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JRMayne comments on How to avoid dying in a car crash - Less Wrong

76 Post author: michaelcurzi 17 March 2012 07:44PM

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Comment author: JRMayne 19 March 2012 12:06:42AM *  36 points [-]

A'ight. I specialized in vehicular manslaughters as a prosecutor for ten years. This is all anecdotal (though a lot of anecdotes, testing the cliche that the plural of anecdotes is not data) and worryingly close to argument from authority, but here are some quick ones not otherwise covered (and there is much good advice in the above):

  1. Don't get in the car with the drinker. Everyone's drinking, guy seems OK even though he's had a few... just don't. If you watched the drinker the entire time and he's 190 pounds and had three beers during the three-hour football game, you're fine. But if you don't know, don't get in. If you're a teenager and the drinker's a teenager, don't get in the car. Please.

  2. Tailor your speed to the conditions. Statistics keepers often cite speed when the real culprit is inattention. (It's an unsafe speed to rear-end another vehicle stopped at a light; the safe speed is zero behind a stopped car.) Speeding's a serious problem in residential areas or in rainy or dark condtions. If you're driving from Reno to Utah, a safe speed is probably very high.

  3. Cross the street carefully. Pedestrians and bicyclists get killed. It's sometimes not their fault, but they end up dead, anyway. If you're a bicyclist in an area where motorists drive badly, don't bike there.

  4. Don't let the fatigued family member drive. We've had a few where the family is on a long haul and they're rotating people. Someone falls asleep at the wheel. Don't take the wheel if you're too tired. Don't give the reins to someone who is too tired to drive. If you can't afford a motel, find a place to pull over and nap.

  5. Report very bad driving. You've got a cell phone; when you see a car lurching off onto the exit ramp, weaving away, call the cops. Help take dangerous drivers off the road.


Comment author: po8crg 25 March 2012 05:01:23PM 2 points [-]

One trick I have for fatigued driving is to always have a stimulant drink in the car so I can pull over, drink it, revive within a few minutes and that enables me to concentrate for 10-20 minutes, enough to find a motel or (sometimes) get home.

Comment author: gwern 25 March 2012 09:26:24PM 8 points [-]

Before my car burned the other week, I always kept a sleeping bag and alarm clock in my trunk; if I felt dangerously fatigued, I'd take off 20 minutes for a nap.

Comment author: Mqrius 18 January 2013 08:06:45PM 1 point [-]

I do the same thing. Ever since I did überman for a few months years ago, I've been able to powernap anywhere quite easily.

Comment author: pinyaka 26 January 2015 09:42:15PM 0 points [-]

Adding anecdote to old thread. Washing down a protein bar with a cup of something with sugar and caffeine, followed by a 20-30 minute nap seems to work well to revive me for a good 2-4 hours when driving.