Skip to comments.Paul Walker's family blames road bumps for car crash
Posted on 12/11/2013 8:10:07 AM PST by BenLurkin
TMZ reported that experts told Walker's family that a car approaching 90 MPH will lose traction after hitting "Botts' Dots", reflective dots on the road used to guide drivers at night.
(Excerpt) Read more at upi.com ...
Thank God he wasn’t at fault! Of course I blame Bush....
So it was the braille bump fault?..
We take our street speedin’ here in Georgia seriously!
Most of the time whens the road crews thank sumbody gonna be racin on a street, they takes a grinder wheel and digs out a place for the speed dots to sit in all flush with the road and such....
I thought that too. They were speeding, but the blame will be placed on those raised dots in the road, the dots which at appropriate speeds warn drivers that they are veering out of their lane? Really?
Even worse than road bumps are pets, pedestrians, and cyclists. You hit them going 90 and watch out!
DOTS are placed flush in Cali too — if the road is likely to get snow on it. Keeps the plows from pulling them all up.
Inventor of Botts’ Dots
Dr. Elbert Dysart Botts (January 2, 1893 April 10, 1962) was the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) engineer credited with overseeing the research that led to the development of Botts’ dots and possibly the epoxy used to attach them to the road.
Botts was born in Missouri in 1893 and was a professor of chemistry at San Jose State College when he was recruited to Caltrans.
He is credited with leading the division of the Caltrans research laboratory (Translab) that conducted the initial research into identifying the best shapes and materials for raised pavement markers. Much of the necessary field research was conducted by his team on a new freeway in West Sacramento in the spring of 1955. Although the initial goal was to improve lane visibility, it was at this point that the tactile feedback provided by the dots was discovered.
At Caltrans, Botts dots were developed as a way to address the problem of paint disappearing when under water.
Botts never lived to see the success of his research. He died in April 1962 and his work on the dots was filed away; it was not even mentioned in his obituary in Translab’s internal newsletter. Two years later, his research was rediscovered when his division, now under the direction of Herbert Rooney, decided to conduct further research into raised pavement markers. At this time, Translab developed the modern pattern of interspersing plastic square reflectors between groups of four round polyester or epoxy dots. This pattern was first tested along Interstate 80 near Vacaville in 1965. To minimize the risk that dots would become coated with rubber scraped off tires, Translab switched to ceramic round markers in 1966.
And the dots themselves.
Botts’ dots are round nonreflective raised pavement markers. In many U.S. states and in several other countries, Botts’ dots are used (along with reflective raised pavement markers) to mark lanes on highways and arterial roads. They provide tactile feedback to drivers when they move across designated travel lanes, and are analogous to rumble strips.
Botts’ dots are named after Dr. Elbert Dysart Botts, a California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) engineer credited with overseeing the research that led to the development of the markers.
Botts’ dots are most commonly white but may also be yellow when used to substitute for the yellow lines that divide opposing directions of traffic in North America. The dots are made of various ceramic materials, or plastics like polyester.
On some roads, lanes are marked only with a mix of Botts’ dots and conventional reflective markers, eliminating the need to repaint lane divider lines. Botts’ dots are rarely used in regions with substantial snowfall, because snow plows damage or dislodge them.
Botts’ dots replace the painted median stripes. engineers may have studied the concept of raised pavement markers as early as 1936. However, the department did not commence research in earnest until 1953, when the postwar economic boom resulted in an alarming increase in the number of cars and car accidents in California. Painted lines tended to become invisible during rain.
The initial dots were made of glass and were attached by nails or tacks to the road, as suggested by Botts. The nails were soon abandoned; his team discovered that when the dots popped loose under stress, the nails punctured tires. Contrary to a common myth, the published record does not make clear whether Botts invented the famous epoxy that solved the problem; some sources indicate that one of his proteges was responsible for the epoxy.
In September 1966, the California State Legislature mandated that Botts’ dots be used for lane markings for all state highways in all non-snowfall areas. Today, there are more than 25 million Botts’ dots in use in California. In California, highway lanes may either be marked solely by Botts’ dots, or dots placed over painted lines. Four dots are used for broken lines on freeways, although broken lines on surface streets may use only three dots. Reflective Stimsonite pavement markers are placed at regular intervals between Botts dot markings to increase the visibility of lane markings at night. In the Las Vegas area of southern Nevada, roads with multiple lanes use four pavement markers for each broken white line, the first a reflective Stimsonite marker, followed by three Botts’ dots.
More recently, Botts’ dots have been used in the snow-free areas of states other than California, such as Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Georgia, Washington, and Texas. Some states that do experience snow, particularly Pennsylvania and Massachusetts use Botts’ dots during the summer months for temporary lane markings in construction zones. Typically, the dots are installed when construction starts in the spring, and they are removed when work stops for the winter months. In New Mexico, where snow is common during the winter, Botts’ dots are used along with Stimsonite markers to outline gore areas at interchanges, but the state does not use either for regular lane markings.
Many states in snow-prone areas of the Midwest and Northeastern United States use Stimsonite reflectors that are placed into protective metal castings, which allow them to be plowed over without being dislodged from the road surface. These pavement markers are usually augmented with reflective paint and delineators placed on plastic or metal posts at regularly spaced intervals along the edges of the road. In California and other locations in the Southwest United States experiencing occasional but significant snowfall, the Stimsonite reflectors are placed into recessed pockets in the roadway which allows visibility during dry weather but permits a plow blade to travel across the reflector without dislodging it, with no special protective castings needed.
Botts’ dots are also used in the Middle East and North Africa. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman and Sudan all use Botts’ dots in various regions. Botts’ dots are also commonplace in Australia and New Zealand.
Caltrans is second only to the Texas Transportation institute in the work of improving highway safety.
Smart thing to do. Dumb thing to do? Complain about what happens when you hit them at 90 MPH.
Honestly. A movie star gets killed in a hot car. Where have we seen this happen before?
Anybody who drives that fast on surface streets is guilty, IMO, of reckless endangerment of everybody else.
Very nearly the ultimate in selfishness, regardless of how often such behavior is glorified in entertainment.
Along came a Spyder and picked up a rider / And took him down the road to eternity ....
“Even worse than road bumps are pets, pedestrians, and cyclists.”
At least some of them try to get out of your way.
Lamp post, trees, parked cars they don’t even try to move out of your way.
People regularly drive 85-90 mph on I5 here in NorCal with the “dots” as lane markers. I don’t see them swerving out of control when they change lanes over the “dots”.
Which is probably why they set the speed limit a whole lot lower than 90 MPH.
“Honestly. A movie star gets killed in a hot car. Where have we seen this happen before?”
James Dean, Sept. 30, 1955.
Those are there for blind drivers!
Don't be prejudice!
Interesting theory....However here in snowy and icy states I have noticed that there are more spinouts on side of road in dry conditions in winter since the rumble strips came into wide use. . I suspect that the rumble strip divots ground into the highways here hold water that can freeze and are causing some accidents. ie. dry conditions in winter lead to higher speeds, generally on the interstate highway. Drifting driver hits rumble strip and leftover ice in divots and yanks steering wheel and the compromised friction due to ice and wheel moving up and down can cause an issue. The question is: are they preventing more accidents then they may cause? Anyone know of studies on the possibilities that rumble strips cause accidents?
Correk....many others also.
Here in Md they have a huge machine that goes along and slam a number of upside down ridges into the road. They don’t dig them out they just slam then in.
Makes a Helluva racket when they do it, I am sure on a turn at a hundred it could cause a skid.
What happened to the reflectors on the interstates in FL? When I was a kid and went on family trips down I-95 to FL during the 70s/80s I got excited when I started to hear the noise of the car going over the reflectors knowing we were finally in FL. I went back to FL for the first time in 20 years in 2010 and the reflectors were not there anymore.
It wasn’t the road bumps; it was those trees that jumped out into the street.
Blow the horn and those dang trees will get out of the way.
Hate to break it to you Walker family. It was the driver going 90 on an idustrial street that killed Paul.
An autistic kid would sometimes ride with me and I’d intentionally drive down a line of dots. She thought it was great and would laugh and laugh. Yes, it was all perfectly safe. Out in the country with no traffic and the botts were designating the smooth shoulder. I’d wear a sparkly Christmas shirt year round just because she liked it. Anything to get her to interact.
Most places that have to plow the roads do, too.
Those lil road bumps are dangerous.
They have affected my cars as well, albeit at lower speeds.
I am VERY sorry that Paul Walker is no longer amongst us but this is a”Bridge Too Far”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"Oak tree you're in my way..."
Since we don’t have Snow Plows in Southern California, Bots Dots weren’t a big problem, until now.
Well, I guess if we can just save one Child’s life by getting rid of them...
First I heard that the Power Steering Pump was leaking and could have failed, so it accident was either the fault of a Repair Shop or Porsche. Now let’s blame the Bots Dots. Next they will blame the Tree.
The Driver was at fault, PERIOD.
He killed himself and his friend, PERIOD.
Believe it or not, sleazy plaintiff lawyers WILL blame the tree when their client, or client’s dead family member, leaves the travel lane and wraps a car around it.
To point out what should be obvious: Most roads are perfectly safe if you keep control of your vehicle. Once a driver leaves the travel lane, the accident has already happened.
But plaintiff lawyers know no shame.
Nine times out of ten, “experts” are the biggest liars in the court system. Bigger liars than even the lawyers.
20+ years ago a neighbor of mine was and inventor by trade and told me his mentor patented the angular road reflector (not the round ones) and got a penny for everyone sold.
That’s my Facebook quality post for the day.
Tee angular reflectors used on California fwys are designed so that at night they reflect white light in one direction and red light in the other.
In other words, if you are ever driving on a freeway there at night and all the reflectors look red - you are going the WRONG way.
Nine times out of ten, experts are the biggest liars in the court system. Bigger liars than even the lawyers.
When the facts are on your side, present the facts. When they aren’t, present experts.
I thought he was not driving?
If you read around, the industrial park appears to be a mini F1 track on the weekends. Lets say the accident report comes back to just a loss of control by the driver. Blaming just Bott's dots for hydroplaning seems a little far fetched to me. I would vote the driver ran over a patch of something that caused the loss of control. That something might be marbles from previous racing or something accidentally got spilled on the road like loose gravel or water. Google map shows a major housing subdivision under development just to the northeast of the accident site. If wind blew enough dirt and grime onto the roadway, that might have been enough as well.
What is really lame is that these aren’t punk kids, they were rich guys who could afford track time at any of the awesome California road courses.
possibilities that rumble strips cause accidents?
There will be all sorts of factors that that could be brought up in a civil suit because you are dealing with driver perception.
The could argue the width of the road, whether any of the curves were super elevated, the horizontal geometry was to straight, or not enough signs on the road to warn or provide the driver with information to make his decisions. Again it will be all about driver perception...
Here in Washington State the Supreme Court just ruled in favor of a drunk driver who went of the road and hit a power pole because the power pole was too close to the road.
Good point! I suspect attendance at those types facilities will increase for a while..