In Reply to: A few errors in your reasoning. posted by Rudy on October 07, 1999 at 14:36:13:
: Well lit, clear, sparsely populated (with cars) highway. Roughly one car every two seconds of separation (counting all three lanes). What would cause someone to panic stop in such a case? Short of a nuclear explosion, alien landing, plane crash etc... very few things. I have actually never see anyone panic stop on a highway in these kinds of situation.
I have (and I've already posted about this). I've also seen people (in traffic) pull a panic stop as they were passing their exit off a highway in an attempt to make it to the offramp.
Your point that it is not likely is correct, but you're willing to risk it? We're talking about the risk of trading your life just so you can follow a few seconds closer.
My reaction time is probably on the order of 1/2 second (if I do not see the 'reason to slow down' before he does which is usually what happens) and with my better than average brakes I can probably out-brake him just from that standpoint
So, you have a cocky attitude and assume you can stop faster than him. There are plenty of stories that start "I thought I could. . ." and end with ". . .That's when I had the accident".
: Lets do your math more realistically:
I was using your example as stated. You could plug in any numbers you want. You're now making an assumption that someone will never panic stop in front of you in situations you would never expect. THIS is my point: You should always expect the unexpected.
: By the way, using real math your example comes to:
If two cars start at the same velocity, end at the same velocity, have the same deceleration rates and distances (implying same deceleration times) the distance between them when they stop is the distance between where the lead car started braking and the trailing car started braking.
I used constant linear deceleration, which you did not. I explicitly stated this is what I was doing so where do you get YOUR math from?
I'm done now.