Monday 10 January 2011

How long does a 16Gb iPad stay on the roof of a Mercedes E class when driven on a motorway?

This is a cautionary tale

Many of us have all been in that busy parent situation with armfuls of stuff dashing in and out of the house while strapping our kids in the car

'Daddy can we take the ipad for the journey?'

Happy to oblige as ever as it equates to a quiet rapid journey

I could not open the door to the car and I was juggling a ton of stuff in my arms , so with the ipad on the top of the heap I committed the biggest no-no ever

I put the ipad on the roof of the car

'I will remember it' I thought

Except I didn't

Previously I have left a thermos flask on the roof of a car which made a whole 200 yards before reaching terminal velocity and exploding into a many, many small pieces.

So I left my village and joined the M25 at Junction 20, which currently has a 50mph limit on.

Then I took a very sharp turn up the slip road onto the M1

When it joins the M1 the 50 limit is lifted so foot down to the 70mph limit

Amongst the thousand things in my swiss cheese brain at the moment I wondered where the ipad was

 I heard a dull 'flap...flap' coming from the roof of the car

I had my answer

It was on the roof and had been there for nearly 5 miles

Luckily I was right at junction 8 of the M1 so I decelerated without braking taking the exit

Would it even still be there when I stopped

I had after all travelled for half a mile in the dark so I had no idea if it would be there when I stopped.

It was.

Jammed between the roof bars of my car, teetering on the edge.

Rather like this...

I don't know what lesson to take from this other than don't put a ipad on the roof of a car, or anything for that matter.

Lady luck was smiling

Does anyone else have any tales of stuff left on the roof?


Unknown said...

Thank God for the case!

Once I left a changed diaper, full of everything that babies do, on the roof and probably left if sowhere in the centre of Villeneuve-lès-Avignon. Luckily, a 1000 kms from home, where no one could have recognized me (if they saw the incident).

BWJones said...

Lucky iPad... Lucky actually that you had the case for it.

Unknown said...

I still cannot believe it stayed on at motorway speeds!

Good one about the daiper!

Watch out for interpol



Andor said...

Uhh - lucky guy!
I left my wallet - once :-) - on top of my car when at a filling station.
Instantly knew the mistake at the first stop at a red lamp :-D
(Fortunately i was able to quickly jump out and pick it up.)

Unknown said...

Hi Andy

No Mashed credit cards

Lucky you

Many years ago a friend of mine left a Canon 28mm on the roof and he heard the slow scraping along the roof before it let go at about 50mph

It exploded on impact

No surprise there then



tim skipper said...

I once left a camera bag with ALL my gear on a sidewalk and walked off without (thought my assistant had he thought I had it). It was still there with everything inside.

Anonymous said...

a friend of mine left his backpack open while driving his motorcycle only to see his MBpro skidding down the highway at 65mph in the rearview. darn thing still worked perfectly. and looked really cool too! his canon rebel did not fair so well... eh, a good chance for an upgrade i'd say.

TwelveMonths said...

I too made that mistake! Not only did I leave one iPad on the roof but before having to buckle my daughter in, I set my 32gb iPad and my wife's 16gb iPad on the roof of the car. Lady luck wasn't quite smiling upon us that day. Maybe smirking at us, because after turning out of the driveway and reaching about 30 mph I heard the clunk. I looked in the rear view and my heart sank as I watched a pink and a black rectangle bounce across the highway. Quickly made a u-turn and slowly made my way to the first one and prayed to the Apple gods for forgiveness. Thankfully mine suffered only a scratch on one of the corners thanks to the case! My wife's was less fortunate. The screen was ok but the aluminum housing had been bent backwards in one corner making the headphones jack unusable. This is something ill be catching flak for for years to come....

Unknown said...

Mac book Pro's do seem to be VERY tough

Olson, the strapping the kids in routine does seem to be a classic leaving equipment on the car roof

I think you did well with a 50 percent survival rate, shame it was your wife's which was bent

Tim, a bit of a question, was the bag still there or......

Didn't like to ask



David said...

Scary stuff, I know from experience. We were on a road trip and I put my iPad on my Tahoe bumper while loading luggage in the back. Closed the rear hatch, and drove about 20 minutes down the interstate before realizing the iPad was not in the car. I knew at that instant where I last had it and thought it was a goner. We pulled over and fortunately it was pinned in between the bumper and hatch. It was in a neoprene sleeve which had an indentation but otherwise unscathed.


Unknown said...

Hi David

Another lucky escape.

They do seem to be made of strong stuff

I think if mine had got 'air' it would have been curtains

Have been thinking if I would have replaced it if the worst had happened

An emphatic 'yes' (though I would probably wait until the replacement came along, which maybe quite soon if you believe the rumor sites)

Mike Ambs said...

Wow - that was a close call. It's pretty amazing it stayed up there for so long... I feel all nervous and tense just from *thinking* about this.

Dave Keating Photography said...

Just had to hug my iPad. What a bad thought.


martin said...

Left my iphone in a leather wallet on the roof of my car. Was there for two hours in a public car park while I did a location shoot. Amazing it didn't get nicked. Then stayed there as I drove 5 miles back to the studio, including a couple of roundabouts. Hooray for BMW roof rails I say.

Vladimir Krzalic said...

I know that shoulder bag filled with lenses and stuff doesn't stay very long. It was a surprise when I saw it in the rear mirror, falling down to the ground, only to be picked up by another car that followed. I could see it fly through the air beside the road. By some strange luck, only nifty fifty suffered major damage and left unusable, as 28-105 and another MF prime were left unharmed. It was a painful reminder NEVER to leave anything on the roof.. never.

carlos benjamin - said...

There have actually been cases of parents leaving the car seat on top of the car. I've heard of two and the car seat saved the baby.

Saw a guy once pulling out of the Intel parking lot in Chandler, AZ once. There was a briefcase on the roof of his old station wagon. I honked and pointed. He smiled, waved, reached up and yanked on the handle. It was glued there for effect. You could tell he enjoyed the attention.....

Anonymous said...

Lady Luck was definitely smiling on you! Times to buy a lotto ticket I think. :)

Glyn Dewis said...

I'm actually sat here having read that feeling nervous :)

Unbelievably lucky how it never came off Drew; someone was definitely looking out for you that day!


Unknown said...

Believe me Glyn, I know how lucky I am




Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Hi there,
it just reminds me of this :o)


Unknown said...

Hey Fred

I wondered how long it would be before someone remembered that

Life imitating art

That video was inspired by my friend Kit Malin leaving a Canon 28mm on the roof of his car

It was not quite so lucky in the survival stakes



Milton said...

One time I was out of hands and I set my kid on the roof; it wasn't until I tried to hand him the ipad that I realized...

just kidding

I've only ever put one thing on my roof one time and it was smashed to smithereens...don't remember what it was though - but I do remember not to do it!

Unknown said...

Hi Milton

Clearly the trauma of the smashed electronic device caused memory loss

I know one day I will put something silly and expensive on the roof and NOT get away with it



George said...

lol you dozy bugger, lucky though!
My brother once picked up a case (about 30 years ago) with £1,700 in it. The driver of a car had placed it on the room whilst doing something else and then drove off. Lucky for him my brother (and indeed the whole family) were raised to be honest, and so he got it back.

Rich C said...

I once left a Spot Satellite Messenger on the roof of my truck while driving through sand dunes in Northern Arizona. After 20 minutes of driving through deep dunes, rough patches, and the rest I remembered it. Amazingly enough it was still there!

This is my first visit to your blog, and I'm glad to have found a fun post. I just wanted to relay my thanks to you. I recently purchased your location lighting DVD, and this morning finished downloading your newest video tutorials. And I wanted to relay a very sincere thank you for your enthusiasm, great photography, and willingness to share.

As a landscape photographer shifting into portrait work as well you've given me so many ideas about the possibilities of combining my favorite photography (landsacpe) with opportunities for my new clients. Thanks ever so much!

Anonymous said...

Wow you're so lucky :) I guess the iPad didn't want to die yet haha.

The only thing i did forgot once on my roof was a bottle of water. Not that exciting..

Unknown said...

Now that's what you call a high speed download.


Unknown said...

High speed download indeed!

Never again....or hopefully just a bottle of water



Alistair Kerr Photography said...

My old boss left a Hasselblad SWC on the roof of his car after a location shoot, never one to drive slowly he sped off with the camera sliding across the roof of the car. I was in my car (with 10 rolls of Fuji Velvia destine for processing at a local lab) watching in horror as the camera finally rolled off the roof and hit the tarmac. Needless to say my boss heard the camera as it rolled down the rear window and bounced on the boot. The camera was a right off, the insurance company didn't pay out.

To be honest it was all very funny. My boss had a habit of not paying people very quickly (including insurance companies), sometimes if at all, he even use to bounce my wages cheques.

Unknown said...

Dear Alistair

If there was a prize for the best story you would win it.

Infact, why not.

You have won a copy of 'location lighting with Drew Gardner'

If you don't like it you can put it on the roof of your car and see how long it stays on there for.

Mail me with your address



Alistair Kerr Photography said...

Thank you very much.


Unknown said...

Another disaster story is on its way

this time the gear was not quite so lucky


typingtalker said...

"Don't place anything on the roof of the car. If you must put something down, put it on the hood in front of the driver."

Advice I received many years ago and it has worked for me. So far.

Unknown said...

Wise words to remember



WildePics said...

Just reminded of the newspaper stories I've seen where some idiot (usually gov't employee) puts classified material on the roof and it winds up blowing in the wind. Luckily most of it probably wasn't worth classifying anyway.

Alistair Kerr Photography said...

Interesting case of iPad being run over and still working, looks totalled mind. Thought you'd like to see this Drew and maybe you'll hug that wonderful tablet a bit closer.