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Another day, another flipped car, this time in Jamaica Plain

Flipped car on Greenough Avenue in Jamaica Plain

Our epidemic of car flipping continues. Michael O'Toole took this photo of a car flipped on Greenough Avenue between Alveston and Elm streets in Jamaica Plain this morning.

Kristin MacDougall reports the driver hit three other cars before flipping.

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Comments

Am I wrong to think these cars must be going too fast if they have enough momentum to flip them? Or to think that an influx of suburban drivers used to driving fast continue that practice in the city and shouldn't?

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but it is surprisingly easy to flip a car at slow speed. Riding up the wheel of another car that is also moving will flip you a low speeds.

Not to discount that it is even easier to flip a car at high speed.

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If you flip a car, you should lose the right to drive. How many more cars need to flip or children need to be killed before the police actually start enforcing existing traffic laws?

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Vectors and forces do not always accrue to the flipped vehicle's driver. Someone can wander into your lane and cause your car to flip - they just have to hit your vehicle in a certain way to start your rotation.

I agree that we need much stiffer penalties for Agents of Roadway Mayhem - but we need to restrict the right ones!

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Could one be to flip a car on Greenough Avenue?

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This is a one-way, residential street that's 2 blocks long with a stop sign at the end. I gather that people go faster than they should because there's always been a house with a "slow down" sign in the block where this happened, but I genuinely struggle to comprehend how someone going down this street could build up enough momentum to flip their car. There is no sharp turn in this block, they would have been driving straight - perhaps an animal or child ran in front of them and they swerved? I can't understand it.

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This view is from my former home. The cars DO race up Greenough Avenue as it is a major cut-through for commuters. I'm guessing someone was texting and hit the curb, thereby flipping. There are always cars parked along the right-hand side so flipping is quite impressive.

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I'm wondering if there is a higher risk of this at lower speeds!

Here's why: think about riding a bike. On a bike, higher speeds keep you in line, lower speeds require more work to steer and keep stable, near zero speeds mean toppling over unless you have learned to actively balance.

In the car case, a higher speed means that you will smash into what ever you hit. A lower speed? Better chance that you will climb when you strike rather than smash inward.

Another theory:
IMAGE(https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/blueshell.jpg)

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Bikes are more stable at speed because of the gyroscopic effect of the spinning wheels. Those wheels (mostly the rims and tires) are a much bigger portion of a bike's mass than a car's wheels are of its mass. I don't think cars become more stable when they speed up.

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Objects in motion tend to stay in motion. Gyroscopic effect will help stabilize, but momentum helps, too.

Think of it in terms of vectors - it will make sense.

The largest portion of a bike's mass is the rider.

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I bet this was a Rozzie driver

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Rozzie is not the neighborhood I'd think of as having the greatest number of distracted/foolish drivers.

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All it takes is some sort of wedge/obstacle to lift a front tire and start the rolling motion. A low speed collision with a parked car could easily do it under the right circumstances. So could two cars merging into each other. I have no idea what happened in this instance, but speed doesn't necessarily have to be a factor.

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But to flip, one does need to mindlessly continue pressing the gas pedal after the front tire is lifted.

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Not necessarily. It can happen pretty fast. See the examples posted below (especially the second one).

There's also the possibility that the driver suffered from some sort of medical condition. We don't know how or why it happened.

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Physicals are free under all health plans. Get one each year and you are less likely to "have a medical condition" and flip your car.

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A couple of months back, a guy used his BMW to amputate the phone pole in front of my house. Sheared it off at the ground and pushed the new base about 2 feet. He had to drive onto the curb to reach the pole, so his right side was elevated when he hit, and the impact flipped his car onto its roof. No skid marks. He walked away (to an ambulance), and the pole was held up by all the wires on it. I think the guy's medical condition was a delusion that his Beemer was a phone booth ...

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If someone could flip a car on that street, it's not impossible that I could flip doing something routine. I'm not a careless driver, but it certainly makes me think twice about how easy it seems to be.

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I've often wondered how that happens. The second one is the better example. Weird.

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In the second video not only is a car flipped but you have a pedestrian stranded in the middle of a crosswalk.

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It looks more like a clip from a video game.

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First car hit was at the drivers side wheel, climbed the wheel after almost snapping it off completely, then hit drivers side rear quarter of the second car and left tire marks on his roof then blasted drivers side rear hatch of the third car way up high before flipping over... middle car took a beating on its front wheel drivetrain...

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I walk Greenough regularly & even though it is only two blocks long, for many drivers, it is a raceway.

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I was reaching over to fast-forward through the commercial and I dropped my phone, coffee and burrito all at the same time and then I flipped the car while I was trying to text LOL to my friend on my other phone. My bad

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"Just Walked By" below described the situation exactly. At least three other vehicles have been damaged by speeding cars previous to this incident.

Greenough Ave OFTEN has over speed limit drivers tearing through from Centre St. We are again urging the city to install "traffic calmers / speed bumps" before someone is seriously injured.

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I know the driver and he had a medical emergency which caused the accident. Speed was not a factor.

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Hope your friend is ok!

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