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Old 6th May 2006, 14:26   #1
Ram
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Default Volvo B7R crash on Pune-Mumbai expressway

Drove Pune to Mumbai late this Saturday morning, 6th May 2006.

After the Bhatan tunnel (the last tunnel while bound for Mumbai) around the Panvel area, about 3 km before the end of the expressway, I saw an unlikely sight.

A dark green Volvo B7R coach sitting on the center grass verge. Location approx. [19.009802°, 73.121265°]

Volvo on the centre verge?

I pulled over on the hard shoulder to take a look.


The entire front face upto the passenger door was deformed. Looked like the rear passengers escaped by smashing the rear glass.

It was a Konduskar/Metro-Link Volvo, Kolhapur-registered MH 09 L xxxx.

This Mumbai-bound coach had crashed, after nearly traversing the entire expressway, just before the expressway ended.

The entire left half of its fiberglass face was smashed in, with the passenger-side of the front fascia and dashboard pressed all the way back to the first row of seats on the left.



The steering column and steering wheel was bent away from the centerline.
The front passenger door was completely destroyed.



Some johnny hanging about the expressway (how do pedestrians find their way there?) told me the coach had hit a truck on Thu. 4th May night.

Wasn't it roughly three months ago, on Mon. 13th Feb 2006, again a Kolhapur to Mumbai, Konduskar Volvo B7R coach had overturned a Tata 407, dismantled the center divider, crossed three lanes of oncoming Pune bound traffic, gone off the soft shoulder and hung at 90-degrees to the flow of traffic, on the sloping embankment?
I'd mentioned it here

What’s with these Kolhapur-Mumbai Konduskar Volvos?

Is it that
  • they drive at night?
  • the road is strenuous?
  • the drivers are poorly trained?
Anybody know any more?

Last edited by Rehaan : 7th May 2006 at 11:26.
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Old 6th May 2006, 15:28   #2
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Firstly, a bad accident indeed. Fine pics taken buddy.
Well I feel, the Volvo is a great machine but to tame it, it requires skill & experience. Not any tom, dick or harry can straight away get into a Volvos' cabin resulting in such accidents.
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Old 6th May 2006, 15:28   #3
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They get drunk on the torque and power of these beasts. Simple.

Ram ,scary pics there.
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Old 6th May 2006, 16:18   #4
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Fine expressways and the Volvo B7R have revolutionized road travel in India.

Looking back I remember wilder times. Between 1975 and 1979 (my engineering college years), I made at least twenty long-distance Bombay-Udipi-Manipal-Udipi-Bombay bus trips.

There was no Konkan Railway. Indian Airlines' Hawker-Siddeley HS-748 was a scary turboprop machine -- it would toss and drop in airpockets till people puked. It would fly Santacruz to Bajpe, leaving me to fend for myself at both ends.

Bus travel suited the student in me, better. The Bombay-Mangalore-Tellichery buses were operated by Canara Public Conveyance (CPC), Ballal, Shankar-Vittal and Ghatge-Patil. Almost none of those operators exist anymore.

There was no expressway. Bus bodies were built on truck chasses, with leaf-springs all around -- there was no air-suspension and no airconditioning. You took a couple of days to recover from a 1,000 km trip. The road was littered with overturned trucks exposing their undercarriage.

The Volvo B7R is an excellent coach. It is a generation or two (maybe more?) ahead of every other kind of bus on the road -- in comfort, speed and safety.

Being virtually infallible and nearly indestructible, only a bad driver and/or extreme bad luck can cause a B7R casualty. That's what makes Volvo B7R crashes so very very rare. Out of hundreds in the country, you can count the ones that meet with serious accident, on your fingertips.
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Old 6th May 2006, 16:22   #5
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Well too much confidence in the BUS.. Think its a Ferrari that will handle any speed.. Mentallity of old TATA bus drivers will never change in hands which fall such splendid machines....
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Old 6th May 2006, 17:48   #6
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The Volvo bus is much too good for our drivers.. The older buses were naturally limited in their top speeds.
whenever you are on highways you can see Volvos trying to muscle everybody off the road.
Actually, if you see number of Volvos in proportion of total buses on the road, I think they have a higher accident rate.. Almost every week there is a Volvo crash somewhere. Our drivers simply cant handle it. This is surprising as I have heard the Volvo specially trains their customer's drivers.. Triumph of natural stupidity over training??
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Old 6th May 2006, 19:46   #7
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Excellent photos and coverage. Great work.

I personally think the volvo drivers drive as if they are riding a motor bike. I have seen some of them do such dangerous moves at 100 Kph that I would not do in a road hugging sedan.

Also they tend to drive on the fastest lane all the time and that gets my goat. They doing about 90-100 slowing me down from my sedate, standard 140 :-)

But then when the Maruti's first came to our country, they were also involved in many accidents. Our drivers used to the Fiats / Amby's were not used to the preppy new thing.

Excellent coverage, once again.

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Old 6th May 2006, 20:04   #8
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i guess the bus might be havin a drag race....!! lol
i hope every passenger would be safe...!!
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Old 6th May 2006, 21:02   #9
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reasons:

1. More trips/fixed amount of time.
2. cover the fixed number of trips and buzz off the duty.

and the machine helps them in that. and thus do the accidents happen. the drivers tend to take it as just another bus because they are now pretty common on those expressways. and they drive them on pedal full down just like the tata' and the leyland'.
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Old 7th May 2006, 15:10   #10
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since the bus has hit on the LHS ..looks like the vehicle infront of it did not move aside or may have braked suddenly ...
about accidents ...they can happen in each and every vehicle ....
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Old 7th May 2006, 15:34   #11
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I notice that the expressway has 3 lanes and shoulder for each direction with a grass median in between. That means the bus struck a vehicle in front of it?! That truck must have been stationary or must have been in the left most lane. Question is, why didn' the bus driver notice that? These buses travel at speed so he should have been in the centre or right most lane. Ram: were you seeing these buses travel in the left most lane? Not sure what circumstances would cause such an accident.
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Old 7th May 2006, 16:41   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bugatti
Question is, why didn' the bus driver notice that? .

that is something all of us experience whenever we do night driving .the answer is simple ---NO TAIL LIGHTS!!!!!!!! ....
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Old 7th May 2006, 19:22   #13
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Since this was a Konduskar bus, I think the long driving (Kolhapur-Pune-Mumbai) must be wearing the drivers out. They should change the drivers at Pune, IMO.
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Old 7th May 2006, 22:42   #14
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Guys i personally think that what happens on these 'expressways' is that because these highways are devoid of any curves, twists and turns and because of the wonderfull quality of the road/tarmac, the drivers tend to relax. As the roads are mostly straight, i believe they do not concentrate that hard and as a result begin to feel weary, specaially at night ....
This seems to be a case of just that - Driver weary, drowsy eyes, night time, straight road, nothing to worry about, suddenly wake up to find a truck almost in your lap and there you go, youve just gone and kissed its butt!
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Old 7th May 2006, 23:17   #15
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Yes the reason given by speed_demon seems quite likely. Driving hours should be limited and proper rest periods should be given to the drivers. Remember fatigue kills!

But...dont the long distance coaches carry a spare driver? I think they do.

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