Monday, January 27, 2014

Physics Is A Bitch.

I was looking at the (formerly) local news, looking for something I could use to poke fun at my old state, when I came across this sad story:

Nine People Injured, One Killed After Car Hits MBTA Bus In Randolph
RANDOLPH (CBS) — A 24-year-old Roxbury man has died after police say he rear-ended an MBTA bus, stopped at a bus stop.

It happened Sunday morning on Route 28.
Nine people on the bus were injured, while the driver of the car was killed. Here's what the vehicles looked like:

That's a late model Infiniti with side curtain air bags, crumple zones, etc. And it is pretty well crushed up front, with sufficient force that the driver perished despite all those safety measures.


I think if you look *really* close at the bumper you can see where it's turned up a little bit, most likely where the Infiniti's ENGINE hit it. That is what happens when a 3500 pound car hits a 14 ton bus. In this case, size really does matter.

Now, in this case in particular, the bus was actually at a bus stop. It's hard to fathom how someone could rear end a bus at a stop hard enough to die in the impact, unless they weren't paying attention and didn't see that the bus was stopped and hit it at full speed. I also wonder if the driver was wearing his seat belt or not; it would certainly have been a factor if he hadn't.

Physics: That which doesn't kill you means you got lucky...

That is all.


libertyman said...

I wonder if someone will cross reference phone records with the time of crash. The car has a "black box" as well, so that would indicate speed and brake application. The article says he didn't apply the brakes. Perhaps he was busy sending a text?
I will bet he did not have the seat belt on, but it is still a shame.

Sailorcurt said...

Yup, I'd be willing to bet he was distracted.

Doesn't have to be a phone, he may have been fiddling with his radio (what the driver that ran a red-light and T-boned my sister at full speed was doing) or navigation system or heater controls...

People simply don't take seriously the fact that they are operating a 3000lb lethal weapon whenever they are behind the wheel.

It's sad that the guy died, but at least he hit a vehicle big enough that he was the only fatality and didn't kill any innocents (or cause permanent brain injury to them as happened to my sister).

Tango said...


In a related note, my wife totaled our Nissan Murano about 2 weeks ago. We replaced it with a Pathfinder. Why? Because her and the two kids were all perfectly fine besides minor nicks from glass and being sore. My 4 year old had an engine block within arms distance after a 40 mph t-bone... and had minor glass cuts. Had she been in our Ford Focus, I'd have been going to the ER. Instead, the EMTs transferred the boys to the other car for me and I took them for Mickey Mouse pancakes at a local diner to help them wind down and to replenish some much-needed carbs after that adrenaline dump.

Stretch said...

And there's nothing you can do about it. And when the "a" has a negative sign it really sucks.

RabidAlien said...

Judging from the photo, one must wonder just how much of a jolt the bus felt, and how the nine passengers were injured. Unless the driver didn't have brakes on at the time and they weren't seated or holding on to something. Sucks for the driver (and his family), but of all the things for him to hit, a bus was probably the best.

Anonymous said...

Cruise control + falling asleep =rear ending a stopped bus at 60mph

Anonymous said...

Actually, it's quite possible that the Infiniti driver wasn't doing anything stupid or wrong.

Imagine yourself following a Sprinter Van or some other big honkin' vehicle, which is following the bus. You can't see the bus because of the Bubba's Moving & Storage van filling your window. Suddenly, Bubba makes a radical lane change to the left lane and you find yourself tooling along at 45+ mph looking a the rapidly embiggening ass end of a stopped bus.

A following distance that is sufficient to stop when the guy who is in front of you slams on his brakes is NOT enough to stop when, instead, he pops aside and reveals a stopped obstacle.