Tram drivers have nerves of steel

These drivers could not care any less about collisions. Clearly they understand physics, and have been hit before. Read the rest

Training skydive goes wrong on landing

The landing is the hard part. Thoughts and prayers for this now-injured skydiver. Thankfully rescue staff rush to her aid, while office staff hope she clearly signed the release of liability. Read the rest

Man killed by meteorite, first case in modern history (UPDATE: maybe not!)

UPDATE: NASA says probably not. (NYT)

On Saturday, a falling meteorite is thought to have killed V. Kamaraj, a bus driver at Bharathidasan Engineering College in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Read the rest

Dashcam: Driver steps out of moving car in traffic, crash happens

Watch as Jasmine Lacey, 22, calmly exits her automobile in the middle of traffic allowing it to roll the road, cross into oncoming traffic, and cause a multi-vehicle wreck on Harbor Boulevard in Rowland Heights, California. Read the rest

Watch this dump truck, with its dump bed raised, smash through highway signs

This occurred yesterday in Saudi Arabia, according to YouTube poster Mohamed Quetteineh. Read the rest

Will in-car HUDs make the roads hell?

Dashboard-mounted cameras provide a world of youtube schadenfreude—bad drivers and insurance fraudsters getting their public comeuppance—but also come wedded to the promise of safety and security from those things. But what about the guy constantly fiddling with it?

And dashcams are just the beginning of the technological feast glowing away at driver's eye level: GPS navigation systems, entertainment consoles, and now elaborate heads-up displays threaten to keep our eyes on high-tech gadgets rather than the highway.

At The New York Times, Matt Richtel looks at the most impressive HUD yet, from Navady, as well as what's cooking from usual suspects such as Google.

This technology is in its infancy. Navdy’s device isn’t shipping until later this year, and it’s not clear if it will work as seamlessly as presented in the video when used in less perfect real-life conditions. But, broadly speaking, the Navdy device falls into a booming category of in-car gadgetry that might be fairly categorized as “you can have your cake and eat it too.” Drive, get texts, talk on the phone, even interact on social media, and do it all without compromising safety, according to various makers of the so-called head-up displays, repeating a position taken by a growing number of automakers who sell monitors set into the dashboard or mounted on it. Some carmakers also display basic driving information, like speed and turn-by-turn directions, within a specialized windshield so a driver can remain looking ahead and not down at the instrument panel.

Psychologists hate this. Read the rest

Bystanders lift flaming car off trapped man

In this video, witnesses to a car-motorcycle crash quickly self-organize to lift a flaming car off the trapped motorcyclist. In addition to being an inspiring, life-affirming clip, it's also a fascinating study in collective action. Generally, people are less likely to take action in an emergency when others are around (each person assumes someone else is better qualified to help), but you can see this effect being quickly overcome as some people join the effort, luring others, despite the flames and danger.

On a stretch of road by the crest of a hill in Logan, Utah, on Monday, a motorcycle and a BMW collided, throwing the cyclist under the car and causing the bike to burst into flames, which quickly spread to the sedan. Rather than fleeing those two flaming vehicles, a dozen bystanders rushed toward the blaze, lifted the car and pulled the injured man out by his ankle.

Bystanders Lift Flaming Car to Save a Man

(Thanks, Laurie!) Read the rest