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Posts tagged ‘Driving’

Car accident update

My being rear–ended resulted in more than $6000 of damage. Since it was not a new car, this edges the accident into total loss territory. As a consequence, ICBC has decided to write off my vehicle. However, the claim hasn’t been settled yet.

And yes, I do have whiplash.

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Another reason to hate SUVs

On Thursday, I was in a car accident and was rear–ended by an SUV while making a turn. My car’s rear end got bashed in with a taillight broken, and other damage.

This ought to be an example of why goddamn SUV’s are evil. They are much higher up, which means their points of impact with regular cars will be higher up, therefore causing more damage. Being higher up also makes them more likely to roll over. SUV’s greater mass also means a bigger force at impact, all else equal. In addition, since they are so big, they make you feel safe. A smaller vehicle makes you more likely to drive safely because you don’t feel safe and therefore must take more safe actions. SUV’s are also huge wastes of energy and are very inefficient with fuel.

In case you’re wondering, my neck hurts a little (I don’t know if this is whiplash or not) but am otherwise okay.

Asleep at the intersection

Today, while waiting to cross the street, I saw something that should never happen.

Here in BC, at many intersections, there are left turn lanes. In some of them, the traffic light will show a green arrow that gives right of way to those turning left. The crosswalk I was at was one such intersection. And as you might expect, the left turn arrows came on in both directions. However, there were no vehicles in either left turn lane.

Is it not obvious that the above situation leads to unnecessary idling, and therefore wastes energy? I see no reason why it is impossible to put a sensor in a left turn lane that, that while the light is red, detects and counts the cars passing over. Perhaps it could detect cars by pushing down slightly when a set of wheels passes over. This will happen twice per car (once per axle). The cars’ weight could press the sensor down. While not perfect (a semi or other long vehicle with more than two axles would result in an incorrect number of vehicles) this will be a good enough approximation to form a sensor system. The number of cars passing into the left turn lane could then be used to decide whether to activate the arrow the next time the light turns green. This system would prevent unnecessary idling due to unneeded turning arrows, and ought to be relatively simple to implement (a computer could probably do it).

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