Skip to main content

Walker Porsche Case Could End The Supercar In America


Before and after, Porsche Carrera GT and the remains of the
car in which Rodas and Walker died.
The death of Paul Walker in a high-speed accident two years ago was a tragedy. Walker was a passenger in a Porsche Carrera GT driven by Roger Rodas that left the road and ploughed into a tree at 94mph according to police accident investigators. This occurred on a road with a 45mph speed limit with pedestrians present.
 
Walker's daughter, Meadow is understandably looking for someone to blame for this accident. As the accident occurred in the US 'blame' also means 'sue'.
 
Rodas was clearly driving with an unbelievable level of disregard for his own and his passengers safety, never mind other road users who may have been in the path of the accident.
 
However suing Rodas clearly doesn't generate enough possible revenue for Meadow Walker (or more likely the ambulance chasers who are guiding her in this case) so Porsche is in the firing line, apparently for not providing safety equipment that could have prevented the accident or allowed Paul Walker to survive the crash.
 
Given the speed involved and the size of the impact  I'd suggest that nothing short of divine intervention would have made that crash survivable.
 
As to preventing the crash, the only thing which could have done that would have been more circumspect driving. Once again, something Porsche doesn't really have the ability to control.
 
Which leaves me wondering, if Porsche is convicted and ordered to pay (what will probably be quite hefty) compensation, where does it leave the market for fast cars?
 
In providing a car capable of performing at quite astonishing levels, makers aren't able to also imbue the buyer and any allowed drivers with the common sense, skill and intelligence to treat that power with respect. Any fatal accident could in theory be prevented if the car manufacturer worked hard enough and provided enough automatic safety features.
 
In Japan the Nissan GT-R is performance limited except when the GPS reports that it is at a race circuit. Will all performance cars have to follow suit? More than that, will manufacturers have to emasculate their cars performance and enforce posted speed limits using technology on any vehicle?
 
If this ruling goes against Porsche I would suggest that they would.

For Meadow Walker nothing is going to bring her father back. I doubt that a huge payout would bring closure either. There just doesn't seem to be a smoking gun here, unless the aim is to make it impossible to drive cars outside of the speed limit.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

F1: Robert Kubica Impresses In Renault Test Run

The car may be old but its the performance of the driver that's the story here. Robert Kubica returned to F1, after a fashion, earlier this week with an extensive test run in a 2012 Lotus Renault F1 car at Valencia.
The age of the car and the circuit were likely determined by F1's current rules which ban testing, but the reason for Kubica being in the car is far more interesting. Considered by many to be a potential World Champion and certainly one of the fastest drivers of his generation, Kubica's F1 career seemed to be over after a 2011 crash whilst driving in the Rally of Andora. His Skoda Fabia was penetrated by a guardrail in the high speed accident partially severing his right arm.
Up until last year Kubica has been competing in rallying, with the expectation that the limited movement in his repaired arm would prohibit a return to single seater racing.
So this week's test is both interesting and confusing. Interesting because Kubica completed 115 laps of the ret…

F1: Robert Kubica's Williams Test Asks More Questions Than It Answers

Comparing driver's times at a tyre evaluation test like last week's Abu Dhabi event is difficult at the best of times, but when trying to assess the performance of a driver who has been out of the sport for six years, that difficulty level is raised even higher.
On the face of it Robert Kubica's test for Williams was a success. Fastest of the three Williams drivers present the headlines look promising. However, taking into consideration the different tyres used to set those times muddies the water considerably.
Kubica ran a three lap qualifying simulation on the new 'hyper-soft' tyre - which should have given him a two-second advantage. Correcting for tyres it would appear that Kubica was significantly slower than Sergei Sorotkin - who was on the harder 'soft' tyre - and marginally quicker than Lance Stroll, the team's only contracted driver.

Stroll's family fortune currently funds Williams, so there' no chance that he will be anywhere but in a…

Panos Panay's Defence Of Microsoft Surface Hardware Sounds Eerily Familiar

This weekend I went out with my ten year old daughter to select a laptop for her school year beginning in January. The schools requirements are quite specific, requiring a Windows 10 device, with a preference for a touchscreen and a stylus. She chose a Surface Pro, after trying a large number of different options. Having seen the way I use my own Surface Pro - and tried it herself there was only ever going to be two options - and the other was a Surface Laptop.
I tell you this so that you understand I am a buyer of Microsoft's products through choice, not compulsion. I'm on my third Surface device now. 
So when Panos Panay dismissed reports of the death of the Surface hardware line, I was very interested to see exactly how strong these denials were. Especially how they reflect what has gone before. To whit: Windows 10 Mobile.
Panay claimed that Microsoft is in hardware for the long haul. Almost exactly mirroring the words of Terry Myerson, when he claimed Windows Mobile was g…