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'[OT]: Seatbelts - was: detecting emergency vehicle'
2004\06\15@233803 by Robert Ussery

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face
One thing I haven't seen covered in this discussion is the slippery slope
argument. First it was airbags. Now it's seatbelts. Next?

I was comparing the relative size of an F-150 I was stopped at a light with
today with my Miata. Yikes! In any significant accident, my car would be
crushed, and probably me with it.
What's to keep the guv'ment from deciding that driving my Miata exposes me
to too much risk of injury, veggie-dom, or death? I'm aware that driving my
Miata in a truck and SUV rich environment carries certain risks, and I'm
willing to take them for the fun of driving my car. Should the government be
able to decide that its interest in preserving my health and well-being
should override my desire to own and drive my Miata? Given the precedent of
mandatory seatbelt useage - hell yeah! Scary thought.

The same argument can be made for motorcycle riders. Fortunately, here in
Colorado, the state has taken what I consider the right approach - mandatory
advanced training to ride motorcycles. I think advanced training, while
sometimes an inconvenience, is certainly a good solution to all the various
traffic problems we've been discussing. OTOH, I think it would have been a
better solution to offer incentives, but that's another topic altogether...


- Robert

_______________________________________________
"The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the
government and I'm here to help."
- Ronald Reagan


>{Original Message removed}

2004\06\16@001856 by hilip Stortz

picon face
excellent point, and a large part of why i drive an explorer, and an
older one which does not roll too easily unless you don't know how to
drive something that isn't a car and don't pay any attention to the
vehicle handling.  i've done the test where you swerve left to miss a
dear in the head lights, see another and have to swerve back to the
right, no problem, the vehicle has more than good enough feel to know
how much stability is left.  i've lost a vehicle to someone running a
red light, and had most of the damage done to my back by someone running
a stop sign, both in perfect daytime visibility, neither driver was
intoxicated or impaired by anything more than stupidity or being in a
hurry.  the next time someone crashes me, i won't be the losing vehicle
if i can help it, and i've avoided plenty of accidents where people
seemed to be trying very hard to crash, very hard.  for one thing, i was
a pizza driver and most of our business was at the college, funny thing,
friday and saturday nights people get drunk and forget where all the
stops signs are as they zoom the 5 or 10 blocks home.  it was pretty consistent.

Robert Ussery wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2004\06\16@012508 by Jake Anderson

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this inline replying could get to be a habit
lol damn its so cold here i keep shivering and hitting keys twice,

> {Original Message removed}

2004\06\16@064739 by rixy04

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Reducing the maximum speed limit to 30 mph on all highways and 15 mph on all
side roads. This will reduce the auto deaths by 96%. ;-)
Rick

Robert Ussery wrote:

> One thing I haven't seen covered in this discussion is the slippery slope
> argument. First it was airbags. Now it's seatbelts. Next?

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2004\06\16@085422 by John Ferrell

face picon face
More education is usually a good thing.
It would be nice if the other drivers on the road were aware of how far it
takes to stop a 24 foot Motor home towing a trailer with a back hoe before
they tempt fate.

There was a time when insurance companies frowned on seat belts (what are
you going to do that needs them?) and refused coverage if you installed a
roll bar.

I hope you have as much fun with your Miata as I did with my '49 Chevy
Convertable but with less risk than I experienced!
John Ferrell
http://DixieNC.US

----- Original Message -----
From: "Robert Ussery" <spam_OUTuavscienceTakeThisOuTspamFRII.COM>
To: <.....PICLISTKILLspamspam@spam@MITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Tuesday, June 15, 2004 11:36 PM
Subject: Re: [OT]: Seatbelts - was: detecting emergency vehicles. Radar
fools & Red light cams


> One thing I haven't seen covered in this discussion is the slippery slope
> argument. First it was airbags. Now it's seatbelts. Next?
>
> I was comparing the relative size of an F-150 I was stopped at a light
with
> today with my Miata. Yikes! In any significant accident, my car would be
> crushed, and probably me with it.
> What's to keep the guv'ment from deciding that driving my Miata exposes me
> to too much risk of injury, veggie-dom, or death? I'm aware that driving
my
> Miata in a truck and SUV rich environment carries certain risks, and I'm
> willing to take them for the fun of driving my car. Should the government
be
> able to decide that its interest in preserving my health and well-being
> should override my desire to own and drive my Miata? Given the precedent
of
> mandatory seatbelt useage - hell yeah! Scary thought.
>
> The same argument can be made for motorcycle riders. Fortunately, here in
> Colorado, the state has taken what I consider the right approach -
mandatory
> advanced training to ride motorcycles. I think advanced training, while
> sometimes an inconvenience, is certainly a good solution to all the
various
> traffic problems we've been discussing. OTOH, I think it would have been a
> better solution to offer incentives, but that's another topic
altogether...
>
>
> - Robert
>
> _______________________________________________
> "The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the
> government and I'm here to help."
> - Ronald Reagan
>
>
> >{Original Message removed}

2004\06\16@110952 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Wed, Jun 16, 2004 at 06:49:13AM -0400, rixy04 wrote:
> Reducing the maximum speed limit to 30 mph on all highways and 15 mph on all
> side roads. This will reduce the auto deaths by 96%. ;-)

Imbalance the safety/security vs. convenience equation.

>
> > One thing I haven't seen covered in this discussion is the slippery slope
> > argument. First it was airbags. Now it's seatbelts. Next?

Isn't next obvious? There is an easy and now technologically feasible was
to virtually eliminate auto accidents: don't let people drive.

One concept, and there are folks out there working on it (no reference handy
unfortunately) is building transit systems by linking cabs into long trains.
The cabs drive themselves by whatever means (magalev, rail, etc) and the linked
train can fly down the track at over 100 MPH. When you get towards the
destination, the train breaks down into its individual components (or
subtrains) that take you to your destination.

BTW I came across this when reading up on Russell's Twike post.

The effect is that a system that can regulate overall traffic flow can function
far more effectively than a system consisting of "atoms" that act independantly
of each other. Huge traffic flows can be generated without creating the
typical stalls that happen now. Consider this though experiment: heavy traffic
is flowing smoothly down a single lane road at 40 MPH. One car slows by
hitting brakes because the driver needs to tell his children in the back seat
to buckle up and play nicely together (an almost daily tast between me and my
6 YO). Now what happens? Every car in back of that car hits brakes in a
rolling wave. The virtual train slow tremondously, possibly even coming to a
dead stop further back down the road. Now the original driver is finished
hiw slowing task and had clear road ahead and speeds back up to 40 MPH. But
the damage is done, a traffic stall has been created that depending on the
heaviness of the flow, may never in fact dissapate. The transient stall will
simply keep rolling backward towards the incoming traffic. Gosh Darn I wish
those kids would have behaved! ;-)

I'm fresh out of references this morning. I read that analysis on a extremely
well put together website on one driver's observations of traffic flow. A
2 minute search on Google didn't turn it up.

Now back to the point. The failure point of the stall above is the fact that
there is only tacit communication between cars. There's no signal from the
front car of the stall all the way to the back one that says "All Clear.
We're all going to accelerate to 40 MPH on my mark... 3, 2, 1 , MARK!". No
driver in his right mind is going to trust that Grandma or the teenager in
front of him is going to follow the directive to the letter. Miscommunication
and failure to meet expectations of others are why we have accidents.

So the the linked cab concept can have those communications mechanisms and
since the system is driving all of the cabs, there is a reasonable expectation
that a "Accelerate to 150 MPH on my mark..." will be followed to the letter.

Just think about a freight train on the tracks. Now imagine that same train
with each car with its own engine and driver and they were not coupled
together. Would you want to be hurtling down the track at 80-90 MPH in such a
situation? That's the typical expressway. It's really amazing that we don't
have more accidents and deaths out there than we do.

BTW most of these site are touting the concept on the impersonal car. But
in fact a mix of both personal and impersonal cars could work. A scenario
such as a long trip or commuting the work would occur in your personal
cab with your stuff in it. However a quick bite, or a crosstown meeting
you can afford to just hop the first available. There may even be a system
where you can lock up your stuff in your cab an rent it out to others
during the day when you're not using it (with appropriate video and ID
monitoring of course).

the 30 MPH on the highway doesn't work not because of the safety issue but
due to the inconvenience. I've often thought on long car trips "Why in the
hell do I have to drive!" thinking all along about a multimodal infrastructure
that have the car drive itself: optical, map, GPS, radio beacon, obsticle
avoidance.

Just some thoughts.

BAJ

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2004\06\16@111406 by Robert B.

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----- Original Message -----
From: "Jake Anderson" <grooveeespamKILLspamOPTUSHOME.COM.AU>
<snip>
> mmm no i think the argument is different, goverment sets standards on
> saftey, sombody sits there and works out the death/injury to
> convinience/freedom ratio and then they can decide how safe your car needs
> to be. in order to meet that saftey requirement you need to do the things
of
> wearing your seatbelt and ensuring your car is roadworthy, while the
> manufacturer takes care of side impact protection and making sure the car
is
> built propperly. If the USA is like here your car gets inspected for
> roadworthyness once a year. by making sure people wear seatbelts then they
> ensure the cars are safe and hence you are safe up to the level required.
> same reason goverment forces recalls of bad cars/drugs/toys, there is a
> saftey standard, things have to meet it. you have the *option* of exceding
> it.
<snip>

The safety standards you talk about are for mass-manufactured cars.  If I
wanted to go in my garage and weld an unsafe vehicle together (in the sense
of not passing crash ratings), make it road-worthy with lights, brake
lights, etc, there would be no problem with getting it registered and using
it on public highways.  The point of this is that the government regulates
the actions of car companies in order to keep them ethical.  It works much
the same was as doing home improvements.  If you hire a contractor they must
meet all applicable coding standards.  If you do it yourself you can legally
disregard many of them.  In other words, there is an implied agreement of
safety between the contractor and the contractee, be it Ford, Chevy, or any
other car company.

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2004\06\16@112658 by llile

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Byron,

I have fantasized about the car train idea myself.  It is an obvious
extension of what we do now.

I would hate to get hit by a train of 100 cars, though - a lot of kinetic
energy there!  I would hate to be the lead car, too!  I think there are
some serious barriers to such an idea.  Assuming they were mechanically
linked, they would smack into something liek a semi!

But if they were virtually linked - each car has a distance sensor and
maintains a constant distance to the next car, and a data link to the lead
car.  If the lead car slams on the brakes or stops, each car can eat up
some stopping distance before whacking into the next domino.  Presumably
there would also be increased energy absorbing capability in the cars
(5mph bumpers are a joke)

The back of my truck is a good argument against 5mph bumpers.  I've been
rear-ended several times.  The bumper is welded up out of an 8" diameter
schedule 40 pipe, with a hitch welded up out of 3/4" steel plates. It is
rude, and crude.   Makes kind of a big dent in the front of a car.   Those
other kamakazes were sorry they had hit me, sorry indeed.  My truck never
suffered at all.   I need a bumper sticker that says "Warning: Stay back
100 feet. I eat 5mph bumpers for Breakfast!"

The real barrier to the car-train is not technological, but legal.  If
anything ever went wrong, and 100 cars full of people died in a pile-up,
think of the liability!  No company in their right mind would sell such a
product, even with many safety controls.

Isn't there an AMTRACK line that you can load your personal car onto a
flatcar and ride in the passenger car?  Not so sexy, but very practical.


-- Lawrence Lile





Byron A Jeff <.....byronKILLspamspam.....CC.GATECH.EDU>
Sent by: pic microcontroller discussion list <EraseMEPICLISTspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
06/16/2004 10:10 AM
Please respond to pic microcontroller discussion list


       To:     PICLISTspamspam_OUTMITVMA.MIT.EDU
       cc:
       Subject:        Re: [OT]: Seatbelts - was: detecting emergency vehicles. Radar fools & Red
light cams


On Wed, Jun 16, 2004 at 06:49:13AM -0400, rixy04 wrote:
> Reducing the maximum speed limit to 30 mph on all highways and 15 mph on
all
> side roads. This will reduce the auto deaths by 96%. ;-)

Imbalance the safety/security vs. convenience equation.

>
> > One thing I haven't seen covered in this discussion is the slippery
slope
> > argument. First it was airbags. Now it's seatbelts. Next?

Isn't next obvious? There is an easy and now technologically feasible was
to virtually eliminate auto accidents: don't let people drive.

One concept, and there are folks out there working on it (no reference
handy
unfortunately) is building transit systems by linking cabs into long
trains.
The cabs drive themselves by whatever means (magalev, rail, etc) and the
linked
train can fly down the track at over 100 MPH. When you get towards the
destination, the train breaks down into its individual components (or
subtrains) that take you to your destination.

BTW I came across this when reading up on Russell's Twike post.

The effect is that a system that can regulate overall traffic flow can
function
far more effectively than a system consisting of "atoms" that act
independantly
of each other. Huge traffic flows can be generated without creating the
typical stalls that happen now. Consider this though experiment: heavy
traffic
is flowing smoothly down a single lane road at 40 MPH. One car slows by
hitting brakes because the driver needs to tell his children in the back
seat
to buckle up and play nicely together (an almost daily tast between me and
my
6 YO). Now what happens? Every car in back of that car hits brakes in a
rolling wave. The virtual train slow tremondously, possibly even coming to
a
dead stop further back down the road. Now the original driver is finished
hiw slowing task and had clear road ahead and speeds back up to 40 MPH.
But
the damage is done, a traffic stall has been created that depending on the
heaviness of the flow, may never in fact dissapate. The transient stall
will
simply keep rolling backward towards the incoming traffic. Gosh Darn I
wish
those kids would have behaved! ;-)

I'm fresh out of references this morning. I read that analysis on a
extremely
well put together website on one driver's observations of traffic flow. A
2 minute search on Google didn't turn it up.

Now back to the point. The failure point of the stall above is the fact
that
there is only tacit communication between cars. There's no signal from the
front car of the stall all the way to the back one that says "All Clear.
We're all going to accelerate to 40 MPH on my mark... 3, 2, 1 , MARK!". No
driver in his right mind is going to trust that Grandma or the teenager in
front of him is going to follow the directive to the letter.
Miscommunication
and failure to meet expectations of others are why we have accidents.

So the the linked cab concept can have those communications mechanisms and
since the system is driving all of the cabs, there is a reasonable
expectation
that a "Accelerate to 150 MPH on my mark..." will be followed to the
letter.

Just think about a freight train on the tracks. Now imagine that same
train
with each car with its own engine and driver and they were not coupled
together. Would you want to be hurtling down the track at 80-90 MPH in
such a
situation? That's the typical expressway. It's really amazing that we
don't
have more accidents and deaths out there than we do.

BTW most of these site are touting the concept on the impersonal car. But
in fact a mix of both personal and impersonal cars could work. A scenario
such as a long trip or commuting the work would occur in your personal
cab with your stuff in it. However a quick bite, or a crosstown meeting
you can afford to just hop the first available. There may even be a system
where you can lock up your stuff in your cab an rent it out to others
during the day when you're not using it (with appropriate video and ID
monitoring of course).

the 30 MPH on the highway doesn't work not because of the safety issue but
due to the inconvenience. I've often thought on long car trips "Why in the
hell do I have to drive!" thinking all along about a multimodal
infrastructure
that have the car drive itself: optical, map, GPS, radio beacon, obsticle
avoidance.

Just some thoughts.

BAJ

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2004\06\16@115051 by Paul Hutchinson

picon face
Yes there is, Amtrak Auto Train -- the easy way to travel between the great
vacation destinations of Washington, DC and Orlando, Florida.

A great option for the seniors who migrate between Florida and the Northeast
with the seasons, if they can afford the big $$$.

Paul

>-----Original Message-----
>[@spam@PICLISTKILLspamspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU]On Behalf Of KILLspamllileKILLspamspamSALTONUSA.COM
>Sent: Wednesday, June 16, 2004 11:28 AM
>
<snip>
>Isn't there an AMTRACK line that you can load your personal car onto a
>flatcar and ride in the passenger car?  Not so sexy, but very practical.
>
>
>-- Lawrence Lile

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2004\06\16@120129 by Shawn Wilton

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I use to own a 86 Jeep Cherokee with a hitch on the back.  Standard
height, wasn't jacked up or anything, but this guy wasn't paying
attention to what he was doing and rear-ended me in his little nissan
pickup.  Did a job to his front end, but left me pristine.  Moral?  Get
a hitch.  ;-)



RemoveMEllileTakeThisOuTspamSALTONUSA.COM wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2004\06\16@142300 by hilip Stortz

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i doubt that very much, please mention a source if you have one.  the
resulting increase in congestion would likely lead to more rash behavior
and much, much more road rage.  not to mention the loss of life as all
those vehicles blocked the roads and kept ambulances responding to non
motor vehicle calls grid locked.  not to mention the increase in
pollution (which certainly shortens lives and lowers the quality of
life), you may burn less fuel per unit time at slow speeds, but not per
mile when you factor in congestion.  a parking lot of running engines
produces a lot of pollution and doesn't go far.

rixy04 wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2004\06\16@143341 by Howard Winter

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On Wed, 16 Jun 2004 10:27:52 -0500, llileEraseMEspam.....SALTONUSA.COM wrote:

> Isn't there an AMTRACK line that you can load your personal car onto a flatcar and ride in the passenger
car?  Not so sexy, but very practical.

It used to be common-ish over here (RailDrive, I think they called it) but it seems to have disappeared.  The
Chunnel "Shuttle" trains are like that though.  But you stay in your car, rather than going to a passenger
compartment.

Personally I prefer the SeaCat - it's almost as fast, a lot cheaper, and you get a great view!  :-)

Cheers,

Howard Winter
St.Albans, England

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2004\06\16@144000 by hilip Stortz

picon face
actually, the insurance companies weren't wrong.  before the shoulder
belt was added the lap belt only version was actually dangerous.  they
tend to concentrate the force too much on the abdomen and damage organs.
this isn't a crack pot theory, my brother learned about this problem
when he was training to be an emt (emergency rescue technician), and
from the instructor no less.  there is a lot of evidence to support
this.  however, with a shoulder belt, they are definitely a very, very
good idea.  seat belts do more than restrain you in a crash, they help
hold you in position as you maneuver, particularly during a hard turn of
panic stop when you are trying to avoid an accident, that extra control
can make a huge difference in the outcome.

John Ferrell wrote:
>
> More education is usually a good thing.
> It would be nice if the other drivers on the road were aware of how far it
> takes to stop a 24 foot Motor home towing a trailer with a back hoe before
> they tempt fate.
>
> There was a time when insurance companies frowned on seat belts (what are
> you going to do that needs them?) and refused coverage if you installed a
> roll bar.
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2004\06\16@154611 by rixy04

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You make my point. The "slippery slope" point. Air bags, fine. Seat belts, fine,
but don't make them mandatory. They don't always save lives. Running first
responder on an accident, I saw first hand where four passengers were involved in
a major accident. One passenger in the front seat wearing a seat belt still had a
bloody injury and the blood covered his hands. So much of it that he couldn't
depress the button to release the belt. He died when the car exploded. The driver
wasn't wearing a belt, was injured but escaped. He tried to undo his passengers
belt but couldn't reach it in time. Had to get away before it was consumed in
flames.

Sure they may save lives. More than not. But let the occupants make that decision,
not the law. If the law is mandatory, let's see them enforce it on motorcyclists.
Rick

Philip Stortz wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2004\06\16@171129 by James Newton, Host

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> {Original Message removed}

2004\06\16@210545 by Liam O'Hagan

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Agreed. The local motoring magazines have actually disqualified cars with
lap only belts in the rear seats from their 'Car of the Year" style awards.

I find seatbelts especially useful, I can't imaging being in an accident in
my car (which has no roof) with no seatbelt. In addition, as stated they are
very handy for helping you stay in your seat when manouvering. At one of our
recent track days I took a ride with a guy with the same caras me, but with
semi slick race tyres, even with the normal seatbelt it was not physically
possible for me to hold myself in the seat in cornering (he's getting a full
harness next)

{Original Message removed}

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