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Killer Texting

killer-textingKiller Texting — June 2, 2009

Texting while driving is a very Dangerous Game.  The Dangerous Game is that the driver will not get into an “Event”, and one defintion of “Event” is fatal collision.

Just about every driver thinks they are great.  If the driver has attended a High Performance Driver Training Program or other advanced driving program then the driver has not been as skilled or trained as best possible.

Dr Phil Show – Killer Texting

high-collision-intersection-ahead-signDr Phil did a show that appeared recently dealing with Killer Texting.  This was a particularlly significant show because the Automotive Tribuen totally agrees that texting while driving is deadly.

In the last couple of decades before involvement with the Automotive Tribune many would say that I was active as a Forensic Engineer who specialized in accident reconstruction, vehicle product liability and vehicle black box technology.  For a period of years my firm analyzed approximately 1% of the annual traffic fatalalities in the US or about 400 annually.  I have done approximately 1,000 depositions and 100 trials and have concluded that there are a lot of ways to get killed.

Staying alive is frequently a 1 second window.  This window means that in the period of 1 second the killer vehicle will be some place ahead or behind of your travel path.  If you are not there when the other vehicle comes along you will not be struck.  On the left is a traffic sign from Ontario, Canada.  It communicates a very clear message.

It is critical to be able to recognize a hazard.  Texting puts the driver in a situation that they do not recognize hazards as far away as possible.  Also, texting takes the hands off the wheel so minor pot holes or debris on the roadway can pull the steering out from the driver’s knee.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

50-mph-distance-equationIIHS has a great deal of information at their web site about texting and highway safety.  Arkansas, California, Utah and Virginia are among the states that have banned texting for all drivers.  Here is a May 2009 report and map which details cellphone and texting bans.  IIHS also has an informative article Teen Drivers Often Ignore Bans On Using Cellphones and Texting.

table-resultsMathematics For Collision

Travelling at a constant 50 mph for one second means that the car will travel a distance of 73′.  A historic time associated with driver perception reaction time when exposed to an unexpected hazard when driving is 1.5 seconds which means that at 50 mph the car would travel a distance of 110′.  With the driver taking their eyes and concentration off the road and then looking up will require a perception reaction greater than the normal time and distance in addition to the fact that the driver does not have both hands on the wheel to control the car.  Very aggressive deceleration (-.7g) results in a stopping distance from 50 mph of 119′ and would take 3.25 seconds.

Many More Fatalities From Texting

cemetary-post-cardTexting is addictive, otherwise drivers would not text when attempting to drive.  If you are going to not be where the wayward car is you must recognize the hazard before it gets to you.  There are some situations where it is impossible to avoid impact.  Those situations might be referred to as an Accident or Unplanned Impact.  Most Accidents are not Accidents they are properly defined as Collision Events.  Texting is a distraction and distractions on the highway causes collisions and collisions can be fatal.

On the left is a copy of an old post card that has been in my office for years.  In a morbid way this postcard seems appropriate.  Brock Yates and Andy Rooney would certainly have something to say about this very important and timely topic of Killer Texting.  It is very likely that each with their own unique brand of humorand communication, would provide a very focused assessment about being a driver that operates the car in a concerned manner.  Dr. Phil and the Automotive Tribune have made their comments about this deadly subject.

Automotive Clothing = A Fashion Statement

Being a well dressed Car Guy or Gal can be a challenge

dsc_0121-largeIt occurred to your Editor that there were some special items of clothing around here that our readers might enjoy taking a took at.  It’s clear that there is a lot of old stuff in my collection with the oldest of these items having survived 40 years.  Each is a heritage piece.  Each item has history and a story to tell.

One Lap Of America

… Continue Reading

GM — Into The Second Century At Year 101

gm-logoThere is a very strong probability that a reader of the Tribune is an automotive enthusiast, otherwise it is pretty unlikely that you would be following along with this gear-clashing chaos that is breaking out between Detroit and Washington.  Today the top story in the Wall Street Journal and the Nightly News have the lead story about Mr. Wagoner being let go by Mr. Obama.  From the Tribune’s position that makes total sense because reflecting on history associated with the Titanic, just ask yourself if Captain Smith would of deserved a bonus for hitting the iceberg?  Well, Mr. Wagoner’s company has continued to lose about 1% market share since he became CEO in 2000.

Last month the Tribune reported about the GM crisis.

… Continue Reading

Brock Yates Leaves Car & Driver

Tribune Editor and Brock Yates in 2003 at the Amelia Island ConcoursBrock Yates, the trivia, blasphemy, and other unprintable news man reports about being fired in his January 30, 2008  article at www.thetruthaboutcars.com where Editor Csabe Csere of Car and Driver magazine “let him go”.

Automotive Tribune Editor (L) and Brock Yates (R) photo taken at the Amelia Island Concours in 2003.

Right now Brock seems to be in a position of re-assessment of options regarding which forum or podium he wants to ascend / tackle / affiliate because of the public’s shift from print to internet.

Brock is absolutely one of the preimminent automotive journalists in the world.  I enjoyed his humor in Car & Driver starting in the late 1960’s.  Brock is opinionated in a manner that probably turns many people off but his writing is always tied to freedom / USA / individual success / upbeat-at-heart even in tough times. … Continue Reading

Random Photos From Automotive Tribune Site

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Richard Kubis Explains Solar Thermal Hybrid Automobile