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Reading about yet another case of no warning triangles at the scene of a rollover, I suggest the immediately we adopt a rule requiring at least ONE of the triangles be at the codrivers feet, in other words a standard position, and a known position.

Short of being grieviously injured, there can really be no reasons, or excuses for not getting those trianles out, most crews have 1 minute intervals so it pretty important.

And those with lead shot in them should be inspected regularly for the lead, those which had blown down at Prescott by the dead Focus were reported to have been 'lightened' and is probably the reason they blew down, and coupled with the car being moved and no "Clipboard with written warning" for codrivers to sign off on MAY have contributed to the unfortunate roll of the Misterbitchy Gaylant of Mustafa Samli.

No excuses for No Triangles.
Especially at night.


(no 4 way flashers?)



John Vanlandingham
Seattle, WA. 98168

Vive le Prole-le-ralliat!
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a) A triangle is supposed to be within reach of the co-driver already.

b) In our roll-over at LSPR, the co-driver triangle ended up somewhere it wasn't supposed to be (one of my watches also ended up off my wrist and jammed up in the driver's door in pieces) and I wasn't about to go crawling around inside the car with no one outside keeping an eye pealed for in-bound rally cars. Until we had the light of Doug's car coming towards us, we didn't even know which way the cars were coming from (so where would we have set up the triangle). Also, the co-driver door was no openable (it was down in the mud and the front fender was bent back over it as well), so one had to crawl all the way across the car to get that stuff.

After Doug's accident, we had plenty of people to look out for the in-bound cars (and we knew which direction they would be coming from), so we could go about extracting things like triangles, flashlights, etc.

alan
 

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I think that there should be a flash light required in reach of a co-driver at night in Rally. I know when I rolled at night the flash light was a big help. They are also very easy to secure. However it was a pain to get at the triangles in the truck since I couldn't get it open. I think there should be triangles on both sides of the car. This way whoever gets out first can put one out right away. Just a thought
Adam Boullion
 

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There was a flashlight within my reach as well. And it was where it was supposed to be after the roll-over. However, after the car stopped and we discovered the doors would not open, the last thing on our minds was remembering to grab the flashlight and triangle. It was more like how do we break open a door or window to get out so we don't get killed and how do we do it NOW because we didn't know when the next car would be coming.

It would have gone a lot better if we had thought through who did what in a roll-over, like we do for an on-stage tire change. But we didn't. After the roll-over, I think we both tried to open our doors strapped in our seats and, when they didn't open, we both unstrapped to try and get better leverage on each door. Then it became a real mess. I couldn't tell which part of Dennis was above me as he was beating on his door (I kept asking him "where are you?", trying to figure out how he was oriented for forcing a door open) while I was slamming things into my door window to try and break it.

If you want a suggestion for a new rule, it would be that teams are given a list of rally incident scenarios that they have thought through and can explain their response to a scrutineer or official before they are allowed to compete. Oh, that's too hard to administer. OK, let's just require that a new piece of safety equipment be added. That's a lot easier to implement and police.

alan
 

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codriveur
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>Reading about yet another case of no warning triangles at
>the scene of a rollover, I suggest the immediately we adopt
>a rule requiring at least ONE of the triangles be at the
>codrivers feet, in other words a standard position, and a
>known position.

Oh my goodness, I agree with JVL without condition! Esp. when you have co-drivers that jump rides this might not be a bad idea. This way reaching for it is reflexive.

>Short of being grieviously injured, there can really be no
>reasons, or excuses for not getting those trianles out...

Yes, there are. And, I think the very gripping narrative and appendicies to the events that your refering to would show what the dynamics of rapid unintended deceleration can cause among a top crew.


To Alan and Dennis: I'm glad everyone is OK, I'm thankful you shared the events so well that with 2 events coming up real soon personally it will help keep me focused, and I'm know I learned a couple more things I did not know.

Bernie

PS to Alan: Do you think a Firesuit with reflective tape/edging similar to what the local fire department guys wear could have been a help/safer when you went up stage? (Both times) Can only Doug can answer that?
 

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JVL, you crack me up. Maybe you should scan through the rule book to see if the rule is already there before suggesting it. I'm not saying it's not a good idea, because it is. Especially the part about making sure it'll stay standing after a few cars blow by it. There have been times when triangles fall over because the sand or lead shot in the base has been taken out; triangles become pretty useless when they're lying flat in the mud.

Anyway, here's what I really wanted to say: why not recommend that everyone carries one of those handy escape hammers (you know, the ones with the seat belt cutter, window hammer, thingie... I don't know what they're really called) to break the window with? They won't work on the lexan windows, but those of us with stock windows could use them.

I'm also glad that everyone involved here are all okay... sounds like it was a scary time! :)

KT
 

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>
>No excuses for No Triangles.
>Especially at night.

I can think of about a half dozen valid excuses as to why there was not triangles, and maybe in the next couple days I'll post them. I'll have to check the tape, but I think we were trapped in the car for almost a minute, upside down. None of the doors would open, and we couldn't seem to break any windows. Our only thought at that point was "get the ##### out." When I was able to kick open my door and crawl out, I immediately took off at a full sprint down the road. My only thought was to get as far up the road as possible to warn the next car. I figured a driver standing in the middle of road waving frantically would be as good as a triangle. Unfortunatly due to my confusion, and the absolute pitch darkness, I ran the wrong direction. My mistake, Doug and Scott paid the price, and now we all have to live with it. I'm not taking this lightly, I feel horrible about what happened.

>
>(no 4 way flashers?)
>

When the car went over and stopped, I killed all the power. Since we were stuck in the car, I figured darkness was better than fire.

I agree that triangles, flashlights, etc... should all be readily accessible, and I'll be making some reccomendations based on our experience shortly. But I don't believe any of that would have changed the outcome Friday night.

Dennis Martin
[email protected]
920-432-4845
 

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I designed my battery cutoff to minimize the risks of fire or a battery explosion from a short in a wreck while maintaining a few key low current capabilities. My battery is in the back seat (maybe the safest part of the vehicle from a crash standpoint, versus being out there in front of the front wheels where it was placed by VAG).

With my cutoff, I cut + power to the ignition and everything under the hood, including fuel pumps and high current lights, and preserve power to navigation, intercom, radio, interior lighting and the 4-way flashers. I figured the interior lighting and flashers might come in handy...
 

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Get rid of night stages.
At the level the sport is in the US right now (not enough spectators (to rescue you in case you have a big one in the dark), not enought marshalls (same as above), extremely unreliable cell/radio service in the forest, no recce, no gravel crew, etc. you are in real danger if something bad happens..
I've spent 1/3rd of my rally career codriving in shoe boxes in events that started at 11pm and finished the following morning. You have 2000 spectators and tenths of marshall per stage, you go off, you don't have to worry if you will get hit. You'll be either back on the wheels or pulled out of the car before you realize what happened.
But here is not like that.
Night stages without recce are the most dangerous factor in US rally..not the restrictors..


Alex Gelsomino
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That's interesting...I was thinking about writing a post advocating more night stages. That's on the theory that if perception of the road and surroundings decreases, then folks would slow down. Interesting that you would think the opposite. But probably best saved for a separate thread.

Regards,
Makr B.
 

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What gives, Dennis? I read that you flipped both a Baja car and your rally car in one race!!! :p In all seriousness, though, I wasn't there, so I can't judge - sounds like a nerve-racking experience.

However, I can wholeheartedly agree with the fundamental concept of having triangles at the ready, and being placed in proper locations. Errant triangles by an offed competitor were a primary reason for my cars' demise in Ramada Express 2002. Yes, I know in-car triangle placement is stated in the rule book, but for some reason, it seems like it isn't stressed enough at pre-rally meetings, or it falls on deaf ears.

In my case, I was coming over a crest, followed by an acute right-hander. No one had warned us of an impending offed car, and I came into the crest at about 8/10ths. When I reached the crest, I though to myself "Holy [email protected]$%#@!, there's a car offed right over the crest!!". A Toyota Corolla had gotten stuck in the wash on the outside of the corner (one that had apparently claimed a few cars previously). As I was over the crest, my car started to drift toward the outside. As I was heading straight for their offed car, I saw an eery sight: both driver and co-driver were standing behind their car with one (1!!!!) triangle 20' in front of it, way down the crest of the hill. FerChrissakes! What good does that do?!? In a last effort to avoid T-boning their car, I hooked my car into the ditch, and it rolled side over side, back on to the wheels - we blew out all the glass, and stopped about 8 feet from the Corolla.

After we came to a stop, and I made sure my co-driver was OK, we exited the car. With the other team still standing behind their car, I yelled to my co-driver to get the top of the hill and start waving people down, as I set up triangles. Luckily, we were able to get there before the next car came. Also, we were able to drive out of the stage, albeit with no glass, and a slightly crushed cage. It's a good thing that I was stunned enough not to react in anger, because I would have throttled the other team for their utter lack of warning!! Later that night at rallies end, the car that was behind us came up to me and said something to the effect of "Thanks for waving us down, there's no way I could have seen you if you if your co-driver wasn't there. We would've ended up in the ditch right beside you." Yeah, go figure, I found that one out for myself!

I guess that's part of rallying, but the turn of events that day still frustrates me (and I'm almost done completely re-shelling my car). As such, when your car goes off (and assuming that you're OK), the first 2 things you should think of are:

1. Make sure your own crew is OK.
2. Make for damn sure that you hustle to where the next car can see you.

Again, I don't mean to imply anything about Dennis' circumstance - it sounds a lot hairier than the one I went through, but it is imperative that you kick, scream, yell, or do whatever else it takes to make sure that the guys behind you knows that you are off.

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>PS to Alan: Do you think a Firesuit with reflective
>tape/edging similar to what the local fire department guys
>wear could have been a help/safer when you went up stage?
>(Both times) Can only Doug can answer that?

In the red-cross situation, I had a triangle out where I was and most folks seem to have seen Tim running back to the start holding a triangle, so they suspected something was up. I am a kinda big guy and I wear a Sparco "shiny white" driving suit, so I show up well in good driving lights. Most of the cars stopped where I was. Two went by and had to reverse back to me. One flew by without stopping (I am not going to name names here and I still need to bring this up with him). I was also standing on a straight.

In the roll-over, the car was at the end of a long, fast, downhill turn with embankment and trees on the inside of the turn, so the car was not visible until you started into the turn. This was made worse by the fact that it was a fast turn. After Doug and Scott joined us, Doug and Dennis took a triangle to the start of the turn and I think they made themselves very visible.

From looking at Doug's in-car, I think one thing that messed up Doug was that our accident took down a tree that came down diagonally across the road in front of Dennis' car. Doug could not see that the road was actually open (aside from the fallen tree, which was mostly small branches at the top) to his left of Dennis' car. As was mentioned before, he thought his choice was hitting an upside down car that might have had someone trapped inside or center-punching a tree and didn't know that he could have gone to the left and hit the top of the fallen tree (at the top it was small branches that might have pierced his radiator or broken a light, but wouldn't have caused the damage that center-punching the tree did). I think that tree threw Doug and Scott off, because they both initially thought that I had been standing on the left side of the road and didn't realize that I was on the right until they saw their in-car video.

Anyway, after Doug's accident, we pulled that tree out of the road before the next car came through.

I don't think having retroreflective material on the driving suits would have helped in this instance. By the time that I figured out what direction the next car was coming from, I could not have gotten far enough up the road to put myself in a position where Doug seen me to let him know where the rolled car was with sufficient distance to take avoiding action. I needed to be on the outside of the turn because our car was at the outside exit of the turn, but I had to stay in the protection of the trees to avoid getting hit by Doug if he hit the same water-filled rut that we hit that caused us to go wider than expected. On the other hand, maybe all those skinny competitors in dark-colored driving suits could use it.

alan
 

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Hi John et al,

I think the present rule is OK. The situation that occured is one of those where no number of triangles or their placement in the car would make a difference. If the same accident occured and both drivers were knocked out, then no triangles will ever be displayed.

I am a strong advocate for much stronger penalties for not putting out triangles. I think this should be disqualificatoin from participating in events for 6 months. I take this draconian position because:
1) I had to intentionally crash my car head on into trees in 1992 to avoid hitting a driver WORKING UNDER HIS CAR on the outside of the exit of a turn, and who did not put a triangle out on the approach to the turn where you could see it. (Incredible? Ask Leslie Suddard.)
2) We almost nailed a Celica at 100 AC Wood on the exit of a turn for the same reason. I never saw a triangle; my co-driver saw one but it was only seen after entering the turn.

Forget the triangle placement in the car. Get people out of that car and warning others ASAP or panalize them heaviliy.

Mark B.
 

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>In a last effort to avoid T-boning
>their car, I hooked my car into the ditch, and it rolled
>side over side, back on to the wheels - we blew out all the
>glass, and stopped about 8 feet from the Corolla.

Ross Foster and I went off at exactly the same place. We had mechanical difficulties on the first day, so our times were bad and we got started way back in the field. Two or three miles into that stage, we caught the car in front of us. We were in his dust bad, but were able to stay on him because of the notes. We saw a gap in the dust, but it ended up being the end of the straight going into that washout.

At the edge of the road, the surface was really soft and the left front wheel caught and threw the car into the air. We bounced once off of my (co-driver) A-pillar and came down on the wheels and almost fell onto the side, but the car tipped back down on its wheels. Most of the glass was out of the car (as well as the impact gun and the first kit, which we discovered later). We were about 8 feet from the Corolla when we stopped.

We made sure that we were OK. Then Ross tried to start the car and it just fired right up, so we rejoined the rally. However, there was some bad tire rubbing going on, so we stopped to discover the left front control arm was bent back so far that the wheel was interferring with the fender and we retired. (Then we discovered the missing first aid kit and impact gun.)

I had heard that another car had landed where we had been stopped.

alan
 

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>I had heard that another car had landed where we had been
>stopped.
>
>alan

Alan,

That "other car" was me. For our sake, I'm glad you moved! :)

You were in the white 323, right? I was the black Talon TSI that drove out after you (I can't remember if you were towed out or made it under your own power). That wasn't a pleasant day.

I think Mark nailed it right on the head. We don't need to argue about semantics of the rules, we need to educate drivers/co-drivers of the consequences of going off and not properly warning others behind them.

JVL, while it might be a valid discussion here, this isn't the forum to instigate rules change - inform your organizers/safety stewards directly. I know I'm going to.
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400 flat to crest
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Mike,
this IS the only consistant place, and thats why it was addressed to WHOEVER.
And there should be some cosistancy in the emergency procedures between whatevber alaphabet soup Sanctioning body it is.

This lack of triangles is a long time constant problem and has been for the 20 years I have been around this sport.
I've had too many scares and listened to to many justifications.
Maybe I've just spent more time in wheelchairs and on crutches than most of you.

I know in Sweden they have a little weeeenie triangle shaped flag and it is starpped to the front leg of the roll cage in a PVC tube, has a safe rubberoid handle and if you don't wave that thing then you're in deep do-do.

Further discussions HERE vs private, you wouldn't like it if people were writing you threatening notes about your off you just described would you??
That's one reason to post here: never say something you wouldn't say to a person in front of others; too much of the naughty stuff goes on privately.



John Vanlandingham
Seattle, WA. 98168

Vive le Prole-le-ralliat!
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codriveur
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On the other hand,
>maybe all those skinny competitors in dark-colored driving
>suits could use it.
>
>alan

Also not being either, is why it came to mind. Since we are the possibly the only people in racing, wearing a firesuit, that could possibly get as totally disoriented in the middle of the "course" that we run. At night. I thought it might not be a bad idea. I'm not looking for a triangle on the chest of all co-drivers but... a version of it might be something to think about down the road?

Bernie

Thanks again for all the detail.
 

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John,

Your point is taken. Let me clarify by saying that this forum is indeed a good place to discuss these changes (that is, when personal attacks don't run rampant), and you're right, this is probably the most consistent place to do so. What I meant, and probably should have said was: while this is a great place to discuss these changes, they are just not going to happen because the masses will it. Organizers and stewards, etc. are busy people, too, and they can't read all the discussion that goes on here; we need to go to them directly. If there's one thing I've learned from being a director in a volunteer organization (which is what 95% of NA rally is), it's that things happen much more effectively if members of said organization confront the controlling body directly and tell them what they want. Discussing that "want" here is obviously a first step, that needs to be followed through with action.
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