adrenaline skews perception
September 16, 2011 2:33 AM Subscribe
Did I actually do anything useful in this car accident?
posted by anotherkate to Grab Bag (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I was in a car accident in 2005. I was in the front passenger seat of a minivan. The driver was the only other person in the car. We were at a T intersection of a very busy local highway (morning rush hour). We had a blinking red, highway had a blinking yellow. Driver didn't realize that oncoming traffic wasn't going to stop, so she pulled out in front of a Ford F250 truck. We were probably going under 20 mph; the truck driver claimed he was only going about 40. We were hit on the driver's side, which forced our van to do a clockwise 360 spin. I grabbed the steering wheel first, which did nothing as far as I could tell. I then reached for the keys and turned off the car. The way I remember it, as soon as I turned off the car the spin stopped. However, when we did finally stop I was too shaken up to dial 911 properly, so I can't trust my memories.
For the actual question: Did turning off the engine actually do anything? Did it stop or slow the car, or was it just a coincidence? Looking for info on the physics of this kind of crash, and how cutting the power would affect the car's mobility, for lack of a better word.
I'll do my best to give more details if it seems necessary.