the grey Mercedes SUV of death

Albert Einstein during a lecture in Vienna in ...

Image via Wikipedia

I was backing out of the driveway the other day and I almost got nailed by the grey Mercedes SUV of death. I looked right, then left, which is where I usually have neighbors pressing the pedal to the metal.

As they say in the law enforcement field, I then proceeded to back out slowly into the street. I’d hate to back out over my neighbor walking her dog.  But, what saved me and Tad, is that I looked right a second time, (the old right-left-right), just in time to see a silver grey Mercedes SUV barrel around the corner and floor it past me to race up the street.  

I digress, but I suspect it was the Mercedes-Benz GL Class which has a price range from $60,950 – $84,450, and a mileage range from 12 – 17 mpg, probably closer to 3 mpg as it raced past me, and it comes with a certificate that permits the driver to take more of the road than the rest of us.

 We live in the 2nd house in, so this happened quickly.  Fortunately, I was going slowly, so all it took was a gentle tap of the brakes as the SUV zipped past me at a high rate of speed, racing down the street, and crossed over to the left hand side to park in front of a neighbor’s house.  Remember, the Mercedes comes with a certificate to drive and park where you want.  I’m sure that if we asked Albert Einstein, he would say that high speed driving in a residential neighborhood actually makes time go in reverse, so you can get to your friend’s house before you leave yours.

I am thankful that everything was fine, that there was no accident. I wasn’t even upset. I did do a post event analysis and here are my conclusions and questions:

  1. going slow saved us
  2. looking a second time saved us
  3. I hate Mercedes SUVs and their drivers*
  4. we were lucky that it wasn’t raining
  5. why didn’t the driver have their lights on?  grey skies + grey streets + grey car = invisible vehicle
  6. the most obvious physics equation for this situation has to do with conservation of momentum:
m_1 \mathbf u_{1} + m_2 \mathbf u_{2} = m_1 \mathbf v_{1} + m_2 \mathbf v_{2}\,,

where m = the mass of the vehicle, u = the velocity of the vehicle before the collision and v = the velocity of the vehicle after the collision.  Note that the SUV would transfer its velocity to our smaller vehicle.

The bottom line,  however is that you can’t live your life in fear, even though you never know when the big grey Mercedes SUV of death will come barreling around that corner. 

*sorry–is this bad or offensive to Mercedes SUV drivers?  insensitive? you should hear what I have to say about Land Rovers

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About sma11fish

small fish in a big pond
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