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Old 07-16-2016, 08:24 PM   #1
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Safe following distance vs. speeding subcompact in a mass panic on the interstate.

For your amusement. Skip to the 4:30 mark. On our return trip from a WA-NY-WA trip outside of Cleveland OH. I thought I had a reasonably safe stopping distance until a speeding subcompact figured out their brakes can't stop them nearly as fast at 85-90 as they'd hoped and they decided to cut into my lane. My coach has an 18' blind spot in front and they quickly disappeared in it. Just as I was headed to the shoulder they reappeared in my vision so I had no choice but to take the line without a human in the way. Be warned, I swear I said shoot in my head, my mouth lost the translation as I thought I was about to flatten a kia and it's passengers.

Stay safe, it's crazy out there!

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Old 07-16-2016, 08:41 PM   #2
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Whoa! Hopefully no damage to your vehicle.
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Old 07-16-2016, 08:49 PM   #3
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I was driving Hwy 2 west along lake Michigan with a small car in front. They suddenly decided they wanted to stop in the middle of the Hwy to turn left toward the beach dunes. My bus wasn't going to stop nearly as fast as their car so I laid on the horn. I guess they decided they didn't have to turn and hurriedly went on their way.
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Old 07-16-2016, 08:49 PM   #4
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I just got home after a 4,710 mile trip through 14 states driving a 25,000 lb. RV and observed some of the dumbest and most dangerous driving by cars, pickups, and 18 wheelers. Another thing I observed was many many 1/2 ton pickups pulling huge trailers, etc. and 3/4 ton pickups pulling triple axle toy haulers. Some of the 1/2 tons were even pulling doubles. The crowning moment of the trip was the older Toyota Class C flat towing a dune buggy in New Mexico.
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Old 07-16-2016, 09:01 PM   #5
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Other than a bent Monaco full width mudflap and possibly a set of matching pucker rings in the leather seats we seem to have made it out undamaged. I, a tractor trailer, and the pickup that was securing a full patio furniture set with two ratchet tie downs all pulled off. The semi hit their other boxes dodging the little truck that came to a dead halt. The lady that was in the pickup was concerned if they didn't go back and pick their stuff up someone might just take it. I told her I just rolled 35,000 lbs over the table and didn't think there'd be much left of it after that. As we proceeded to pull back on the interstate they cut across all lanes of traffic slowly so they could turn around an almost caused another pile up...
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Old 07-16-2016, 10:00 PM   #6
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How fast were you driving?

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Old 07-17-2016, 08:02 AM   #7
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It appears to me the OP, not the Kia, should've been in the middle lane, what with that Kia having to pass on his right. In any event I think the Kia driver was justified switching lanes.
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Old 07-17-2016, 08:11 AM   #8
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It appears to me the OP, not the Kia, should've been in the middle lane, what with that Kia having to pass on his right. In any event I think the Kia driver was justified switching lanes.
I agree in Florida, the law is stay right except to pass-- of course no one pays attention to it.
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Old 07-17-2016, 09:04 AM   #9
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Scary what you can tell from a video. OP was southbound on I-271 / I-480 in Ohio. Speed varied between 65 and 74 mph (based on in-cam speed recorded, speed of the painted road markings, and distances to exits (rockslide rd in particular), but usually was more towards 70. Following distance from the car in front varies from 1 second to 1.5 seconds.

I fear the OP might take exception to this, but the original post was about safe following distance. I personally consciously keep to the 3-second rule (or more). Sometimes "upsets" people behind me, but doing so gives much more reaction time, and HAS saved me several times.

FWIW.
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Old 07-17-2016, 09:10 AM   #10
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Having to pass on the right because of a motor home camped out in the inside lane feeds stereotypes.
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Old 07-17-2016, 09:30 AM   #11
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Glad damage was minimal, and there were no injuries. If that load had come loose a couple minutes earlier, the outcome might have been worse.

The area was marked 60 mph. In the five minute video, OP speed swings from 60 mph to 75 mph. Following distance from the primary vehicle in front of OP looks like at times one second, to three seconds. Vehicle in front of OP speed was erratic. I'd bet a steak dinner the driver in front of OP was texting.

OP in left lane, other speeding drivers passing in center lane.

When load came loose from the pickup, OP was almost 70 mph.

Were those windshield wipers going? Wet road surface?

All things considered, I think lady luck deserves a nod.
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Old 07-17-2016, 09:34 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by The4Swans View Post
For your amusement. Skip to the 4:30 mark. On our return trip from a WA-NY-WA trip outside of Cleveland OH. I thought I had a reasonably safe stopping distance until a speeding subcompact figured out their brakes can't stop them nearly as fast at 85-90 as they'd hoped and they decided to cut into my lane. My coach has an 18' blind spot in front and they quickly disappeared in it. Just as I was headed to the shoulder they reappeared in my vision so I had no choice but to take the line without a human in the way. Be warned, I swear I said shoot in my head, my mouth lost the translation as I thought I was about to flatten a kia and it's passengers.

Stay safe, it's crazy out there!

https://youtu.be/IdxlvYpO3dQ
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacwjames View Post
I was driving Hwy 2 west along lake Michigan with a small car in front. They suddenly decided they wanted to stop in the middle of the Hwy to turn left toward the beach dunes. My bus wasn't going to stop nearly as fast as their car so I laid on the horn. I guess they decided they didn't have to turn and hurriedly went on their way.
jacwjames
Drivers who follow cars to closely cause that...(not the driver of the car being followed).

However "lane divers", (like the one who to cut into the OP's lane), whether on the road or approaching a signal light....are a different story altogether.

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Old 07-17-2016, 11:01 AM   #13
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Safe following distance vs. speeding subcompact in a mass panic on the inters...

I spent some time years ago evaluating dash cam video for an executive chauffeur service. Kia was too fast for conditions, but certainly not 80-90. OP is far from blameless. Kia reacted more quickly. Kia was already over in the left breakdown lane before OP even hit his brakes hard. EDIT correction: before the OP decelerated significantly. Doing 110 km when the Kia moved to the left lane; doing 106-107 km when the Kia reached the left lane. Bottom line here is that both the Kia driver and the coach driver were very lucky.
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Old 07-17-2016, 12:14 PM   #14
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Seems like the OP was camped in the left lane. I wonder how much of that was influenced by the GPS instructions that repeated suggest he "keep left". The OP is heard mentioning something about "5 miles then we go to the left ...." at the start of the video clip.

At one point, he moves to the right lane - but moves to the left again soon thereafter - apparently to make space for a line of vehicles merging onto the freeway. Being that traffic appeared relatively light - and we have zero clue as to what traffic was behind him - moving over to avoid allow the 4-5 cars entering the highway may very well have been an appropriate move.

While I agree that it appears that the OP was spending more time than necessary in the left lane - especially given the relatively light traffic - I think it does beg the question of how soon it too soon to get over when you're driving in unfamiliar territory and know that you need to be positioned to "be left" very soon. I certainly try not to "camp" in the left lane - but I also hate avoiding the left lane - only to discover that it's actually just one lane breaking left and having to fight to "find or make a hole" in traffic in order to get over to the left at the last minute.

It also seemed like the OP was a little slow to start slowing down after recognizing the trouble ahead. We hear him exclaim "whoa" at the 7:02:16 mark ... but don't see a significant drop in speed until the Kia crosses his path. It's hard to judge - but it almost seems like there was a disconnect between realizing the commotion ahead posed a risk that warranted a slowing on his part until the Kia entered his lane.
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