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gary
12-22-2006, 07:36 AM
The Minnesota DOT (Dept of Transp) has painted a string of 7-foot oval dots at 225-foot intervals on the highway in several places to show drivers how far apart cars should be. West of Minneapolis, near Buffalo (where my brother and mother live) some intrepid individuals have added to the demonstration. The full story... (http://www.startribune.com/462/story/889553.html)

It occurs to me to mention that this "occurrence" is near the Buffalo airport; I would have relished an aerial view of the site and have to wonder if that didn't contribute to the decision.

ktinkel
12-22-2006, 08:04 AM
The Minnesota DOT (Dept of Transp) has painted a string of 7-foot oval dots at 225-foot intervals on the highway in several places to show drivers how far apart cars should be. West of Minneapolis, near Buffalo (where my brother and mother live) some intrepid individuals have added to the demonstration. That is hilarious!

Richard Waller
12-22-2006, 08:32 AM
dots are 225 feet apart, the distance needed at the 55-mile-an-hour speed limit, to stop in three seconds without rear-ending the vehicle ahead.With respect, this is not quite right. The distance assumes that the vehicle ahead of you suddenly stops dead, like it hits a brick wall. Brake lights show when the vehicle ahead is slowing down. And anyway, the UK Highway Code proper distance apart is a factor of the speed, which I seem to remember is 10 yards for each 10 mph. Which is 165 not 225.

When I had a Land Rover, I used to brake suddenly without warning in the hope that the idiot behind, tail-gating, would rear-end me and destroy the front of his expensive Ferrari. Particular fun if it was a police car, who always seem to drive too close.

Michael Rowley
12-22-2006, 12:57 PM
Richard:

the UK Highway Code proper distance apart is a factor of the speed, which I seem to remember is 10 yards for each 10 mphThat assumes that drivers are good at estimating distances, which is manifestly untrue. It is far better to give them a rule such as 'remain 2 s behind the other vehicle', which is the rule in most countries, including, it seems, Minnesota—though perhaps there they allow an extra second to allow for a longer reaction time. Three seconds at 88 ft/s (60 mile/h) is 264 ft, so 225 ft is about right for 55 mile/h.

gary
12-22-2006, 01:09 PM
UK Highway Code proper distance apart is a factor of the speed, which I seem to remember is 10 yards for each 10 mph. Which is 165 not 225.Although there is no "code" here, the recommendation is "one car length per ten miles per hour". Frankly I think it's a ridiculous phrasing as that makes the distance depend on one's subjective determination of a car length. "2 seconds behind" would seem more appropriate.

Note that, depending on driver age and skill, there is roughly 3/4 second reaction time before you step on the brakes in response to the brake lights ahead of you. Lord help you if he swerves into another lane to avoid the stopped car in front of him...

Back to the article: noting that drivers slow down trying to figure out what is on the road, I think our DOT should consider encouraging such modifications.<g>

Richard Waller
12-23-2006, 05:18 AM
It is vital for the passenger to be saying 'Slow down damn you' to the driver every few minutes.