Posts Tagged Dense Fog

Is The 2-Second Rule Good Enough?

How long does it take to stop your car – if the car in front of you stops on a dime?  The answer is   …   it depends.

 

First, our brains need to compute that the car has stopped and that we need to stop right away, or we’ll crash into them.  That might take a second.  It might take longer if we’re having a conversation or the kids are yelling in the back of the car.  Or, we’re eating or talking on our phones.  Sometimes, we might be daydreaming about a problem that we have and that we need to solve.

 

Visual reminder to start counting at "Zero" - instead of starting at "One", when counting to "Three".

It might take two or three seconds to realize that we’d better stop right away.  Race car drivers are considered perfect if they can stop within a half a second.  None of us are perfect and we do have those distractions that I just mentioned.

 

Why don’t we have more rear-end crashes – then?

 

Most of the time the car in front of us can’t stop immediately because it has its own momentum and that gives us a second or two to notice that they put their brakes on and we’d better stop, too.

 

There are exceptions, of course.  Maybe they weren’t paying attention and a semi-truck stopped suddenly and they didn’t notice.  In that case, they would smash into the Semi and that wouldn’t give YOU time to stop, either.  This is when a driver gets seriously injured.  Pay attention.

 

One time, I was a passenger in a car and the driver WAS paying attention. But, it was twilight and there was a truck in front of him.  He had a bunch of wooden pallets in the back of the truck and one of the pallets suddenly went flying off the truck – onto the road.  The driver responded quickly – but, not quickly enough to avoid an accident.

 

The underbelly of his car suffered quite a bit of damage.  He didn’t have total body coverage and it cost several thousand to get his car fixed.  At least no one in the vehicle suffered any physical injuries.


The main problem is that if the car in front of you brakes heavily, the driver behind him might not even have time to react before hitting it.

 

Keep the following in mind:

  • Motorcycles take longer to stop than cars do.
  • Trucks take even longer to stop than do either motorcycles or cars.
  • Cars that have worn out tires take longer to stop. Different things affect the stop distance – such as, the type of tire, how it’s inflated, the suspension of the tires and how they are balanced.
  • If you have anti-lock brakes, (ABS), then you’re in a better situation than someone that does not have anti-lock brakes.
  • Older drivers can have reaction times that exceed 1.5 seconds.

 

Is the 2 second rule enough time – to avoid a collision?

 

The total stopping distance consists of your thinking distance and your braking distance. Under ideal conditions, you’d have one second to realize that you need to stop and one second to bring the auto to a stop, or to take an evasive action.  Technically, two seconds is not enough when you factor in reaction times.

 

When should you use the four-second rule?

 

Increase your following distance to four seconds per car length, if it’s wet or icy out.  That will give you more time and more room to stop properly. 

 


We Will Fight For You!


Call the Law Office of Gerald Fugit at 432-301-9252.

What To Do If Your Car Skids Out of Control

Image of a skidding automobile in Japan

Credit: https://carfromjapan.com/article/driving-tips/a-simple-way-to-do-a-burnout-in-an-automatic-transmission-car/

Your car goes into a skid when there isn’t enough friction between the tire and road. I discovered that for myself, at my first driving experience.

My first “on the road” driver’s training was terrifying.  I did okay at first – but, then I had to enter a big turn on a highway. No one had warned me that I needed to slow down to do that.

I was driving too fast for the turn and the driving instructor’s car went into a sharp spin as I sped out of the sharp curve of the road. Super scary!

Luckily for the driving instructor, his car, my own life, my future children and grandchildren’s life and the Others on the road – he had the type of car that could take control of my driving at any time. He had his own driving wheel and everything.

Your car can skid when driving in wet or icy conditions, black ice, snow, when you stop suddenly, or you enter a turn at a high speed.

 

Here are a few tips for preventing skids:

  1. Make sure your tires have adequate treads. Tires are made with a “wear bar” in the treads. If the level of the tire reaches the level of the “wear bar” – it’s time to get new tires. You can also check your tires by inserting a penny into the tread upside-down. The head of Lincoln should be at least partially covered.
  1. Drive slowly in wet, icy, or snowy conditions.
  1. Keep a good distance between you and the car ahead of you. They recommend about four car lengths for every ten miles per hour. If you are travelling 40 miles per hour, keep 16 car lengths between cars. This way, you’ll have plenty of time to react if the driver in front of you stops. You can definitely skid if you stop too quickly.
  1. Slow down before entering a curve or bend. Taking a curve too quickly or braking suddenly while going around a bend can cause skids.

 

TWO DIFFERENT KINDS OF SKIDS

 

Front Wheel Skids:

A front-wheel skid happens – when the whole car starts to slide in the wrong direction. This type of skid is when you go into a curve too quickly.

If your car enters a front-wheel skid, ease off the accelerator. With your eyes focused on where you’re supposed to drive, try to steer the car back on course. If you don’t regain control of the car within two to three seconds, THEN depress the brake lightly. If your car doesn’t have anti-lock (ABS) brakes, pump the brakes lightly.

Braking will help to transfer power to the front of the car.  Don’t press those brakes too fast. This will make your wheels lock and you’ll skid all the more. Slow and steady is the rule here.

 

Rear Wheel Skids:

A rear wheel skid happens – when the back end of the car slides out of control, either to the left or the right. They also call this “fishtailing”.  I’ve done this, too.

Some people will tell you to “turn into the skid.”  Hmm – maybe. If the back end of your car slides out to the right – don’t turn sharply, especially if you’re driving at a high speed. Only turn towards the right enough to straighten out the car and bring the front wheels back in line with the rear wheels.

Slowly ease off the accelerator. Avoid the temptation to brake suddenly. Slow and steady is the rule here, too.

—————————————————————————————-

The most important thing to remember is not to panic. You need to keep calm if you go into a skid, because your “instinctive” reactions are likely to do more harm than good.

Also, keep your eyes focused on a target in the distance. Choose a point further down the road, in the direction where you need to be headed.  Stay focused on this object. With this target in view, you’ll be better able to redirect your car so that it is once again traveling in the right direction.

 

Call our office if you’ve been injured because someone drove their car out of control and crashed into you.

Image of a skidding automobile in Japan



We Will Fight For You!


Call the Law Office of Gerald Fugit at 432-301-9252.

 

 

 

Should the Kobe Bryant Family Sue for Wrongful Death?

Picture of Kobe Bryant, his wife and four daughters.

Credit: https://www.kptv.com/

On Sunday, Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others were traveling by helicopter to a basketball game, when it crashed in Calabasas, California. The group were going to a youth basketball game at Kobe’s Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, CA.

 

It’s been confirmed that the other victims were Bryant’s daughter, Gianna Bryant, Sarah Chester, her daughter, Payton, John Altobelli, Kerri Altobelli, their daughter, Alyssa Altobelli, and Christina Mauser, who was an assistant girls’ basketball coach for a private school. The pilot, Ara Zobayan, also passed away.

 

So many people are devastated by this terrible loss of lives.  Kobe was a true hero to many people. He was such an inspiration! We mourn those poor souls and send our condolences to their families.

 

We might want to analyze why and how this happened:

  • The helicopter was not equipped with a Terrain Awareness Warning System. This could have alerted the pilot that he was flying too close to the mountain.
  • There was crash of the Sikorsky S-76 in Galveston, Texas, in 2004, that killed 10 people. This crash prompted the FAA to recommend to “all existing and new U.S. registered turbine-powered roto-craft certified for six or more passenger seats be equipped with a Terrain Awareness Warning System.” However, this FAA regulation was not mandated.
  • It was densely foggy out. During the flight, the pilot radioed the air traffic tower at Burbank Airport, to request permission to fly under special visual flight rules.
  • Some experts raised questions as to whether the helicopter should have even been flying. Weather conditions on Sunday morning caused the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department to ground its fleet of choppers.
  • It was ruled to be a high-impact crash. The helicopter hit the mountain at about 1,085 feet. They know this because someone in the surrounding neighborhood turned in an audio of the helicopter, as it made a rapid descent and crashed into the mountainside.
  • There was no “black box” in the helicopter and the investigation could be hindered by that.
  • Part of the investigation will be evaluating the pilot’s judgment about flying in foggy conditions.
  • The pilot asked for air traffic controllers to provide “flight following” assistance, but was told the craft was too low.
  • In his final message, the pilot told air traffic controllers that he was climbing to avoid a layer of cloud. The last radar contact was about 9:45 am.
  • Aviation experts say the accident might have been caused by the pilot becoming disoriented in the fog.
  • A crash doesn’t just happen. There has to be a cause.

 

Investigations are ongoing. Those are the facts that they’ll need to analyze.

 

Will the families of the Kobe Bryant plane crash sue for Wrongful Death?  We shall see.  Are they eligible to file a claim?  If one of them were a member of my family – I would file a claim in their memory.

 

Other attorneys are watching this case, too.  Click here for more information.

 

If you or a family member need more information regarding personal injury claims – Call the Law Office of Gerald Fugit at 432-301-9252.

Picture of Kobe Bryant, his wife and four daughters.