Posts Tagged Fatal Injury

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.

Only a Fool Follows the 2-Second Rule

What is the two-second rule of driving?

 

In order to adequately stop in time to not smash into the car in front of you in traffic, you need to keep a minimum of a two second ‘space cushion’ of stopping distance between you and the car ahead of you – at 30 mph or less.

 

To find this distance while driving – eyeball some object on the side of the road, like a billboard sign.  After the car ahead of you passes the object, count two seconds. If you pass the object within two seconds, you’re driving too close to the car in front of you.  You’ll need to remember to pay attention during these two-second calculations to make sure that other roadside objects, don’t come out of nowhere.Diagram that shows how to measure the stopping distance between your car and the car in front of you.

Credit: https://sites.google.com/site/johnparsonsadi/2-second-rule

The two-second rule is not sufficient for all speeds. The two seconds between cars is only relevant for cars at the lower speeds. You’ll need a much longer stopping distance when you’re driving faster.

 

The calculation for the time needed between two cars to allow the trailing car enough distance to come to a complete stop before hitting the leading car that had to stop immediately – is as follows:

 

Given a braking distance of 57 feet, (according to the Iowa Department of Transportation), when traveling at 30 miles per hour (30 mph = 44 feet/second), you need to have 1.3 seconds between you and the car ahead of you. So, you’ll need 57 feet in order to stop 44 feet/second=1.3 seconds.

 

But, our brains need time to process the information, decide to brake and then, to signal our feet to slam on the brakes. Using an average reaction time of 0.0000000000475, or 1.5 seconds, (from by the Iowa Department of Transportation), the total time needed to stop is: 1.3 seconds (braking time) + 1.5 seconds (reaction time)=2.8 seconds total.

 

 

At 60 mph, the time needed between vehicles comes out to over four seconds.

 

 

So why doesn’t the two-second rule work?  SCIENCE. The reason is that the energy required to stop is dependent on the force of friction (F) over a distance (x) (W = FΔx) and is also equal to the change in kinetic energy, which is dependent on the mass (m) and speed (v) (ΔKE = ½mv2), which means that FΔx=12mv2.

Credit: https://www.cunesower.com/everyday-science-two-second-rule/

 

If we double the speed (v), the distance (x) is quadrupled (22 = 4), meaning more stopping distance is necessary at high speeds than predicted by the two-seconds rule. Here’s a video that might help:

 

 

A good approximation would be to add a second to your reaction speed (1.5 seconds), between cars for every 20 mph that you’re driving. That works out to about three seconds for city traffic and four to five seconds of stopping distance for highway traffic. Apply a couple more seconds between cars in order to safely stop if the road is wet or slippery.

 

If another driver was following too close to you and you’ve been injured as a result of their actions, you may be entitled to compensation.  It always depends on circumstances – but, your damages might include:

  • Reimbursement for your medical expenses,
  • Repair or replacement of your vehicle,
  • Compensation for pain and suffering,
  • Compensation for lost income.

 


We Will Fight For You!


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

Make the Streets Safer

A large part of defensive driving is being prepared for the unexpected. Defensive driving has been shown to reduce the number of traffic incidents.

The road can be a dangerous place. You cannot control the actions of other drivers. You need to depend on your own actions while driving.

One of the best defensive driving tips is to just pay attention. People who drive while distracted don’t see important things happening in front of them. And, then it’s too late.

You could ram into the vehicle in front of you if you look away from the road and don’t notice traffic slowing down.

Image of a female driver, with a tree in the front grill of her vehicle.

To avoid dangerous accidents while driving:

• Put your smartphone up while you are driving.
• If you are feeling tired, pull over and take a nap.
• Don’t daydream or apply makeup while driving.

 

People often get into accidents without realizing that danger was there until after the crash  has happened. This is especially common when the other car pulls out in front of you. You’ll need to respond quickly or you’ll get hit.

 

You’ve not been paying enough attention to the road if you feel like a car appeared out of nowhere!

 

One way to prevent this from happening is to scan intersections and your mirrors. If you constantly scan the around you, you might be able to avoid accidents.

Too many fender benders happen simply because someone is driving too close to the car in front of them. Don’t tailgate!

 

If you need to stop suddenly, you could end up rear-ending them if they have to stop suddenly. Try to keep at least two car lengths between your car and the car in front of you. If you’re driving in bad weather, leave even more space because it takes longer to stop in slippery conditions. Brake early and often. Don’t wait until the last second to stop.

 

If you see a car swerving on the road – what might happen next?

 

Whether you see a drunk driver or loose materials in an open truck, do your best to get out of their way and avoid that dangerous situation.

You could turn leave the freeway or move into a lane that gives you enough room to pass safely. You might want to report the situation to the highway patrol – after you turn onto a different road.

 

Your goal as a defensive driver, is to spot traffic risks and hazards and predict what could happen if you don’t take immediate action.

 

Image of a semi-truck that jumped the guardrail.

 

Make the streets safer, by being a Defensive Driver. Not everyone will follow the rules. If you have a traffic accident – call the Law Office of Gerald Fugit to get you out of a jam.



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.