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Learn how to avoid smashing in an intersection and the dangers of "T" bone crashes - watch the video.

How to Avoid T-Bone Crashes


Closed Caption


- Hi there smart drivers, Rick with Smart Drive Test talking to you today about flashing traffic lights, intersections, and T-bone crashes, another video in the Crash Analysis Smart series.

Stick around, we'll be right back with that information.

Hi there smart drivers, welcome back, Rick with Smart Drive Test talking to you today about flashing traffic lights, intersections, and T-bone crashes.

Now just as a cautionary note, there is a good possibility that the drivers in this crash did in fact, die or were seriously injured, they did not emerge from the vehicles in the footage that's available.

So just take that as a cautionary note before I show you the video.

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Description of T-Bone Crash

So here in the crash, the camera is looking northbound in the city of Spokane, Washington in the United States, and the vehicle proceeds northbound through the intersection and from what I can see in the footage here, the vehicle is speeding, actually, both vehicles I think are speeding.

So the vehicle's heading northbound.

The vehicle comes from the west and is heading eastbound through the intersection.

The two vehicles collide in a T-bone crash and none of the occupants from the vehicles get out.

T-Bone crashes are often fatal for passengers in the vehicle, especially on left-hand turns.

Fatal T-Bone Crash

It's a serious crash because the vehicle heading northbound hits the other vehicle almost directly on the center post of the, it's a four-door car that it hits.

And just on that center post where the two doors meet, the back door and the front door.

So the back of the front door, there's a post there where the back door hinges on, and that's where it hit it, right on in a direct hit on that vehicle.

I mean, it was almost, you know, it's one of those crashes that a couple of seconds either way and it wouldn't have happened as it did.

Now, one of the things that you don't see in the video is to the left of the camera, you think that the vision is obstructed of the driver heading northbound.

Analysis of Crash

The vision is not obstructed, as you can see here on Google Maps of this intersection.

It's an open field.

So had the driver heading northbound looked to the left, he or she would've seen that vehicle coming.

The same thing with the vehicle heading eastbound.

If that vehicle had of looked to the right, they would've seen that other vehicle coming.

The open field to the left indicating that the driver failed to yield and was involved in a fatal accident.

Flashing Traffic Lights

Now, the other piece in this in the discussion on the original video, and I'll leave that down in the description for you, is the flashing traffic lights.

And in some U.S. cities, and cities in North America, and other places in the world, there are flashing traffic lights between certain hours.

So sort of like midnight to six a.m., the traffic lights flash.

And the vehicle heading northbound had the red light.

The vehicle heading eastbound had the yellow traffic light.

So both vehicles should have slowed and scanned the intersection before proceeding.

And so, it's an err on both parts.

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Failure to Scan the Intersection Before Proceeding

First, they didn't slow and scan the intersection.

And second, they didn't look across the open field to see if there were any vehicles coming.

And the other piece that I want to iterate here, and to underscore is the fact that you need to scan intersections, even if it's not the middle of the night.

You need to scan intersections to make sure that somebody isn't running that intersection and that you're not going to collide with them.

Flashing traffic lights, just because you have the right of way, it doesn't mean that you're going to be right and that is proven here in this.

And one of the things that we teach new drivers before they take off from the intersection in a passenger vehicle, scan the intersection.

How to Scan an Intesection In a Large Vehicle

It's a little different in CDL vehicles.

In CDL vehicles, they start the vehicle moving and then scan the intersection to make sure that there isn't anybody coming because commercial vehicles are slower.

And one other point about intersections, finally, is that 40% of crashes occur at intersections.

So if you're going to be involved in a crash, there's a one in two chance that you're going to be involved in a crash at an intersection.

Why T-Bone Crashes are Fatal

And again, the last point that I want to make about this, is T-bone crashes, these are often fatal because there isn't anything along the side of the vehicles on either side that is going to protect us.

So if you're parents with young children and you can put them in the center at the back, that's the best place for them because, as I said, there's nothing there.

That door panel is about this wide and it's hollow.

Automotive safety will not protect you in the event of a T-bone crash. Consequently, these types of crashes are often fatal.

There's this thin piece of metal on this side, and there's some plastic on this side.

There is nothing there that is going to protect you in a T-bone crash.

And this is why I emphasize this point again and again.

How to Protect Yourself When Driver's Run Red Lights

When you're coming into the intersection on a left-hand turn, or you're proceeding straight through the intersection, make sure that somebody is not running that light.

And the other reason that these two vehicles collided so heavily on this collision on a T-bone crash was because it was single direction traffic on both roads.

So both roads, in other words, were one-way traffic.

And that's why that vehicle is right over to the left-hand side in that lane because it's three lanes in one direction.

And you can see that here on Google Maps.

So, again, the points that I want to reiterate, scan the intersections, especially when it's flashing traffic lights.

Do not assume that the other vehicles are going to come to a stop.

Scan the intersection.

Even if you're in heavy traffic in the middle of the day, scan the intersections.

Some cities in North America in the middle of the night will have flashing traffic lights just to facilitate traffic flow.

Automotive Safety Doesn't Protect You in the Event of T-Bone Crash

And the last point is, on left-hand turns and going through intersections, T-bone crashes, be very, very careful on T-bone crashes because there is nothing in the vehicle that is going to protect you.

And one of the things that I argue is that the reason that we've reduced traffic crashes, or traffic crash deaths, in the last half century, is because improvements in roads, improvement in automotive safety and technology, and we've restrained people, and finally, the other reason that we've reduced fatalities in car crashes is because of medical advances.

Advances in medical science, and hospital procedures, and those types of things.

Spinning Our Wheels: The Inability of Traffic Policy to Change Driver Behaviour by Dr. Rick Clapton

And I'll put a link down in the description there for an academic article that I wrote that argued that.

And that's the reason.

We still have the same number of injuries in crashes, as you can see here.

Question for my smart drivers:

Have you been involved in a crash because somebody didn't scan the intersection?

Leave a comment down in the comment section there.

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I'm Rick with Smart Drive Test, thanks very much for watching.

Good luck on your road test.

And remember, pick the best answer, not necessarily the right answer.

Have a great day, bye now.

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Time Issue - Auto-Vox D1 Dashcam

Author: Rick
Hi Rick, Good day! For this issue, I think the version of their D1 is before September 2016. If yes, please help to advice them to update the firmware with the below instruction. Please check the below link and download the file.…

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