GM Volt Forum banner

1 - 20 of 36 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,201 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So, I remember back in my Drivers Ed course (many moons ago) we were taught to stay at least two car lengths behind the car in front of you. Over the years, this has been changed to "stay at least two seconds behind the car in front of you". We are taught to start counting when the car ahead of you passed a reference point (lane stripe, sign, etc)...”One-thousand-one, one-thousand-two."

I like the feature of the Volt that does that "counting" for you (see image below). Having said that, it's just good common sense to keep a safe following distance dependent on the driving conditions at the time. This two-second rule is really just a guideline.



p.s. Here's another rule-of-thumb that has changed over the years. Can you think of any others?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
I heard for the first time last year that 10 and 2 are no longer safe for driving, due to the fact that if the air bag goes off you will punch yourself in the face possibly causing much harm. The new best positions are 8 and 4 which is why the put the slots in the newer steering wheels in those positions.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,244 Posts
I heard for the first time last year that 10 and 2 are no longer safe for driving, due to the fact that if the air bag goes off you will punch yourself in the face possibly causing much harm. The new best positions are 8 and 4 which is why the put the slots in the newer steering wheels in those positions.
From the State Farm website. Make sense becaue they have to pay for the consequences of this stuff <grin/frown>

Two schools of thought are prevalent when talking about positioning of hands on the steering wheel. The old school wisdom was to position hands at 10 and 2 o’clock. As air bags became common, this led to the wrist and arm factures when air bags deployed and arms were flung into rearview mirrors or A-pillars. To avoid that occurrence, many safety advocates now recommend positioning hands at 9 and 3 o’clock on the steering wheel.

Hand-over-hand maneuvers during turning should be avoided to prevent arms from being in front of a deploying airbag in the event of a crash. Serious injuries may result during such occurrences.

Last Updated: August 15, 2012
- See more at: http://teendriving.statefarm.com/teaching-a-teen-to-drive/being-a-role-model/steering-wheel-hand-position#sthash.z2WavfoF.dpuf
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,520 Posts
The 2-second rule is based on the human reaction time. All other things about the cars being equal, when the driver ahead brakes hard you need to hit the brakes hard before you reach the point in the road where they hit the brakes. So the 2 second rule gives you 2 seconds to react.

That 2 second rule implies all other things being equal. If you're heavier it takes longer, if you were glancing in a mirror it takes longer, if your tires are more worn it takes longer, etceterah, etceterah, etceterah. In addition, you have to worry about dumbass behind you who's quite likely to be driving too close. Add more time and you can brake slowly, which gives more time for dumbass to react and slam on their brakes. Generally now the advice is more like 4 seconds.

For a hypermiler the aim is not only not to slam or be slammed but to eliminate braking entirely, which means leaving enough time for a turning car ahead to slow down, wait for a gap and then turn out of the way. So hypermilers use much larger buffers.

The other advantage of a big buffer is that it makes it easier for others to overtake. The sooner Gotta-Get-There-Now is past you the sooner they're off your ass.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,231 Posts
Here in Detroit on the freeways, you can use the 2 second rule for the car 3 cars ahead of you <grin>. When I moved here from Maine it took a lot of getting used to how close people follow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,486 Posts
I heard for the first time last year that 10 and 2 are no longer safe for driving, due to the fact that if the air bag goes off you will punch yourself in the face possibly causing much harm. The new best positions are 8 and 4 which is why the put the slots in the newer steering wheels in those positions.
8-4 :) Actually, that makes perfect sense - but what about the dog on my lap? :)

I see people with feet up on the dash in the passenger seat. I always wonder where their feet go if the airbag goes off. And the dog on the lap of the person without the seatbelts. That doesn't end well in a collision.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
311 Posts
Jalopnik recently had a graphic picture of where your feet go when the airbag goes off and the car rolls onto the passenger side. The lady survived, but she will never tiptoe again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,797 Posts
If you're heavier it takes longer, if you were glancing in a mirror it takes longer, if your tires are more worn it takes longer,
That's not actually true about the tires. Well worn tires actually have more traction than brand new tires. Both for stopping and accelerating. Hence, why race-cars use slicks. However, if the road is wet then that changes everything and slick tires don't work very well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,471 Posts
Jalopnik recently had a graphic picture of where your feet go when the airbag goes off and the car rolls onto the passenger side. The lady survived, but she will never tiptoe again.
Would you have a link? There's someone I'd like to show that to.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,650 Posts
I heard for the first time last year that 10 and 2 are no longer safe for driving, due to the fact that if the air bag goes off you will punch yourself in the face possibly causing much harm.
I never liked air bags, because I have never been comfortable with an explosive charge waiting to go off in my face, but I'm sure a lot of people will disagree with me. I just had a Honda Civic recalled because that explosive charge could throw shrapnel in your face on deployment. I drove a car that didn't have air bags until 2006, hoping the air bag law would change. I finally had to buy a car that had them. When insurance companies are telling you to hold the sides of the steering wheel and shuffle your hands while you turn, it illustrates just why I am not comfortable with them.

OK, I'm finished ranting now. I know I am a voice crying out in the wilderness and no one is listening. Thanks for your patience. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,431 Posts
I heard for the first time last year that 10 and 2 are no longer safe for driving, due to the fact that if the air bag goes off you will punch yourself in the face possibly causing much harm. The new best positions are 8 and 4 which is why the put the slots in the newer steering wheels in those positions.
My wife and I drive with our hands at the 10 and 2 positions. The next best positions are 9 and 3. 8 and 4 doesn't give you enough torque to turn the steering wheel in a hurry. And my wife had an accident years ago where the car hit head-on a central highway divider (about four feet high). The air bag deployed and hit her face, but her hands were not pushed away from the steering wheel.

Maybe your source used an import vehicle as a reference. My GM vehicles have plenty of space between the steering wheel rim and the edges of the air bag cover (I can post pictures). So GM vehicles are safer if the airbags deploy.

Steve-o, the only thing that touches your face is the airbag itself, and the only "harm" my wife suffered was a light skin burn, like a hot towel pressed on your face. The impact itself is not strong, since the bag is soft (I touched it later) and the force is spread over your face.

But an airbag doesn't save your life. The seatbelt does!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,650 Posts
p.s. Here's another rule-of-thumb that has changed over the years.
The link points to an excellent suggestion to adjust the side mirrors farther out so you can see the "blind spots," not the back of your car. I have been doing this for 20 years, and I haven't adjusted the side mirrors to view the back of the car since I started driving over 30 years ago, because I thought it was silly to look at the back of my car while driving. Do you get the impression I have never followed the crowd much? That is part of the reason I own a Volt!

Here is food for thought: While traveling 40 mph, your car travels about 60 feet forward during the second you look back at your blind spot, and things can happen in front of you during that time. That's a good reason to adjust your mirrors to minimize the time you spend driving forward while looking backward.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,567 Posts
That's not actually true about the tires. Well worn tires actually have more traction than brand new tires. Both for stopping and accelerating. Hence, why race-cars use slicks. However, if the road is wet then that changes everything and slick tires don't work very well.
Consider that racing slicks are a very different rubber compound than a years-old worn out dried out street compound. Yes there is more surface area on a 'worn out' tire but that doesn't mean you have more grip!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,431 Posts
That's not actually true about the tires. Well worn tires actually have more traction than brand new tires. Both for stopping and accelerating. Hence, why race-cars use slicks. However, if the road is wet then that changes everything and slick tires don't work very well.
Adding more air pressure to the tires will reduce skidding due to lesser road grip caused by water or ice. The harder tire will have less flexure, and reduce the footprint, but this also increases the force on the road since the weight is the same, thus there will be more pounds per square inch. This is sufficient to break the lubrication that water/ice may provide, and return friction and traction to the tire. Michelin learned this in Europe when they saw cars with thin tires had better traction than cars with wider tires.

I know because I am an EE with a major in physics, I practice this on my GM vehicles, and I have prevented being in a multiple car accident when I have to stop on a wet highway to avoid hitting the car ahead. Try it if you don't believe me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
155 Posts
Ouch. You guys are making me feel really old. When I first started driving we were told to keep one car length for every 10 MPH. Lots of luck trying to keep that sort of distance on the freeways around Houston.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
804 Posts
Me too, a car length for every 10 MPH! But in california now, they teach 3 seconds behind the car in front of you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,650 Posts
Steve-o, the only thing that touches your face is the airbag itself...
But an airbag doesn't save your life. The seatbelt does!
I don't want to get into an argument, and Raymond has made many valuable posts in this forum. He is exactly right that the seat belt is what saves lives. The NHTSA reports that from 1990 to 2007, air bags have killed 284 people, including 180 children and 104 adults. I haven't done a thorough search for a more recent report. The most recent fatality in that report was in 2006.

How hard the air bag impacts the person depends a lot on timing. In the early days, some air bags deployed late and seriously injured people. I just don't see how an air bag in the steering wheel can save the life of someone who is wearing shoulder and lap belts, but it is easy to see how air bags can injure people, and they have broken arms and severed fingers in the past.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
589 Posts
Good luck maintaining a 2-3 second gap here in Southern California. Some asshat will just try and squeeze his or her SUV in, without signalling first, of course.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
702 Posts
I heard for the first time last year that 10 and 2 are no longer safe for driving, due to the fact that if the air bag goes off you will punch yourself in the face possibly causing much harm. The new best positions are 8 and 4 which is why the put the slots in the newer steering wheels in those positions.
It never ceases to annoy me that the nanny state has mandated (i.e., no choice whatsoever) death bags in every vehicle, yet *we* have to pay the cost of installing and maintaining them, and *we* have to assume the risk and the cost of an explosive mechanism in front of our faces.

This is one of many government abuses that could be rectified by making driving a legal *right.*
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
In 12+ years as a FF/EMT, I have responded to literally thousands of motor vehicle accidents. I will not let anyone that I care about drive a vehicle without airbags or without wearing seat belts.

Steve: "I just don't see how an air bag in the steering wheel can save the life of someone who is wearing shoulder and lap belts"

I see it on a regular basis. I see it in injury rates, which usually drive mortality. Picking just one topic out of many... let's try brain injury: airbags reduce the incidence rate by 50% among drivers and front seat passengers who are already wearing seat belts. There are many other trauma related topics from which to choose. Reference

Steve & Bob,

If you don't want your airbags active, disable them. Reference

Although, before you deactivate the bags in your car, please ask yourself why insurance companies (purely bottom-line driven entities) offer discounts on airbag equipped vehicles... Might they be comparing the costs of equipping/repairing the safety equipment to the health care costs associated with the lack of same? Or are you willing to believe that the insurance companies do this out of some altruistic motivation :). Could this argument be extrapolated to the population at large?

Our vehicles and airbag systems could actually be safer than they currently are if it were not for the fact that the engineers have to design the U.S. bag systems with _unrestrained_ passengers in mind, as we have a fair chunk of the population that views seat belts as a bother/intrusion/abuse/burden.

Even though I do understand the 'nanny state' argument, I confess to being bothered that one group of people can force the rest of us to live with safety systems that are less effective than they could be, or to pay for the additional care required for those who suffer injuries far in excess of the seat belt wearing and/or airbag equipped population.

I love my newly leased Volt. I really do. But I am aware, every time I climb in, that the bag in front of me has been engineered for someone not wearing a seat belt, and thus is less effective at protecting the restrained front seat occupants.

Regards
 
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
Top