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Author Topic: Video that demonstrates results of not swerving to avoid a stopped car in lane  (Read 4183 times)
Kevin Warnock
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« on: July 26, 2010, 02:39:43 PM »

There was a thread last week that suggested a bus driver may have lost control by swerving to avoid a stopped SUV. The accident was tragic, with lives lost. I don't think the cause of the accident has been determined yet. It may well be that the driver did not swerve.

While on YouTube today I found a video that shows a shocking collision between a large truck and a car that was pulling over for a police stop. The video camera in the police car captured the truck/car collision. This is a horrible video to watch, as the car driver probably died.

The part of the video that is educational is that the truck didn't seem to be much affected by the collision, as it appears to continue straight and in control, at least until the short video ends.

Here's the video:

How not to pull over for a ticket


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« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2010, 02:45:20 PM »

Did the trooper say>>  he's gone??

That was a impact!
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« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2010, 03:50:15 PM »

Near the end, the trooper says, "he's gone" and then at the very end the sound of big tires skidding-which tells me the truck driver was asleep and didn't put his brakes on well after the collision.  Sad.

P.S.-I just saw a video on the new Ford Police cruiser, and it can survive a 75mph rear end collision-now that's strong!  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2010, 06:08:02 PM »

Glad them troopers are out there saving lives! fcol (for crying out loud).
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« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2010, 07:28:41 PM »

We had several incidents when we came back from Florida last spring and almost every time it was a patrolman having someone pulled over. Strange thinking they are supposed to be making the road safer to drive. Instead they are causing hazards!
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« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2010, 07:44:33 PM »

Well, from the trooper's standpoint the downside is he can not issue the car driver a citation, but on the upside he can give the truck driver a whopper.
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« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2010, 07:54:10 PM »

clearly the trooper wasn't happy the car was still in the travel lane. I'm of the opinion that cop is lucky to be alive.And sure glad he is , I might need to call him sometime, for help.
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« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2010, 08:19:13 PM »

Steve,

Absolutely true, but maybe the pullover policy needs to be reevaluated.  I have seen patrol cars with loud speakers so the officer can tell a driver to continue to the next exit or safe area.  It is questionable whether any freeway shoulder pullover is safe.
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« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2010, 03:38:38 AM »

I saw an incident on one of those TV police-chase programs where a police car tried to stop a car on a UK motorway, but instead of stopping the driver had continued to the next exit and stopped there. The comment from the police officer afterwards had been to the effect "he was perfectly within his rights to do that".

In this incident it's not good enough for the police officer to say "Get off the road!" to himself, while pulling his own car completely off the road and leaving the target car unprotected on the shoulder (which is, after all, supposed to be a safe place to stop). As has been said, I hope this tragic incident led to a major re-evaluation of police procedures

Jeremy
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« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2010, 05:46:27 AM »

The car was almost off the road & traffic had room to pass IF they were centered in the travel lane.

The truck hit the car full square in the rear which means that the truck driver was no where near the center of the travel lane & obviously not in complete control of his vehicle.

I'm not a fan of random revenue enhancement backed up with deceitful lies attempting to justify it as a concern for public safety . . . BUT . . .
The cop had the good sense to leave a sizeable buffer between his car & traffic.
The car pulled over chose to park like they were at the grocery store.
The truck was not in the travel lane.

So, how is this anywhere near the cop's fault? Seems to me the logic placing blame on the cop is as flawed as placing all the blame on the car for speeding (or whatever it was that caused the police to pull them over.)

The car could have reduced his exposure to risk by pulling well off the road. The distraction of being pulled over is significant, but you need to continue to look out for your own safety.
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Ed Hackenbruch
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« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2010, 06:06:14 AM »

How many times have you seen a car pulled over on the shoulder of a hiway and it isn't all of the ways off of the road?  Seems like a lot of people have no concept of where their @$# end is. Grin  They think that if the front end of the car is off of the pavement that the rear must be off of it too.
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« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2010, 06:37:47 AM »

. . .  Seems like a lot of people have no concept of where their @$# end is. Grin  . . . .

Many also have no clue as to how big theirs is either.  Wink
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« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2010, 06:39:25 AM »

Whilst I completely agree that the accident was caused by the actions of both the car driver and the truck driver, the point I was making is that it was the police officer's job to do his level best to protect the citizen who had (stupidly, perhaps) placed himself in harm's way as a result of following the officer's request to pull over.

Standard procedure should surely be for the police vehicle to remain square behind the target vehicle (and with lights flashing etc) until such time as the target vehicle is out of danger. If the target vehicle stops in a stupid place then the police officer can take aggressive steps to encourage it to move out of danger as rapidly as possible - but he at no time should he simply be abandoning it to it's fate.

Just my opinion of course - and it's very easy to criticise and over-analyse the actions of a few moments.

Jeremy
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« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2010, 07:05:36 AM »

As sad as this is, the cop car position had absolutely no bearing what so ever on where the path of the truck. It was broad day light with good visibility!
If the cop had been behind the car, we wouldn't have had the video.

The cop was setting the example of how to pull over - the car's poor choice should not require the cop to put his life in greater peril.


The bottom line is that the best we can do is look out for ourselves by being aware of our surroundings, potential hazards, & the fact that others may not be paying attention.
While that won't change the fact that s#!t happens.  Sad  It may minimize the negative impact.
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« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2010, 08:06:05 AM »

This happened so fast that the cop did not have time to get on his loudspeaker to tell the guy to pull over more. As it was, even if the guy was pulled over more he still would have gotten hit and if it had been 5 seconds later the cop would have been out of his car and been hit too.  This was just a bad deal all around but could have been a lot worse than it was.
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« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2010, 09:26:43 AM »

Hence, since the supposed purpose of traffic enforcement is safety, the police should have a safer way to do this.  The officer must have been behind the car at some point to get his attention and pull him over.  That would have been the time to get on the speaker and tell him to procede to the next exit, turnout, or whatever.  To say that a shoulder pullover is safe if everyone does what they should is irrelevant.  People don't always do what they should.  The truck driver was obviously inattentive, but it looks like he hit the car as if he were following it.  He merely failed to notice it had stopped.  Lots of rear-end collisions happen just that way.

My complaint would be the the traffic enforcement is again a revenue tool and proceeding to a safe place is considered a waste of time and therefore cash.  It is not the officers fault.  It is the fault of a policy that places revenue above safety.  I agree with Jeremy that in such a situation it is the officers job to protect the citizen.  I would guess that if that was what was required, the officer would find a safe place to pull over.
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« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2010, 10:30:29 AM »

I'm betting that the driver was half asleep or distracted.

The impact is almost centered on the back of the car -- the truck was FOLLOWING IT as it moved over.

That's why the truck keeps going straight and doesn't brake until after the impact.

As far as the trooper saying anything, there is a strong possibility that the driver was not only still alive, but not even in critical condition, because the impact was right on the strongest support structure of the car (rear end), in the direction that the car was pointed, and much of the impact shock would be absorbed by the seat and mounts.
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« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2010, 11:37:01 AM »

This is why many states have a move over law, this happens to be Florida's;

(b)  When an authorized emergency vehicle making use of any visual signals is parked or a wrecker displaying amber rotating or flashing lights is performing a recovery or loading on the roadside, the driver of every other vehicle, as soon as it is safe:

1.  Shall vacate the lane closest to the emergency vehicle or wrecker when driving on an interstate highway or other highway with two or more lanes traveling in the direction of the emergency vehicle or wrecker, except when otherwise directed by a law enforcement officer. If such movement cannot be safely accomplished, the driver shall reduce speed as provided in subparagraph 2.

2.  Shall slow to a speed that is 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit when the posted speed limit is 25 miles per hour or greater; or travel at 5 miles per hour when the posted speed limit is 20 miles per hour or less, when driving on a two-lane road, except when otherwise directed by a law enforcement officer.


However this won't help if someone is asleep at the wheel.
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« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2010, 01:25:56 PM »

. . . in such a situation it is the officers job to protect the citizen.  I would guess that if that was what was required, the officer would find a safe place to pull over.

The car drove past an exit to stop on the side of the road!

Looked like as safe a place as you could want to have available to you & yet the car drove past it!  Roll Eyes
How much do you expect a cop to be able to do? Seems to me to be an unrealistic expectation developed in order to justify blaming anyone, other than ones self, for the poor choices one made.

If people obeyed the posted traffic control devices, there wouldn't be any revenue to be collected.  Shocked
Since they aren't following the existing traffic controll devices, what is the magic that would make them follow the one requiring a safe place to pull over?

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him think!  Wink
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« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2010, 02:36:24 PM »

Kyle,

You're right.  I did not notice that the car passed up the exit to pull onto the shoulder.
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« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2010, 08:10:54 PM »

One of the commentors on the u-tube site supposedly read a news article about this acident and posted the following,

"The reason for the truck being so far over was that another car had pulled out in front of him and slammed on the brakes (why, I have no idea). The truck swerved right to avoid that driver and ended up hitting the driver that got pulled over (who was too far over the line to begin with)."

If you look you can see after the truck passes by the cop and cleans out the stopping vehicle, there is a car on the left side of the truck that the truck is passing. Quite possibly the one who created the unsafe situation was one only one to be unaffected.

It's a sorry situation (for the truck driver in this instance) when you have nowhere to go. 
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Kevin Warnock
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« Reply #21 on: July 27, 2010, 09:15:12 PM »

With regard to the YouTube comment cited above: "The reason for the truck being so far over was that another car had pulled out in front of him and slammed on the brakes (why, I have no idea). The truck swerved right to avoid that driver and ended up hitting the driver that got pulled over (who was too far over the line to begin with)."

Does this suggest that when driving a bus, we should try to prepare to not swerve when there is a sudden obstruction in our lane? That's the reason I posted the video in the first place, is to get some discussion going about that.

Had the truck driver not swerved, he would have hit a car already going nearly freeway speed, so the damage probably wouldn't have been life threatening to the driver of the car.

The video is remarkable in how it shows a stopped car can just be accelerated to freeway speeds nearly instantly by a large vehicle hitting it like a truck. I'm guessing the truck driver was not injured at all. Does anyone know?

I know this is a sad situation. The reason I want to discuss it is I never really thought about what I should do in the bus if something suddenly blocks my lane. I am inclined to just keep going without swerving, but I would like to make the most informed, ethically correct decision I can. Also, would some legal liability attach if I didn't try to swerve?

Of course, if there is plenty of time to react, I would stop or safely change lanes. I am only proposing to not swerve in these sudden situations like shown in the video.

Thanks
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« Reply #22 on: July 28, 2010, 04:54:41 AM »

In NC we have a move over law also, but you need to see the trooper's lights to know to pull over.  Here is a problem that I have seen several times and is going to cause the death of a trooper if they don't change their SOP's.  NC troopers go to the drivers side of the stopped car and to protect themselves, they always place the troopers car further over towards or in the traveled lane.  Even if it is in the traveled lane to the point of blocking the lane.  Now to really make it dangerous, they have taken the warning lights off the top of the cars and put them in the back windows.  So, you are not aware of the lane being blocked until the car in front of you moves over.  The other day I was towing a box trailer with a friend following me.  I got surprised by a stopped trooper that had is car in the traveled lane and made a last minute lane change, my friend was surprised and was only able to avoid the troopers car because there was a motorcycle beside him and he had enough room to get around the trooper's car. This all happened at 60 mph, just think how much faster things happen at 70 or 80 mph.

       They need to put lights back on top of their cars, us their PA's to move really OFF the roads, and go to the passenger side of the stopped car.

        Sorry, I got wound up Smiley

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« Reply #23 on: July 28, 2010, 06:37:12 AM »

As a matter of principal, I try to avoid sudden maneuvers & stick to the current course. But I don't always end up doing that.

As I've said before, you don't know what you're gonna do in that type of situation. Only after you see a video will you know what you did.
I've been in some situations like that & it amazes me how much information your mind can process instantly. But, you have to already KNOW your surroundings, you ain't gonna have time to look.

Bottom line is driving down the road isn't like watching TV.
You have to be fully aware of all the traffic around you & any thing else that may affect your planned route.

The trucker screwed up by reacting to the first thing he saw without considering anything else.
I may do the exact same thing the trucker did next time, But, I hope not. . . .
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« Reply #24 on: July 28, 2010, 06:49:04 AM »

There are a lot of deer and elk on the roads around here most of the year. We get a little respite for a few weeks this time of year. People get hurt (and killed) all the time by swerving to avoid them. Swerving is a natural reaction. You really have to mentally rehearse not to do it. Any vehicle, especially a heavy one like a bus, will be impossible to keep between the lines if you have any speed.

JC
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« Reply #25 on: July 28, 2010, 07:56:26 AM »

I always say, "if you want to see how stupid people are, put them behind a steering wheel."  The great equalizer the steering wheel,  being a policeman is the last thing in this world I want to be, theirs is a thankless endeavour!  Nature has a way of thinning the gene pool out!  Truckers scare me to death and I'm fearless!  The shoulder needs to be 20 feet wide to be safe, and I'm not sure that is wide enough!
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« Reply #26 on: July 28, 2010, 08:47:16 AM »

I've found that being angry at whatever is in your way helps to avoid the swerve reflex.  Grin  Shocked  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #27 on: July 28, 2010, 10:07:00 AM »

Does this suggest that when driving a bus, we should try to prepare to not swerve when there is a sudden obstruction in our lane?

You want to always be evaluating the situation around you.  Don't make REFLEXIVE moves -- if you don't see a reason to do something different, keep doing what you are doing, which is generally going straight in your lane.
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« Reply #28 on: July 28, 2010, 06:15:47 PM »

One of the commentors on the u-tube site supposedly read a news article about this acident and posted the following,

"The reason for the truck being so far over was that another car had pulled out in front of him and slammed on the brakes (why, I have no idea). The truck swerved right to avoid that driver and ended up hitting the driver that got pulled over (who was too far over the line to begin with)."

If you look you can see after the truck passes by the cop and cleans out the stopping vehicle, there is a car on the left side of the truck that the truck is passing. Quite possibly the one who created the unsafe situation was one only one to be unaffected.

 
It's a sorry situation (for the truck driver in this instance) when you have nowhere to go. 

Reminds me I was driving down an interstate in the bus and saw someone ahead pulled over. I was going to change lanes to the left, but there was a car passing me.
 The guy passing me way too quickly pulls in front of me and hits his brakes to rubberneck someone changing a tire!!!!!
 I was so busy with both feet on the brake pedal trying to not rear end him that I did not think that here was a perfect opportunity to clean up the gene pool a bit. That dumb self centered #%&^ has no idea how close he came to being a statistic. I wonder how many accidents people like that cause??    JIm
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« Reply #29 on: July 28, 2010, 06:26:35 PM »

Lots!
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« Reply #30 on: July 28, 2010, 09:37:41 PM »

I googled Greyhound bus crash images. The photos are devastating! The question here is to swerve or not to swerve. The safest procedure told here is to drive straight in a line and brake. In fact on a recent trip I had a deer run in front of me in the bus and when it got to the center of the bus it turned and was trying to run away from my bus, but going in the same direction and only about 3 feet in front of my windshield. I hit my breaks and was able to bring the bus to a controlled stop without hitting the deer or seriously injurying anyone (my daughter however fell over with some boxes falling on her).

In photo after photo I see the front end of the buses WIPED out where the driver's seat is. This would seem to suggest to me that if traveling without family, possibly the best course of action would sometimes be to lay the bus on it's side rather then plow through something.

Many big rigs have HUGE plates of steel on the front as well as a bunch of metal and the engine in front before an obstruction reaches the driver, we however have little or nothing........
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« Reply #31 on: July 29, 2010, 05:13:36 AM »

My opinion- making major course alterations at speed often changes your status from a participant to a spectator.
Minor course corrections at speed will allow you to prolong your active role as a continued participant in the event.

So, YES, you can steer & maintain control - but you shouldn't swerve.

If I see that I'm going to hit something crossing in front of me, I'll 'try' to just miss the trailing edge (this will give them more time to clear my path & if not, it will transfer less energy as a sudden stop & more as a spin).

If I'm in the bus, I'm going to try to drift to the right to minimize the compaction of the driver's seat.


All that is assuming leaving a safe following distance & not over driving my line of sight didn't work as well as planned.  Wink  Cool  Grin


Hmmm, maybe, we should be pushing our toad instead of pulling it . . . .  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #32 on: July 29, 2010, 05:45:16 AM »

The question of what to do when confronting animals is a difficult one; a fox did quite a bit of damage to the front of my Lexus a couple of years ago, and I decided afterwards that the collision had happened because both I and the fox had reacted badly. I was traveling 70 - 75mph around a long, curving link road between two motorways. I was the only car on the wide, two-lane road, but the curve meant that I could only see maybe 200 yards or so of road in front of me - but that was still plenty for me to make a 'carefully considered' reaction when the fox ran out in front of me. The fox was running across the road from left to right, and I had sufficient time to decide not to slow down at all, but just make a minor course-correction so that I past well behind the fox, who would by that time be most of the way across the road.

The fox hadn't seen me at this point, and when he did he panicked and tried to return the way he came - result, one dead fox and one damaged car - in fact I had to stop the car on the motorway shoulder and tie the front end back together with string before I could continue.

So, if I had 'over-reacted' by braking hard, or 'under-reacted' by doing nothing the fox would still be around today; it was the fact that I reacted in a controlled way, coupled with the unpredictable actions of the other party (which could equally well have been a child or a stupid driver), which led to the collision.

Jeremy
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« Reply #33 on: July 29, 2010, 06:50:52 AM »

To me, it ain't "over reacting" until you loose control or drive into an unknown area (like changing lanes without knowing what is or isn't there).

Hard braking isn't over reacting unless it causes loss of control.

Around here in the country mountains (twisty curvy roads), if you do the posted speed limit, you are driving right at your vision limits, so you better stay prepared. There are all kinds of animals on the road - from cats & dogs, to cows or bears. Not to mention the occasional cyclist!


Driving is full of unpredictable events, we need to base our actions accordingly & hedge our bets whenever we can. 
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