OT: Ice doesn't get the respect it deserves

Page 1 of 4  
In the past few months we've seen some incredible ice-caused disasters from roof collapses to massive traffic accidents. While I'll go out in the snow when necessary, a huge 2" thick sheet of ice that flew off a car in front of me and shattered my windshield at 70 mph "learned me" that ice was something to respect.
Hope you got a chance to see the super-cooled liquid water demonstration on Nova. As has been noted before, very pure water can be cooled way below 32 degF and when you thrust a metal rod into a bottle of it, it freezes within a few seconds. Their experts proposed such ice could form in the pitot tube (airspeed detector) on flight 447 and so quickly that the de-icers might not be able to overcome it. What's really scary is that Airbus was getting reports of at least 1 failure a week of the pitot.
When the pitot fails, the automatic pilot immediately shuts down. Even with two backup pitot sensors, 447 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean and some investigators believe that the tubes got filled with super-cooled water and the heaters could not compensate. Tests have shown that pilots often don't react in time to regain control of a plane that's stalled on autopilot because of the bad readings. The program also noted that with the extensive use of autopilots, modern aviators don't have the experience needed to cope with badly "out of whack" flight situations.
Ice is believed to have helped sink the USS Thresher. When some brazed joints failed, ballast blow valves outputs that were "caged" for protection formed ice due to venturi cooling and prevented the sub from gaining positive bouyancy and surfacing
http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/uss-thresher.htm
ice caused the O rings on the Challenger to fail:
http://www.oringsusa.com/html/space_shuttle.html
Even the Titanic was no match for a mountain of frozen water.
I'll be glad when the last of it disappears. I think we've seen the last of it for a while in the DC area, but this time of year is tricky and can produce some seriously deadly storms. In Buffalo, the snow and ice would often go into May. )-:
-- Bobby G.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
?

There is was the rivets on the front side panels that were weak. Seconds From Disaster had a show about it.
My guess is you never got the bastard in front of you with the ice. People too lazy to clean their car off should be taken off the road.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I've seen a few of those programs. Some say weak rivets, some say inferior steel, some blame the waterproof compartments that were open at the top like ice cube trays, allowing water to spill into adjacent compartments until the ship was so bow-heavy it caused the ship to break in two. Others say that the Titanic wouldn't have been slit open the way it was had it hit the iceberg squarely. Whatever the metallurgical or navigational causes, I'm still of the mind that it was the big honkin' iceberg and the Captain's desire to set a world speed record that really sent the Titanic on a "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea."

I got the tag number, driver description and make/model but my insurance company didn't do anything helpful with the information. The driver knew what he had done but apparently denied it when contacted by them. Didn't matter much since they replaced the windshield with just a $100 deductible but it taught me a valuable lesson about driving when I know that it's hard-packed ice and not snow flying off the tops of the cars and especially trucks. It was just like having a giant just punch in the windshield and I was exceptionally lucky not to get particles of glass in my eyes.
Now I have a video system in the car to record events for the "next time." Too many bald-faced liars driving out there and I've been bombarded with enough stuff from poorly laden cars and trucks (mattresses, 2 by 4's, tires, a hand truck, a ladder and more) that I felt the expense was more than justified. The problem is that the forward looking camera looks like a small radar gun, and one day I expect to get pulled over for having it. I've been thinking of mounting it further back so that I can also include the image of my speedometer in the video.
-- Bobby G.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Back off a bit?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Bob F wrote:

That is why a responsible driver pays attention and neither speeds nor follows too closely, as it gives him room to maneuver in case of an unforseen incident.
It takes precisely *one* unforseen incident to kill you and/or your family and/or someone else and/or their family when operating a motor vehicle, and if more people understood that simple concept, the number of motor vehicle fatalities would be less than 10 percent of what it is now.
Motor vehicle "accidents" are incredibly rare; the overwheling majority are caused by deliberate recklessness and/or a deliberate lack of attention. It is no different than if you shoot a firearm in a random direction and kill someone, and should be prosecuted in exactly the same way.
Jon
p.s. Sorry for the OT p.p.s. OT penance: the float switch on my sump pump hasn't worked for at least a decade, but I keep it on a 5 minute cycle timer when it rains. I really need to cobble up a new float mechanism.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Smitty Two wrote:

It's not for raising money, it's for saving someone's life. In a perfect world they would suffer the same penalty as someone who goes to a concert and throws a hatchet in the air.
Jon
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
?

Sure it is. Money had nothing to do with it, nor do quotas. I have three policemen in my family.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 2/18/2011 1:38 PM, Jon Danniken wrote:

Yea, if disobey the law, you will be shot. It's for your own safety. :-)
TDD
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I agree, it was 2 sec. back in the day when I was learning to drive, now it's apparently three, never heard of anyone recommending 10, nor do I know where you can achieve it at least on the East Coast. Maybe things are different in Oregon.
I still think that 2 sec. is perfectly adequate for an aware driver in good conditions, but often you can't even get that - but on the flip side, most drivers can't really be considered "aware" either.
nate
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 2/18/2011 1:28 PM N8N spake thus:

Forget "10 seconds". Forget "2 seconds".
All such measures are totally meaningless, since *nobody* can really estimate such distances, unless you have a whole bunch of instrumentation in front of you on your dash, or if you are some kind of strange idiot savant. I know *I* can't figure exactly how far behind someone to stay so that I'll smash into them exactly 2 seconds from the time they slam on their brakes.
And forget "X car lengths for every 10 mph" or some such.
I know there are lots of folks here who like to knock my state of Cal-ee-fon-ia as the "land of fruits and nuts", but 'round heah, we actually have a very reasonable rules for safe following distance. Folks who have just come here sometimes get tripped up on their first driver license test and complain that it's a "trick question", but the correct answer here to "How far should you follow the car in front of you travelling on the freeway?" is:
Far enough behind to make a safe stop.
Simple. Takes into account road conditions, weather conditions, time of day, etc.
--
The phrase "jump the shark" itself jumped the shark about a decade ago.

- Usenet
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Bob F" ( snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com) writes:

10 second rule???? There is a 2 second rule. To follow a 10 second rule, the vehicle in front of you would always be in the next county! I think Smokey was blowing smoke up your ass!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 2/18/2011 12:41 PM, Jon Danniken wrote:

We have an interchange known as "Malfunction Junction" here in downtown Birmingham where I20/59 and I65 commingle and turn a normal commute into a NASCAR event. As I was traveling North on I65 one day, I noticed movement out of the corner of my eye and when I looked, there was a big Ingersoll Rand towed air compressor flipping end over end in the lane next to me. Luckily it didn't hit any vehicle and the next day, state highway repair crews were patching the holes in the concrete caused by the trailer hitch digging in every time that monster compressor landed.
TDD
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Cincinnati is a more of a medium city, but I taught this to hundreds of truck drivers.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJ9DLSnbFTs


THE MOST COMMON DRIVING ERROR
In Smith Systems fifty years of teaching safe driving to over one hundred thousand fleet drivers, the most common poor driving habit we see is inadequate following distance. Our studies show most motorists maintain between one and two seconds behind the vehicle in front of them.
Here are drivers most common reasons for this distance plus some thoughts to consider:
1. I was taught the 2 second following distance when I first learned to drive. Its more than enough.
The rest: http://www.smith-system.com/articles.shtml -----
- gpsman
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Feb 19, 6:59pm, "Stormin Mormon"

legroups.com...
Could you rephrase that, perhaps mix some numbers in it? -----
- gpsman
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Feb 20, 1:13am, "Stormin Mormon"

You misunderstand the technique. You slow, first, i.e., go 3-5 mph slower than the flow of traffic. That will create space to your front.
As traffic passes and changes lanes too close to your front it's pulling away, and has room to continue pulling away (barring vehicles entering the highway) and recreates your following distance for you.
The other facet is using those sight lines to stay way out ahead of your vehicle and making minor adjustments to speed as you see traffic slowing far ahead. -----
- gpsman
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Feb 19, 10:13pm, "Stormin Mormon"

Well, lets see. To start with there is no need to slow from 55 to 40 to increase youi distance, a few mph will do it.
Say people slide into your 'comfort zone' at a rate of 50 per hour.
Each time you slow a bit until the space is reestablished then you are back to your 55.
Each time you have lost one "comfort zoe space"
Thus at the end of the hour you have lost 50 "spaces" for a total distance of what? 1/2 mile? 1 mile?
Also you have lost 50 short periods of under 55mph crusing for another loss of what? Being generous lets call it a couple minutes 55mph cruising time.
End result? you arrive a couple minutes (at most) later. If that is a major problem, perhaps leave a bit earlier or take some prozac and chill a bit. It ain't worth getting your knickers in a bunch.
Harry K
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

...and since you're going slower, another three merge in.

The people behind you get pissed and change lanes to get around the road-hog, then merge in front.

Traffic backs up behind, causing them to slow.

End result? Traffic stops, losing everyone hours not minutes.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Ah, so if you leave more space you can fit even *more* cars on the highway. Got it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Except that it doesn't work.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Except that it's the slow driver, the one you propose, that gets the situation to that point.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.