John Nash obit: How is one "thrown from a [non convertible] car?"

The mathematician and his wife died yesterday, and the reason in all the obits is “thrown from an out of control car.”


Allow me to the first to mention the loss of equilibrium.

Typically it’s through the wind shield or out the doors if they pop open.

Buckle up.

When a car get into a serious accident you can experience some seriously high G forces.

The doors don’t even have to pop open. You’ll go out the windows.

A moderate to severe car crash is as good a model of chaotic behavior as you can imagine. Impose a few hundred G’s on an unbelted person and they *will *go through a window or other opening, material strengths (biological and mechanical) be damned.

It was probably fast and they went together. There are worse alternatives.

Huh. Silly thing to say, I think, if it’s death by through the window. It’s the crashing into the window part that did the damage.

This. And from personal eyewitness experience, you may not make it out the car in one piece when you do so. The guy I’m thinking of landed about fifteen yards from his car. The car’s engine block ended up traveling much further, about thirty yards, but still not as far as his head went. The large semi-tractor trailer’s axle which hit him, probably had a lot to do with that though.

Downside of living next to a major highway for many years; you get to see what happens when people lose control of two ton plus implements moving at 90 feet per second.

Really? Every report I’ve seen lists the cause of death as “car crash” “traffic accident” or “taxi crash”. Being thrown from the car is mentioned as a detail, but nowhere have I seen it as the actual cause of death.

Can you link to one of these obits?

Actually instant death in an automobile crash (ie before paramedics can even get there) is most commonly either transaction of the thoracic aorta or a high cervical spinal cord injury. Both are from rapid deceleration.

Not really. Often it happens during a roll over. The windows break out. The doors pop open. Even if they go thru the window hitting the pavement or barrier at 50+ mph is more damaging.

In my case the door was ripped off. I was ejected approx. 127 ft from where my van flipped over.

Yes, you’re right, the “death by car crash” is the subject. But the NYtimes obit has this, which prompted OP:
The couple were ejected from the cab and pronounced dead at the scene. The State Police said it appeared that they had not been wearing seatbelts. The taxi driver and the driver of the other car were treated for injuries. No criminal charges had been filed on Sunday.

Wow. They were in the back seat of a cab, not wearing belts, which is certainly the way I and I’d guess most cab passengers do. God knows how they were ejected. Through the doors, the side windows, even through the front. I think I’ll belt up in a cab from now on. I’d like to avoid that.

Aren’t you required to by law? :confused: our seat belt laws in Canada apply in taxis.

Leo Bloom, have you been under the impression that every time you’ve heard of a person thrown from a car they’ve been in a convertible??

You really see it with race cars, dragsters in particular, but when a car goes airborne under power it will immediately start to roll along its center-line axis as a Newtonian ‘re-action’ to the torque of the engine & drive train turning the opposite way. It’s like when a helicopter loses its tail rotor (only perpendicular to that). If the car is traveling fast (i.e. the engine is at high RPM) the torque is quite strong. And the G-forces inside a car in an even modest roll are more than enough to fling you out any opening (as well as sometimes rip the doors open).

Always wear your seat belt…

New York at least exempts taxi passengers, at least in the back seat (there was a push for legislation requiring front seat passengers to be belted, but I don’t know where that stands).

This will probably result in a push for taxi seat-belt laws.

What is the rationale for that? It seems bizarre.

Uh… begging to be slammed maybe, but do we in the US have a national or state-by-state law requiring seatbelts in the back seat?

You’d have to ask the New York state legislature.

Looks like 28 states have laws requiring seatbelts in the back seat.