Can a Fly Really Fly 500 Miles Per Hour?
I recall having a conversation with a friend once about a fly on an airplane. The man said that he was bothered by a fly that had somehow made its way onto an airplane he was traveling on and he expressed that it annoyed him the whole trip. Then he pondered “if the fly was on his shoulder, and flew forward six rows to bother someone else, was that fly actually flying as fast as he plane?”
This conversation took place at a party where perhaps my friend had consumed an adult beverage or two so he wasn’t necessarily all there. A fly cannot travel 500 miles per hour under its own power, nor can my friend. Both were actually experiencing Newton’s First Law of Motion: An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.
You feel acceleration when the plane takes off and then when it reaches a constant speed, you feel no sense of speed at all.
This applies to a motor vehicle as well, when you’re traveling 75 miles per hour in a 3000 pound car on the highway, talking to others in the car, sipping a Starbucks and listening to music. All seems peaceful and at rest, when in reality you are part of a very powerful force with tremendous potential energy.
Force is defined by another of Newton’s Laws – he made laws, but he wasn’t a lawyer, imagine that – and this is the law that relates directly to the damage that is done in a vehicle accident.
The Law is stated F=ma or the Force of an object is equal to mass X acceleration. We don’t want to get very technical here, but it is important to understand the very real potential for tremendous damage when a vehicle you drive impacts another vehicle or object. And the larger the vehicle, the more damage.
When you’re driving a fully loaded SUV, you’re driving a truck. The average weight of a Cadillac Escalade is 5,552 to 5,815 lbs. The weight of an average Toyota Corolla is 2,800 to 2,875 lbs. When you plug those numbers into the Force equation there is a big difference in the effects on vehicles, property, and human bodies. All vehicles can be dangerous but trucks require even more caution.
We are only a little over 3 months into the year, and already in Florida (all vehicles) the numbers are very disturbing:
Total Crashes: 91,700
Injury Crashes: 38,617
Total Injuries: 59,310
Crashes with Traffic Fatalities: 580
Total Traffic Fatalities 626
Commercial Vehicle Crashes: 9,475
Commercial Vehicles: 10,262
Property Damage Crashes: 52,503
Pedestrian Crashes: 2,203
Pedestrian Fatalities: 128
Bicycle Crashes: 1,536
Bicycle Fatalities: 31
It’s very important to be ever-vigilant of the incredible power that rests in your hands when operating any vehicle. Buckle up, be cautious, and never drink and drive.
If you are involved in an accident, it’s prudent to contact an attorney who has experience dealing with the aftermath and injuries involved. The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus has been helping the victims of vehicle crash injuries for over 20 years. They are eminently qualified to guide you through the legal and medical issues you may be facing. Call Gary and Arleen Lazarus at 954-356-0006.