Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Jim MacDonald Responds

Jim Macdonald from Making Light was kind enough to allow Right Behind to post his responses to the accident scene that Chloe stumbles upon in the third section of the Left Behind movie.

Apologies for the delay in posting.

Also, I took the liberty of adding a link in point 6 for understandability.

Jim says:
As multiple-vehicle MVAs go, that wasn't much of one.


1) Don't use your cell-phone while driving. Accident stats for hand-held cell use make it look like the equivalent of drunk driving.

2) That wasn't much of an MVA. The vehicles were widely spaced; there wasn't much body damage (one with a crumpled hood, nothing else). There was quite a lot of smoke, but it was the wrong color. Gasoline fires have black smoke. There seems to be quite a bit of sparking, much like what you see on the bridge in Star Trek when the engines canna take any more. What exactly is causing that I don't know. I'm not aware of anything on an ordinary car or truck that'll do that. If any vehicles are on fire, stay well clear and keep others well clear.

3) Stop your car as safely as you can. Turn on your four-way flashers. Grab your bag and boogie off the road, 45 degrees, heading upstream toward the flow of traffic, so the guy who slams into your car doesn't send debris into you.

4) Call it in to 9-1-1. Take the flares from your go-bag and flare out the scene. One flare at 100 feet (20 double paces), one at 200 feet, one at three hundred feet.

5) A police officer is on scene (or, at least, a cop car with its lights going is on scene). Find the officer; report in and ask for an assignment.

6) Go into a triage mode. I've discussed this in some detail elsewhere.

7) I note that the young lady first comes to a guy with a head injury who is guarding his left arm. That generally means he has some kind of arm injury. She grabs him by that arm. This is contraindicated.

8) There don't seem to be any serious injuries. Stay safe yourself.

More interesting posts about medical and emergency issues by Jim Macdonald can be found here at Making Light.


Rhoadan said...

Re: point 4
If you've got those reflective yellow triangles, those are better than flares, especially during the day or if there's an obvious fire hazard.

The last time I responded to an MVA as a bystander, I had electric flares. You activated them by unfolding the built-in stand. I handed them to another bystander before he got out the magnesium flares. Given that the one vehicle involved had a ruptured fuel tank, I was feeling really twitchy about flames.

Anonymous said...

It's an utterly lame attempt at an MVA pile-up. Neither the semi nor the schoolbus is blocking the road. The other cars can all be driven. Why isn't this happening so they can clear the area? It's not like their drivers are giving assistance; everyone's just pointlessly wandering around. There's no reason for everyone to have stopped their cars.

The traffic density is also wrong. We've watched what's-her-face driving along, talking on the phone, with no other cars around her. Once she stops, no further cars arrive. Therefore, traffic is light. How does it happen that all these stopped cars plus a semi plus a schoolbus didn't have time to avoid each other? Were they travelling in close formation on an otherwise empty stretch of road?

This scene would not have been difficult to film decently. Nothing's in motion, nothing's colliding. It's all static set dressing plus a little "accident victim" makeup. Would it have been too much trouble for the filmmakers to have gone to a nearby junkyard and gotten some seriously crunched cars and spent a few minutes thinking about how to position them, then scattered bits of smashed headlights and fiberglass auto body all over the road, and poured some puddles of motor oil and hydraulic fluid? And while they were at it, they should have instructed the extras playing the drivers to either stand around looking pissed off, talk on their cellphones, or exchange information with other drivers.

There's no excuse for such a cardboardy scene -- they have to have seen a few auto accidents firsthand.

Teresa Nielsen Hayden