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Old 14th September 2011, 23:47   #1
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Default Driver ignorant of how ABS works; Turns Chevy Captiva upside down

While driving towards Mumbai, just after the Khalapur toll booth, I saw a just-occurred accident (White Chevy Captiva). I felt compelled to help, parked the car, crossed the expressway and went over to see what I could do.

This was the scene that I saw.

Driver ignorant of how ABS works; Turns Chevy Captiva upside down-20110914-10.43.22.jpg


Luckily, both the driver and the owner were unhurt except for a few bruises and cuts. Both were shocked (obvious). I had some pain killers and some antiseptic powder in my car, so fetched them from the car and ensured that the owner took some. Administered basic first aid. While a tow crane came in, had a chat with the driver. This is the excerpt.


The driver was coming towards the toll booth and was around 120-140. While reducing the speed he ended up swerving a bit. In trying to get the vehicle in control, he braked a bit hard and the ABS kicked in. The vehicle continued maneuvering after the braking and the driver ended up colliding against the barrier. The vibrations due to the ABS scared him (probably never had experienced the ABS kicking in before) and he released the brake. The rest was confusing for him, but the vehicle flipped, tumbled, landed on it's nose, then turned turtle.

Here are the skid marks of the vehicle. You can see from where it started, how the driver lost control etc. The side barrier was also torn out from the road side and landed a good 200 feet away.


Driver ignorant of how ABS works; Turns Chevy Captiva upside down-20110914-10.46.39.jpg

Driver ignorant of how ABS works; Turns Chevy Captiva upside down-20110914-10.59.13.jpg


A few more pics of the accident :

Driver ignorant of how ABS works; Turns Chevy Captiva upside down-20110914-10.48.58.jpg

Driver ignorant of how ABS works; Turns Chevy Captiva upside down-20110914-10.52.08.jpg

Driver ignorant of how ABS works; Turns Chevy Captiva upside down-20110914-10.49.21.jpg

Driver ignorant of how ABS works; Turns Chevy Captiva upside down-20110914-10.50.24.jpg

Driver ignorant of how ABS works; Turns Chevy Captiva upside down-20110914-10.59.08.jpg

Driver ignorant of how ABS works; Turns Chevy Captiva upside down-20110914-10.58.55.jpg

Driver ignorant of how ABS works; Turns Chevy Captiva upside down-20110914-11.17.51.jpg
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Old 15th September 2011, 00:07   #2
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Default re: Accident caused due to Unawareness of ABS Behavior

What was the speed limit on the road, and was he driving within that limit?

Driver error, not ABS.
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Old 15th September 2011, 00:13   #3
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Default re: Accident caused due to Unawareness of ABS Behavior

ABS is great when you know what to do when ABS kicks in.
On Indian roads, ABS hardly kicks in - and when it does, the driver gets scared! That's what I am trying to say.

There is no way a driver can get 'used' to ABS here. It gets activated easily on icy roads, slick roads etc.., but not here.
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Old 15th September 2011, 00:14   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cranky View Post
What was the speed limit on the road, and was he driving within that limit?

Driver error, not ABS.
Oh..!
And I thought that ABS was meant to effectively bring the vehicle to halt without danger irrespective of the speed at which it was being driven....
Never knew that Govt of India invented ABS; because u say that ABS functions correctly if speed limit is followed and not otherwise..


Did any one notice the fate of alloy..??
I'll never ever change the steel rims that come with the car whenever I buy one

Last edited by Jaggu : 15th September 2011 at 00:26. Reason: Back to back posts, please use EDIT after post is approved. Thanks
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Old 15th September 2011, 00:16   #5
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Default re: Accident caused due to Unawareness of ABS Behavior

Quote:
Originally Posted by cranky View Post
What was the speed limit on the road, and was he driving within that limit?
Speed limit is 80, but its impossible to drive at 80 on this road.
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Old 15th September 2011, 00:21   #6
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Default re: Accident caused due to Unawareness of ABS Behavior

^^Not sure I understand what you mean. It is illegal, isn't it?

My point is that the driver needs to take the blame, not ABS. When you are out of spec, you are on your own.

I'm no saint, but I believe in taking responsibility if I'm doing something wrong and not blaming the equipment.
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Old 15th September 2011, 00:24   #7
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Default re: Accident caused due to Unawareness of ABS Behavior

ABS gets activated any time the brakes start getting locked, which is more often that not under heavy braking. Unfortunately, due to poor driver training, the drivers get confused when this happens.
However, what was he doing swerving around at 120 + in a SUV with apparently not the best handling? And then slamming the brakes as opposed to a gradual slow down/downshifting, is just a bad show of skills in my opinion.
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Old 15th September 2011, 00:24   #8
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Default re: Accident caused due to Unawareness of ABS Behavior

Is it possible for the driver to have dozed off because he seemingly lost control on a straight road?
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Old 15th September 2011, 00:25   #9
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Default re: Accident caused due to Unawareness of ABS Behavior

From last what I know, wasn't the speed limit on the Mumbai-Pune expressway raised to 100 kmph ?

Well I would not blame this on the ABS. Seems more like human error to me.
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Old 15th September 2011, 00:33   #10
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Default re: Accident caused due to Unawareness of ABS Behavior

ABS did not cause this accident. It was poor judgement and driver error. And it's quite obvious.

ABS kicks in to prevent the brakes from locking up. The tyres/wheels don't lock and continue to rotate. This allows one to maneuver the car away from harms way, without skidding into it. It helps you with control and helps the car remain composed.

The title of the thread is slightly misleading. Mods, please move post to appropriate thread: Accident-Pics in India.
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Old 15th September 2011, 00:43   #11
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Default Re: Accident caused due to ABS

Quote:
Originally Posted by lamborghini View Post
However, what was he doing swerving around at 120 + in a SUV with apparently not the best handling? And then slamming the brakes as opposed to a gradual slow down/downshifting, is just a bad show of skills in my opinion.
Even i am not sure. This was just before the toll gate, which meant that he should have been slowing down. This is what I got from the visibly dazed driver - I am sure it is very difficult to remember exactly what happened when you have just been pulled out of the window of an overturned car

Quote:
Originally Posted by jods View Post
Is it possible for the driver to have dozed off because he seemingly lost control on a straight road?
Nope - the owner had just told the driver to take it slower and the owner had released his seat belt to take out his wallet for paying the toll.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NetfreakBombay View Post
Speed limit is 80, but its impossible to drive at 80 on this road.
True.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cranky View Post
When you are out of spec, you are on your own.
Do you mean to say that it would have been OK to blame the ABS or something else if he would have been within the speed limit? The logic seems absurd here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by humyum View Post
Well I would not blame this on the ABS. Seems more like human error to me.
Definitely human error, but had this been a non-ABS car, the maneuverability after braking is not there, and this would have resulted in possibly a skid, than the weird tumble - if the driver has not experienced the ABS kicking in, the sudden throbbing / vibrations really confuse you and the most common reflex is to let the brakes go! The vehicle maneuvering after the braking is also not expected.
I would have attributed this totally to human error normally, but I feel that had this been a non-ABS vehicle, the driver would have been able to react appropriately (he seemed to be an experienced driver).
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Old 15th September 2011, 00:45   #12
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Default Re: Accident caused due to ABS

Clear case of driver error. Blaming ABS or whatever else is just making excuses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by keyur View Post
ABS is great when you know what to do when ABS kicks in.
On Indian roads, ABS hardly kicks in - and when it does, the driver gets scared! That's what I am trying to say.

There is no way a driver can get 'used' to ABS here. It gets activated easily on icy roads, slick roads etc.., but not here.
Incorrect. ABS kicks in when the wheels locks up on braking. This is NOT a icy road feature. Try driving on loose gravel. Or sand. Or wet mud right after rains. Or on oil spill from a truck. ALL of these are VERY common on Indian roads.
I have had ABS kick in my car several times. It is a bit disconcerting only the first time. There is nothing to 'know' what to do when ABS kicks in. You continue braking hard and steer your car out of danger. A driver incapable of doing this shouldn't even be thinking of 120-140 speeds in the first place.
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Old 15th September 2011, 00:48   #13
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Default Re: Accident caused due to Unawareness of ABS Behavior

Quote:
Originally Posted by cranky View Post
^^Not sure I understand what you mean. It is illegal, isn't it?

My point is that the driver needs to take the blame, not ABS. When you are out of spec, you are on your own.

I'm no saint, but I believe in taking responsibility if I'm doing something wrong and not blaming the equipment.
Good Lord, Captivas are sold across the world, and they operate at high speeds! Speeding doesn't render ABS ineffective!

Old school pump and brake is equally effective for preventing wheel lock- up. But how many drivers have enough presence of mind to do that under emergency conditions is another matter. And many of the safety features on these new generation vehicles can be fatal if the driver/ passenger do not use them properly. For example, airbags won't inflate if you don't wear seatbelts, and doors unlock automatically if the vehicle crash/ topple- you'll be thrown out if you don't wear belts. OK, one should wear a seatbelt, but isn't that situation a little extreme?
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Old 15th September 2011, 00:54   #14
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Default Re: Accident caused due to ABS

Quote:
Originally Posted by niranjanrvce View Post

I have had ABS kick in my car several times. It is a bit disconcerting only the first time.
Exactly my point! If it was the driver's first time, he would get disconcerted!
Also, I am not defending the driver here. There definitely is human error or mis-judgement - that's how the whole scene began!

But after that, the reaction of the driver can only be correct provided he knows what to expect! And I hardly think that drivers get that kind of training.

The first time I experienced ABS kicking in (in a friend's car), I was more than disconcerted. I was used to the vehicle braking or locking - and pumping the brakes works fine - but pumping does no good for ABS - you just need to keep it pressed hard and let the ABS do it's work hoping you stop in time. After that, I read up on ABS and tried it a few times, and now I am OK, but had it been my first time, I would probably have reacted wrongly!
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Old 15th September 2011, 01:04   #15
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Default Re: Accident caused due to Unawareness of ABS Behavior

Quote:
Originally Posted by cranky View Post
What was the speed limit on the road, and was he driving within that limit?

Driver error, not ABS.
Irrespective of the speed limit, the driver should have been driving much slower as he was approaching a toll gate. Speed breakers located on either side of the toll gate serve as a reminder for vehicles to slow down. A responsible driver would slow down gradually in anticipation of the speed breakers. Also, I believe the speed limit on the highway was, at most, 100 km/hr. and the vehicle was at 120-140 km/hr.

The driver let go of the brakes when the ABS activated and therefore had too much speed to make a turn. Making a sudden maneuver at a high speed in an SUV, which has a high center of gravity, is the cause and can only be attributed to the driver. Had it not been for ABS, the vehicle may have skidded off the road.
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