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Automobile Panic Button

For emergency use only.
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Some people can't drive.

Not that they aren't capable of being good ordinary everyday drivers, but some lack the skills or reflexes required to escape a situation like a spin or crash.

If an 85 year old was to get into a spin, she could hammer the big red button in the middle of her steering wheel with her hand, and the ABS, power steeing, throttle, and traction control would sense the spin, turn the car in the direction of the spin, take off the throttle, and keep the brakes from locking up regardless of how the driver is flailing on the controls.

In the event of an unavoidable accident such as a long skid on ice into the back of a bus, the seatbelts could be pretensioned, the windows rolled up (if that's safer then down), and the other systems would do what they can to avoid the collision.

Giblet, Mar 19 2005

Defensive Driving http://www.roadtrip...eDriving/Rule30.htm
Skid recovery [Giblet, Mar 20 2005]

[link]






       I believe that people who don't know how to handle their cars in the first place ain't gonna be helped by some magic "get me out of this" button. If you're going to go out on the road, learn how to bl**dy drive first!   

       (And the essense of ABS and similar systems is that they intervene automatically, without anyone pressing a button.)
DrCurry, Mar 19 2005
  

       And some people turn away from the direction of the skid, making the situation worse.   

       I don't see how the active sytems that exist in cars today are magic and unable to take over from the drivers hands and feet.   

       A lot of people think they know how to get out of a spin, but they've never had to actually do it, and doing it on a busy icy freeway might not be the best place to practice.   

       However I understand your point that people should be able to do it themselves.
Giblet, Mar 19 2005
  

       she?
po, Mar 19 2005
  

       Nice one [po], had to scroll back to catch it.
zeno, Mar 19 2005
  

       Not familiar with active stability control systems, are you? Many vehicles have it and it does wrest partialcontrol from the driver (throttle, braking) while applying countering forces through differential thrust and braking on a per-wheel basis. I think Porsche was amongst the first to do this in response to the many drivers who got in over their abilities at the wheel of the high polar moment biased 911 series.   

       Soon, Mercedes, Lexus, BMW, Acura, Cadillac, Chevrolet (Corvette) and others joined the active skid management crowd.
bristolz, Mar 19 2005
  

       zeno: heaven forbid you read the idea before annotating, eh?
DrCurry, Mar 19 2005
  

       think he did DC. ;)
po, Mar 19 2005
  

       "And some people turn away from the direction of the skid, making the situation worse."   

       ?
bristolz, Mar 19 2005
  

       <glancing without a clue>
zeno, Mar 19 2005
  

       Apparently the old rule was to turn into the direction of the skid (upon further reading). I guess clarifying an understeer or oversteer skid makes a big difference.   

       anyways... see link.
Giblet, Mar 20 2005
  

       Oh yes I did say she. Good observation.   

       Was thinking of my grandma at the time who is probably one of the worst drivers I've ever seen.
Giblet, Mar 20 2005
  

       I have never, ever heard of any rule ever telling one to turn into the skid unless they are a stunt driver or fool.
bristolz, Mar 20 2005
  

       Giblet: it sounds like what you really need to do is get your grandmother off the road. I know it's very hard when it's time for the elderly to turn in their keys (my own grandmother recently stopped driving after a couple of fainting spells, fortunately not in the car), but it's only fair to the rest of the community.
DrCurry, Mar 20 2005
  

       Bristolz, the reason that turning into a skid used to be the right choice was that by trying to turn away, the majority of people would overcorrect, snap the rear of the car back around, and then repeat, going into a 'pendulum spin'.   

       Turning into the skid and braking scrubs speed off the car faster and brings the car to a stop.   

       Whether it was right or not, this is what was taught in drivers ed for years.
Giblet, Mar 20 2005
  

       I recently drove up hill and down dale in the snow to pick up a friend to go to the train station. All was well. On the (small) road to the station I dabbed the brakes and started sliding (at about 10 mph). I steered the way that I wanted to go but realised that I was only crossing the wheels against the direction of travel and nothing happened - apart from a slightly embarrassing bump onto the kerb. If I were to have steered into the direction that I was pointing then I *might* have been able to recover.
gnomethang, Mar 20 2005
  

       What happened as you returned up dale and down hill?
Basepair, Mar 20 2005
  

       Nothing!. I employed all the good driving techniques for the snow.
gnomethang, Mar 20 2005
  

       Me too: turning the engine off and staying home. Didn't have one accident!
DrCurry, Mar 20 2005
  

       //"Some people can't drive"// Then they shouldn't!!! - - don't give them a panic button, that they think will save them, if they lack the necessary competence to drive - DON'T ...   

       //"...she could hammer the big red button in the middle of her steering wheel with her hand..."// doesn't this require a certain amount of judgment? to do this SHE would have to have.. //"...skills or reflexes required to escape a situation like a spin or crash..."// Who is to make the judgment that she is capable of this, but not keeping a vehicle under control?   

       When one is given a button that avoids certain consciences they will use it as a normal part of driving. . . . then there is a point ( especially in poorly designed suspension systems ) that things will be unrecoverable and you will simply go along for the ride. thus requiring, anti- gravitational and physics violating buttons AND the judgment to use them. The result could be no or nearly no reduction in accidents   

       //...in the middle of her steering wheel ...// Isn't that where they put the horn? I would hate to be an old school driver and suddenly find that as I am going around a tight corner, when I tap my horn at an innocent bird, my cars //...ABS, power steeing, throttle, and traction control would sense the spin, turn the car in the direction of the spin, take off the throttle, and keep the brakes from locking up regardless of how the driver is flailing on the controls...//   

       Then as I am going off the road into the river //...In the event of an unavoidable accident...// my //..seatbelts ... pretensioned, the windows rolled up (if that's safer then down), and the other systems would do what they can to avoid the collision...// then I would be killed by the technology trying to save me   

       //... an 85 year old...// that //... lack the skills or reflexes required to escape a situation...// like your //...grandma at the time who is probably one of the worst drivers...//   

       SHOULD NOT BE ON THE ROAD DRIVING   

       driving is very dangerous and should be taken VERY seriously It kills a person every 13 minutes   

       //...people should be able to do it themselves...//   

       What about an "all proximity ejection" button or "airbags on high alert and repeated firing" button or a "self destruct" button   

       LEARN HOW TO DRIVE OR DON'T DRIVE.
shad, Mar 21 2005
  

       Oh good grief. It's a halfbaked invention.
bristolz, Mar 21 2005
  

       What about the caveat that's in every modern car manual and stickers all over the inside of the glovebox/sun visor etc that "Safety features such as ABS, traction control, etc etc are not substitutes for safe driving and may not be able to save the car in the event of driving like a maniac"?   

       (Actually, I don't think that's the exact phrasing, but you get my drift).   

       [UB], I feel as if I'm not worthy enough to correct you, but aren't you referring to the 911 of old's evil OVERsteer, rather than understeer? What with the engine behind the rear axle, they were rather prone to the pendulum effect I understand. This has been addressed in modern versions though, so Evo magazine reliably informs me...
kmlabs, Mar 21 2005
  

       The pendulum effect is what [bz] referred to as the high polar moment - the tendency of the 911 (and its VW forebear, as well as the evil MGC) to do whatever it's doing to excess. Having little weight on the front and a large amount right at the back means that it tends to understeer hugely then *suddenly* oversteer hugely.
For those who are confused, understeer is when the car tends to go straight on when you steer; modern cars are designed to do this slightly, because the method of correction - apply more of the same lock - is somewhat intuitive (for reasons which are beyond the scope of this paragraph - scrub angles, and suchlike - , it actually makes the problem slightly worse, but by the time that's noticeable, friction has sorted things out). An oversteering car responds to, say, a right turn by turning its nose right, then hanging its tail out to the left, outside of the steered curve. In extreme cases the car will spin. The method of correction is to steer opposite to the original direction, hence the term "opposite lock". Balancing an oversteering car with opposite lock and more gas produces a power-slide or "four wheel drift". The car can be making quite a tight right-hand turn on almost full left-hand lock.
To summarize, an understeering car will head into the ditch nose first, while an oversteering car does so tail first.
angel, Mar 21 2005
  

       // Me too: turning the engine off and staying home. Didn't have one accident! DrCurry, Mar 20 2005 //
Would that I could! DrC!
gnomethang, Mar 21 2005
  

       I love driving on bad roads. It always amuses me to see so many people who don't know how to drive.   

       After growing up in the Northeast United States (some nasty winters), I moved to the Northwest (Seattle). I was amazed to see so many people (many in 4wd cars and trucks) pulled off to the side of the road or in ditches after a sudden snowstorm.   

       If you can't handle the conditions, you shouldn't be on the road.   

       But as for this idea: Most people who would need something like this (those who can't properly handle their vehicle, and therefore panic) just tend to grip the wheel and go stiff-arm. Clutch? Downshift? Brake pumping? Counter-steer? When they enter panic mode, all these things mean nothing. They just grip, stomp, and prey.
Freefall, Mar 22 2005
  

       "Look at that car!"   

       "Yeah, nice ABS on that one!"
DesertFox, Mar 22 2005
  

       Whoah Shad, that was extremely intense of you.   

       I don't feel strongly about this idea. The reason we post ideas is to see if they do in fact suck or if they have been thought of already. You think it sucks. I'm picking up what you're laying down man.   

       I agree that people who can't drive shouldn't be on the road, but get this.... they pass their road tests on a regular basis.   

       That word 'should' was the basis for Shad's rant-like passage, and many others.   

       So my idea is for the people you are talking about, the one's who -shouldn't- drive, but do.
Giblet, Mar 22 2005
  

       What really plagues the 911 is the novice driver's instinct to get off the throttle when it does begin to come around and then have it snap back, ferociously, in the opposite direction and leave the road at a high speed, backwards. (I have been through this, as a passenger, and the image is yet fresh in my mind even though I was a teen at the time. It also has a bit to do with my lingering ill-regard for the kind of man Porsche 911s attract. Come to think of it, I know no women who drive 911s, a couple who drive Cayennes.)
bristolz, Mar 22 2005
  

       [UB] and [Bris] I stand (well, sit) corrected.
kmlabs, Mar 22 2005
  

       The 911 is famous as an unbalanced yet obscenely fast race car.   

       The 911 cornering mantra is "Enter it slow, hammer it out".   

       The fact that a car with the engine hanging over the rear axle line can handle as well as it does, and has done so for the last few decades is quite impressive.   

       Thanks for the input ladies and gents.
Giblet, Mar 23 2005
  

       Giblet   

       I hardly think that my response was by any means a rant, I feel as though I responded to this topic showing a predictable and probable scenario based on the information provided. Also note that my response was primarily composed of quoting you.   

       However, I am unequivocally decided that one should not drive if they are not capable. If this is what annoyed you that is too bad   

       I don't think that you understand my point, you said   

       //...So my idea is for the people you are talking about, the one's who -shouldn't- drive, but do...//   

       What I am talking about is not using technology to make bad drivers feel more secure... they should never feel secure   

       For example, anti-lock brakes INCREASE stopping distance on gravel. So being that I living in a state where a majority of roads are gravel makes this future a fault and a danger to me. This feature endangers me in an environment where I do actually need four wheel drive, so that the manufacture can sell a vehicle to people that don't use or need 4wd or even understand what they are buying.
shad, Mar 23 2005
  

       Why don't you just pull the ABS fuse/breaker if it's such a detriment to you?
bristolz, May 01 2005
  

       Instead of a red button the car could have a speech recognition system that would activate the crisis handler when people yelled "Momma!!!"
PauloSargaco, Jan 13 2013
  

       This is one of those ideas that is basically baked. IIRC cars are now REQUIRED to have Electronic Stability Program that can correct for a skid. That came about because SUVs got really popular but they were bought exclusively by people who couldn't drive and also had a habit of going upside-down if they skidded. Now Mercedes has pre-safe which detects an imminent crash, applies the brakes, tightens the seatbelts, moves the seats upright, closes the windows, and flashes the brake lights.
DIYMatt, Jan 13 2013
  

       Subaru WRX Sti has this built in. On any surface, in any skid or spin, simply hammer the brakes. Four individually computer controlled master cylinders adjust brake power until the vehicle straightens out and comes to a stop. I called B.S. when the salesman told me but after looking under the hood, all of the necessary components were there for this to work.
Brian the Painter, Jan 13 2013
  
      
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