Planned North Carolina Train Accident Excites the Imagination of Boys throughout the State

May 25, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

On May 23rd and May 24th, the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Rail division (along with state troopers) conducted a mock North Carolina train accident to help train emergency workers in Rocky Mount. According to a local news source, www.grenwichtime.com, authorities staged the wreck between train and car to help “teach local officials how to clear the tracks quickly so trains can keep running while also conducting a proper investigation [as well as] to emphasize safety at rail crossings.”

North Carolina train, truck, and bus accidents are often catastrophic and injury causing. This much is obvious. But why?

The answer is not just that these vehicles are “bigger.” It’s that the collisions tend to be serious mismatches. An 18-ton truck smashing into a four-ton sedan is a David versus Goliath type mismatch. The truck wins big time. And this means that the forces at work tend to be far more intense than they are in “standard” passenger-car-on-passenger-car accidents.

Confused? Let’s do some simple math. According to basic laws of physics, force (F) equals an object’s mass (M) multiplied by its acceleration (A). Hence we get the famous equation, F=MA. Without getting too much into the details of the physics, force can also equal a change in momentum. Momentum is an object’s mass (M) times its velocity (V). So when a 20-ton truck goes from 60 miles per hour to zero miles per hour in, say, five seconds, it exerts a force 10 times greater than a 2-ton vehicle going from 60 miles per hour to zero miles per hour in the same time frame (5 seconds).

To repeat: that’s ten times the force!

And it’s not just the fact that trucks, trains, buses and other large vehicles impact greater force “vectors.” The angles at which collisions occur can impart what are known as torsional forces – basically rotational forces – that can do their own kinds of damage.

All this is to say that, if you or someone you care about has been hurt or killed in a roadside crash, a North Carolina train, truck, and bus accident law firm will likely need to investigate exactly happened, talk to experts, do some accident reconstruction, and probe the details of what went wrong to get you compensated for injuries, funeral expenses, lost wages, and other costs.

More Web Resources:

North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Rail division

Momentum is an object’s mass (M) times its velocity (V)

 
 

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