Even the Best Trained Can Fail

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by Rich Wojtczak, Owner & CEO of DrivingMBA

PWalkerCrashThe Paul Walker story about his untimely death has been in the forefront for the past several days, with new information coming out daily.

What is clear is that the driver of the vehicle was no novice driver, and the vehicle itself was no ordinary passenger vehicle. The driver was an accomplished racing enthusiast, with a lot of time on a track, as was Paul. The vehicle was a limited edition Porsche that sold originally for $450,000, and had about 650 horsepower in a package that made it, by some accounts, “scary”.

The cause of the collision is going to be a source of conjecture for a while before the crash forensic is completed and the reports filed. One report is:

The Porsche that actor Paul Walker was riding in when he died on Saturday was traveling at approximately 40 to 45 mph when it came to a bend in the road where the speed limit drops to about 15 mph, a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation told NBC News on Monday. It was in that vicinity where the driver, Roger Rodas, apparently lost control of the vehicle, ending in the fiery solo accident, the source said.

Walker, 40, and Rodas, 38, were killed at the scene, police said. Their autopsies were put on hold Monday, as the Los Angeles Medical Examiner’s Office waits for dental X-rays for each man to aid in making the official identifications, said Craig Harvey, chief of the coroner’s operations bureau.

Whatever the final determination is, it is still a tragedy, and from it we can glean some lessons that apply to everyone that gets behind the wheel of a vehicle, especially if it’s not one you’ve driven often:

• Approach the vehicle capabilities with caution

• Don’t assume you know the vehicle limitations

• Do assume that the vehicle might have some very different handling characteristics than those you are accustomed to

• Don’t think you are experienced enough to handle anything you drive

• Do respect the incredible power to wreak havoc

• Don’t think it can’t happen to you

 

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