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7/10ths of a second

It takes 7/10ths of a second to kill a person in an automobile crash.  Studies at Yale and Cornell Universities provided a dramatic split-second chronology of what happens when a car rams into a tree at 55 mph.

* At 1/10th of a second, the front bumper and grill collapse.

* At 2/10ths of a second, the hood crumbles, rises and smashes into the windshield, and the grillwork disintegrates.

* At 3/10ths of a second, the driver springs upright from his seat, his broken knees pressed against the dashboard and the steering wheel bends under his grip.

* At 4/10ths of a second, the front of the car is destroyed and dead still, but the rear end is still plunging forward at 55mph.  The half-ton motor crushes into the tree.

* At 5/10ths of a second, the driver's fear frozen hands bend the steering column into an almost vertical position, and is impaled on the steering wheel shaft.  Jagged steel punctures the lungs and arteries.

* At 6/10ths of a second, the impact rips the shoes off the feet.  The chassis bends in the middle and the driver's head is slammed into the windshield.  The car's rear begins its downward fall as it's spinning wheels churn into the ground.

* At 7/10ths of a second, the entire body of the car is twisted grotesquely out of shape.  In one final agonizing convulsion, the front seat rams forward, pinning the driver against the steering shaft.  Blood spurts from the mouth and shock has frozen the heart as the driver dies.

Did that story bother you?  Give you the "chills"?  I hope so.  Because that was the nice one. Now imagine this -- no one is wearing a seat belt, the kids are playing in the backseat or frontseat, maybe it could be a head-on collision --- lets see now, head on collision each vehicle traveling at 55 mph -- that would equal a 110 mph impact....and you thought the tree was bad.

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