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      08-02-2016, 12:55 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisAW1M
Well, nobody even knows if this guy was drunk. Prior people were just assuming. Doesn't really matter. Drunk, high, or just dumb, it is frowned upon to drive the wrong way on a major freeway.
I still find it amazing that no one freaks out when they see the red reflectors everywhere. Immediately they should know something isn't right if they aren't blind drunk.
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      08-02-2016, 01:12 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Lucky1 View Post
Wonder what the factors were that led the Camry passengers to come out with non-life threatening injuries while the 1er driver died. I always thought the 1er was a very safe car relative to others.
It is very safe. I was offset rear-ended while stationary by a Toyota Highlander doing about 40 mph. The Highlander was totaled with severe frontal damage while I was able to safely drive my 1er home. There was minor frame damage and some body parts had to be replaced, but there was no impingement into the rear wheel well, drive train, or suspension. My airbag did not deploy, but it did not need to. The head restraint and seat belts did their jobs. The police on scene were in awe of how little damage was done to my car while the SUV's front end was demolished.
That incident really boosted my confidence in our little cars.
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      08-02-2016, 01:20 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmer-Bob View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky1 View Post
Wonder what the factors were that led the Camry passengers to come out with non-life threatening injuries while the 1er driver died. I always thought the 1er was a very safe car relative to others.
I wondered the same thing. It could've been something as simple as the 1er driver not wearing a seatbelt.
This makes sense. If the driver of the 1 series was 'off' enough (for whatever reason) to drive the wrong way on the freeway then it's possible (likely) he didn't use his seatbelt as well.
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      08-02-2016, 01:34 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cavpilot2k View Post
It is very safe. I was offset rear-ended while stationary by a Toyota Highlander doing about 40 mph. The Highlander was totaled with severe frontal damage while I was able to safely drive my 1er home. There was minor frame damage and some body parts had to be replaced, but there was no impingement into the rear wheel well, drive train, or suspension. My airbag did not deploy, but it did not need to. The head restraint and seat belts did their jobs. The police on scene were in awe of how little damage was done to my car while the SUV's front end was demolished.
That incident really boosted my confidence in our little cars.
I'm not a mechanical engineer; although I did get my degree in a different engineering discipline. Your statement overly simplifies the safety of a particular vehicle by how much visible damage there is. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say you actually want a car to disintegrate when hit. The crumpling of sheet metal and breaking away of parts is designed to dissipate energy. Energy which continues undampened or channeled off will go right into the passenger compartment. To gauge the crash worthiness of any vehicle you only focus on the passenger cabin and see how much damage it sustains and how much energy is transmitted into it. If you want to see this happen on a regular basis, just watch professional auto racing and what roll cages and reinforced carbon fiber tubs do to protect the race car driver.
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      08-02-2016, 04:08 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zx10guy View Post
I'm not a mechanical engineer; although I did get my degree in a different engineering discipline. Your statement overly simplifies the safety of a particular vehicle by how much visible damage there is. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say you actually want a car to disintegrate when hit. The crumpling of sheet metal and breaking away of parts is designed to dissipate energy. Energy which continues undampened or channeled off will go right into the passenger compartment. To gauge the crash worthiness of any vehicle you only focus on the passenger cabin and see how much damage it sustains and how much energy is transmitted into it. If you want to see this happen on a regular basis, just watch professional auto racing and what roll cages and reinforced carbon fiber tubs do to protect the race car driver.
You have a point - to a degree. Yes, you want the body to absorb and crumple and attenuate the energy, but there is a sweet spot before you hit the point of not only diminishing, but detrimental returns. You could build an entire car out of dried pasta noodles which would disintegrate entirely on impact, but would not actually provide any protection to the occupant precisely because they don't offer enough resistance to crushing or distortion.
Likewise, we don't want cars that are so "crumply" that they are totaled when we get into what should be a minor fender-bender.
In my case, the car did exactly what it was supposed to do: parts crumpled, absorbed the impact, and attenuated the energy (I had to replace my rear bumper, trunk lid, and left rear quarter panel, which includes the b-pillar and window arch all the way to the A-pillar; and one unibody frame panel had to be replaced as well). I was not injured, and in fact was only barely sore the next day from a fairly violent rear impact (violent enough to total an SUV). But I was able to drive home without significant structural or functional failure, which I feel is the sign of exceptional design engineering.
On the other hand, possibly due to the location of the impact or due to a different engineering philosophy, the Highlander's front end was destroyed. Multiple types of fluids were leaking from the severely compromised engine compartment (which in itself could be hazardous if one of those fluids was gasoline - there are tens of thousands of car fires every year in the US, many of which turn what should be non-fatal crashes into fatal ones).
I would prefer a vehicle that protects me in a crash and remains a viable long-term vehicle over one that fully sacrifices itself unnecessarily and has to be replaced (in cases other than severe, potentially injurious crashes).

Anyway, that's my $.02
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      08-02-2016, 05:52 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cavpilot2k View Post
You have a point - to a degree. Yes, you want the body to absorb and crumple and attenuate the energy, but there is a sweet spot before you hit the point of not only diminishing, but detrimental returns. You could build an entire car out of dried pasta noodles which would disintegrate entirely on impact, but would not actually provide any protection to the occupant precisely because they don't offer enough resistance to crushing or distortion.
Likewise, we don't want cars that are so "crumply" that they are totaled when we get into what should be a minor fender-bender.
In my case, the car did exactly what it was supposed to do: parts crumpled, absorbed the impact, and attenuated the energy (I had to replace my rear bumper, trunk lid, and left rear quarter panel, which includes the b-pillar and window arch all the way to the A-pillar; and one unibody frame panel had to be replaced as well). I was not injured, and in fact was only barely sore the next day from a fairly violent rear impact (violent enough to total an SUV). But I was able to drive home without significant structural or functional failure, which I feel is the sign of exceptional design engineering.
On the other hand, possibly due to the location of the impact or due to a different engineering philosophy, the Highlander's front end was destroyed. Multiple types of fluids were leaking from the severely compromised engine compartment (which in itself could be hazardous if one of those fluids was gasoline - there are tens of thousands of car fires every year in the US, many of which turn what should be non-fatal crashes into fatal ones).
I would prefer a vehicle that protects me in a crash and remains a viable long-term vehicle over one that fully sacrifices itself unnecessarily and has to be replaced (in cases other than severe, potentially injurious crashes).

Anyway, that's my $.02
Well, I think we're saying the same thing. But to say a car's crash safety is based off of how intact the vehicle is after a particular crash is too simplified. As an extreme example, when cars were built literally like tanks with a ton of steel, people were still getting severely injured despite the car being basically intact due to the transfer of all the crash energy into the passenger cab.

Crash design is definitely a balancing act between occupancy safety and repairability of the car.

In your example of potential gas fires, many manufacturers have designed systems to help minimize this possibility. My old Ford Focus had such a feature where there was an inertia cut off switch for the fuel pump.
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      08-02-2016, 09:02 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeineken View Post
I still find it amazing that no one freaks out when they see the red reflectors everywhere. Immediately they should know something isn't right if they aren't blind drunk.



I can say that I've never seen red reflectors on the roadway. Maybe they are used in Minnesota and I just haven't noticed. But I don't routinely drive the wrong way either.


But from what little experience with wrong way drivers I have, myself being guilty for a short distance on an empty road. I can say that you are in a panic mode. If there is any traffic I can see being quite frantic. Why simply stopping and turning around isn't the first course of action I don't know. But our nature says we keep moving forward until a first safe turn around.
And maybe that's what the driver was trying to do, find a break in the median to get back to the correct direction ... one can only hope.



Also in cases of drunk (speculative) driver vs sober (assumed) driver I don't go to 'well what about a cab or taxi service'. I go right to the friends/coworkers. What kind of friend can you be to have drinks and let your buddy do this?
I never let a buddy drive drunk. I never will either.
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      08-02-2016, 10:11 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeineken View Post
I still find it amazing that no one freaks out when they see the red reflectors everywhere. Immediately they should know something isn't right if they aren't blind drunk.
That's because they're not legislated in every state. Arizona has them, California does not, at least not in my area.
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      08-03-2016, 07:39 AM   #31
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My one experience with a wrong way driver was on I-95 in rural South Carolina near Georgia a long time ago in the middle of the afternoon. The driver was in the fast lane thinking it was the slow lane. I witnessed cars moving over suddenly in front of me and saw way too much chrome for the rear of a car that was in my lane. I moved over and when I passed her, I saw that her eyes were as big as saucers (I will never forget that sight) because she had just realized she was going the wrong way. I watched her pull off on the shoulder in my rear view mirror. Thankfully she didn't hit anyone.

We have the colored reflectors in places in SC (at least in our county). They are white, yellow, and red (with a single blue reflector marking fire hydrants).
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      08-03-2016, 08:14 AM   #32
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Amazingly he was apparently going fast 100 mph in the carpool lane at the time of the accident, and traveled over 10 miles on the freeway in the Wong direction. Stated on the 405 and transitioned to I-5 going the wrong way?. Hard to believe/imagine how that's possible at any hour in LA. so cal. Busy interchange at anytime.

http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2016/...an-capistrano/
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      08-03-2016, 08:20 AM   #33
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Map - Sand Canyon Ave to where accident happened.
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      08-03-2016, 09:20 AM   #34
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Could have been a suicide attempt. Who knows. Sad news.
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      08-03-2016, 02:17 PM   #35
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Unhappy Things Are Better Today!

In the past, drunk drivers used to be the favorite topic of comedians! Fortunately, that's no longer the case.

When I was in college and first beginning to drive, I used to get tapped from behind by some drunk who didn't apply the brakes in time. I'd jump out of my car and scream at the SOB, but the guy could barely reply or even stand up.

A study done in Ohio found that between the hours of 1am and 4am, one out of five drivers was drunk behind the wheel.

Another sad fact is drunks going the wrong way is a common and seldom survivable accident.
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