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A Bang-Up Job

The Puzzler


RAY: This was submitted recently, well in 1927, by Roger Darby and I didn't have to change this too much. Now I want you to pay attention, because there are lots of hints here and if you don't pay attention, you're going to miss the important ones.

'I live in rural Illinois, way out in the sticks. I was driving home from work one very rainy day and I saw a familiar car coming toward me in the oncoming lane. I recognized this vehicle because I had seen it many times around the neighborhood and it was the same make, model and color, and I'm pretty sure it was the same year, as the car I was driving.

'Suddenly, without notice, his car started hydroplaning and it was headed directly into my lane. Unable to avoid the collision, we hit headlight to headlight. That is my driver's side headlight hit the left side headlight of his car. We were both wearing our seatbelts and our airbags deployed. But I was injured to the point of being hospitalized but the other driver walked away from the accident pretty much uninjured. The damage was almost identical to our cars. What was the major reason for our differences in injuries?

'Now there should be some conditions here. First, I didn't have any pre-existing conditions; I wasn't impaired in any way. We're both about the same height and weight. I wasn't carrying a hot cup of coffee between my thighs that spilled and required hospitalization, and it made no difference what speed we were going at because the combined speeds are the combined speeds. If I was going 20 and he was going 80, it was like we were both going 50, or if I was parked and he hit me at 100. So the question is, what's the major reason for the differences in our injuries?'

Think you know? Drop Ray a note!

[ Car Talk Puzzler ]

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