. Excessive speed would appear to be a contributory factor to this accident only insofar as motorists were not allowing themselves enough space to stop in the distance they could see to be clear ahead. The speed could have been 10mph, it could have been 150mph.
     
  39. VirusType2

    VirusType2 Newbie

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