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Old 20th December 2011, 18:28   #91
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Default Re: Mercedes S-Class Accident : Owner dead, Airbag doesn't activate and Court orders

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Originally Posted by pgsagar View Post
One can't take a car and ram into a big truck/bus and expect the safety system to save life. Laws of physics cannot be ignored.
Fully Agree!

Years ago, in the US as a student in the state of Texas, i was once 'educated' to the laws of Physics that work on the endless highways of that state...

'Even a Suburban loses to a Peterbilt.'
Quote:
Originally Posted by k_nitin_r View Post
Without any disrespect to the driver of the vehicle, I would like to state that having the airbags of a vehicle deploy unnecessarily...
Airbags deploy in 1/1000th of seconds and are fully deployed by the use of pressurized CO2 cartridges before even debris can come into the car. They are also designed to start deflating within 2 seconds of detonation to enable a modicum of control, if all were well in the car.

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Originally Posted by k_nitin_r View Post
Safety tests do not tes...
... shield and tract attention.
Fully Agree.



Quote:
Originally Posted by k_nitin_r View Post
A larger vehicle, such as a SUV...
This could be true of American SUVs but not all indian vehicles. I am profoundly sad in stating that the Scorpio has not been able to pass the crash tests in the US and has been failing at it for years now. Fatalities of upto 8 people in a Scorpio are dime a dozen in India- including fatalities of people in the last row even in front impact collisions, and airbags or no-airbags, and vehicles like the Tavera and Innova fair much better on this count.

Bottom line being, if something undesigned or awkward happens, then it is best for you to have thought of your own safety first.

The only man to walk out of Princess Dianas car was the only one wearing a seatbelt.

KD

Note from the Team-BHP Support Team: Please use the "edit" button if posting within 30 minutes of the first post, instead of creating another back-to-back post.

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Last edited by Rudra Sen : 20th December 2011 at 18:52.
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Old 20th December 2011, 21:32   #92
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Default Re: Mercedes S-Class Accident : Owner dead, Airbag doesn't activate and Court orders

My deepest condolenses to Nirmal's family.

After all the views here, I would like to present a different view here. The truck was on the right hand side and the car on the left hand side. The trucker took a turn via the gap in the middle of the road. As you can see from the pictures of the gap, there is a dip present. When the truck's front wheels entered the dip, the rear of the truck was raised even more. At this exact moment the car came and hit the truck's rear at the back at an angle which also explains the angular hit in roof of the car and shearing of the A-pillar. The diagram below explains the situation. After the hit, the car went out of control and jumped the divider and hit the kiosks on the opposite side.
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Mercedes S-Class Accident : Owner dead, Airbag doesn't activate and Court orders FIR-diagram.jpg  

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Old 20th December 2011, 23:46   #93
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Default Re: Mercedes S-Class Accident : Owner dead, Airbag doesn't activate and Court orders

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Originally Posted by shibu View Post
My deepest condolenses to Nirmal's family.

After all the views here, I would like to present a different view here. The truck was on the right hand side and the car on the left hand side. The trucker took a turn via the gap in the middle of the road. As you can see from the pictures of the gap, there is a dip present. When the truck's front wheels entered the dip, the rear of the truck was raised even more. At this exact moment the car came and hit the truck's rear at the back at an angle which also explains the angular hit in roof of the car and shearing of the A-pillar. The diagram below explains the situation. After the hit, the car went out of control and jumped the divider and hit the kiosks on the opposite side.

What you are writing is perfectly plausible and reasonable.

If the above is what happened then

(1) there was never enough force involved for the airbags to deploy
(2) The driver lost control (mentioned by the OP as well; he wrote driver lost control after being impaled) and hence the car crossed over to the other side of the road
(3) If the airbags had deployed, that probably would have been a mistake - car was still moving at a high speed and it would have been easier for the driver to lose control (how would the sensors know the driver is injured)
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Old 21st December 2011, 09:50   #94
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Default Re: Mercedes S-Class Accident : Owner dead, Airbag doesn't activate and Court orders

Last week end I was driving on NH 9 (Pune to Solapur and return). This National Highway is the most dangerous that I have driven a car in all my life. Dangerous from the point of view of 2 lane road, many diversions and complicated by dangerous drivers overtaking recklessly.

Saw an Indica totalled in a truck car collission. The Indica driver was overtaking a truck miscalulated hit an opposite truck head on.

I had read this thread before setting out. This Merc accident was in my mind while driving. Probably made me a sedate driver. Took me 9 hrs to cover 240 kms.

For the Merc to have totalled so badly it is obvious that the car had terrific momentum
(Mass x velocity). Looking at the accident pics there must be some way to figure out the speed the Merc was doing.

Can't comment on why the air bag did not deploy.

No matter what model of the car, the best speed to drive on Indian Highways is a safe speed of perhaps no more than 80-100.

At this speed perhaps chances of survival are good.
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Old 21st December 2011, 10:09   #95
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Default Re: Mercedes S-Class Accident : Owner dead, Airbag doesn't activate and Court orders

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Originally Posted by srishiva View Post
For someone who said plastic parts are not covered, most of these systems are not developed specifically for India. Abroad, the switch to deactivate the passenger side airbag (now automatic) was given to reduce the damage to the car and to bring down the cost.
The passenger airbag deactivation switch is not for cost savings, it is used to shut the airbag off if you've got a child in the front seat. Abroad, children are seated with booster seats that anchor to ISOFIX points provided for the seat, so they end up closer to the dashboard - and airbag, and that's a bad thing.

It's a bad thing because, as someone has already stated, the airbag has to fully deploy in a few milliseconds, so if you're within the range of the deployment, there's a lot of pain coming your way. That's why you're told to wear your seatbelt - so you aren't thrown forward and within the range of deployment. It's also why the S-Class won't deploy all airbags in an accident, and only those where the occupant is wearing a belt - if there is someone who is sitting without a seatbelt, the airbag itself will injure the party. That is why it is called an "SRS Airbag" - for Supplemental Restraint System.

What I can gather from the photos is one of two things: 1. That the right A-pillar's airbag deployed, but if the pillar itself broke off and struck the driver, it didn't have any effect.
2. The airbag didn't deploy; either, as someone has suggested, because the physical contact between the pillar and the rest of the car was broken, or because it recognised that the occupant is within the deployment range and therefore would be safer without the airbag deploying.

Either way, I don't think Mercedes should be blamed for not being able to save the driver's life. From what I gather about accidents of any kind in India, deaths rarely occur on impact; they happen because of the inordinate time period between accident and medical attention.

A few people have asked how airbags deploy: in a nutshell, the triggers are linked to accelerometers (something similar to the ones you've got in a high-end smartphone, but WAY smarter) and if they detect a rate of change of velocity - that's change of speed - greater than the car can manage considering its weight and tyres and brakes and ABS etc (this is a preprogrammed value), it will deploy the airbag.

Last edited by isodope : 21st December 2011 at 10:19.
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Old 21st December 2011, 11:00   #96
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Default Re: Mercedes S-Class Accident : Owner dead, Airbag doesn't activate and Court orders

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Originally Posted by isodope View Post
What I can gather from the photos is one of two things: 1. That the right A-pillar's airbag deployed, but if the pillar itself broke off and struck the driver, it didn't have any effect.
2. The airbag didn't deploy; either, as someone has suggested, because the physical contact between the pillar and the rest of the car was broken, or because it recognised that the occupant is within the deployment range and therefore would be safer without the airbag deploying.

Either way, I don't think Mercedes should be blamed for not being able to save the driver's life. From what I gather about accidents of any kind in India, deaths rarely occur on impact; they happen because of the inordinate time period between accident and medical attention.

A few people have asked how airbags deploy: in a nutshell, the triggers are linked to accelerometers (something similar to the ones you've got in a high-end smartphone, but WAY smarter) and if they detect a rate of change of velocity - that's change of speed - greater than the car can manage considering its weight and tyres and brakes and ABS etc (this is a preprogrammed value), it will deploy the airbag.
bang on, Mods i think the title of this thread needs to be changed. i dont believe the OP had all the facts when he started this thread. dont you think its wise to reserve judgement wrt. Mercedes till such time?
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Old 21st December 2011, 11:08   #97
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Default Re: Mercedes S-Class Accident : Owner dead, Airbag doesn't activate and Court orders

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Originally Posted by howler View Post
bang on, Mods i think the title of this thread needs to be changed. i dont believe the OP had all the facts when he started this thread. dont you think its wise to reserve judgement wrt. Mercedes till such time?
There's nothing in the title that seems judgmental.
Its a statement of situation.

In my opinion the thread should be locked now, we're just raking burnt coals here now.


EDIt:
Howler-

mercedes s class accident - correct.
owner dead - correct
airbag didnt activate - correct
court orders fir - correct

unfortunately, i have been through the all of the pages of this thread.ever since it originated in another thread.

Last edited by mayankk : 21st December 2011 at 11:22.
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Old 21st December 2011, 11:19   #98
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Default Re: Mercedes S-Class Accident : Owner dead, Airbag doesn't activate and Court orders

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Originally Posted by mayankk View Post
There's nothing in the title that seems judgmental.
Its a statement of situation.

In my opinion the thread should be locked now, we're just raking burnt coals here now.
"Mercedes S-Class Accident : Owner dead, Airbag doesn't activate and Court orders FIR" : not judgemental?? have you been through the first few pages of this thread, i logged into it as i assumed that some glitch with the car that caused the fatality. all im saying is the title of the thread points fingers at Mercedes; and that in my opinion in unfair.( innocent till proven guilty?)
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Old 21st December 2011, 12:29   #99
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Default Re: Mercedes S-Class Accident : Owner dead, Airbag doesn't activate and Court orders

Deepest condolences to the family of the dead man.

Here is my version of what may have happened.

I have driven extensively on these highways, and at times trucks just get into your side of the highway from the wrong/ other side. If you are on the highway on the first lane, assuming a high speed, you should be travelling at about 100-120 kmph.
At such speeds, the only recourse is to somehow swerve left and avoid the truck thats right in front of you.

Mercedes S-Class Accident : Owner dead, Airbag doesn't activate and Court orders FIR-merc-accident.png

Therefore in this case, I believe,
1. The car did not decelerate. Probably the driver was trying to swerve it or it may even be a case of mistaken judgement (very much possible at those speeds) . Since the car did not decelerate, Airbags werent activated.
2. The A pillar hit a stationary object (the truck's front end) at 130kmph, It was destroyed and so was the wiring/ electricals housed there. Also, A pillars, as i understand, do not have crash sensors, and till this point, the car has not sensed any impact. (Assuming that the A pillar was the first point of contact.
3. The car then swerved to the right, crossed the divider, and landed amongst the kiosks. In all probability, the passenger side airbag was deployed on some point there.

It would be wrong to blame Merc entirely for the incident. If that body (built like a tank) was decimated, there is no chance that the car was travelling at normal speeds. It is natural for you to feel the loss, feel angry and make presumtions of "If only", it is equally important to look at the story in a neutral, unbiased manner.

I might be wrong in some assumptions. Please feel free to correct.

Thanks,
Tapish
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Old 21st December 2011, 12:36   #100
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Default Re: Mercedes S-Class Accident : Owner dead, Airbag doesn't activate and Court orders

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankk View Post
There's nothing in the title that seems judgmental.
Its a statement of situation.

In my opinion the thread should be locked now, we're just raking burnt coals here now.


EDIt:
Howler-
mercedes s class accident - correct.
owner dead - correct
airbag didnt activate - correct
court orders fir - correct

unfortunately, i have been through the all of the pages of this thread.ever since it originated in another thread.
"airbag didnt activate- correct." well the side airbags did deploy since the first point of impact was the a pillar and not the front. now in case of non deployment in a frontal shunt, i would agree with you. enough views have been provided as to why the front airbags did not deploy; apparently they seem to have conformed to their design specs.
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Old 21st December 2011, 12:45   #101
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Default Re: Mercedes S-Class Accident : Owner dead, Airbag doesn't activate and Court orders

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Originally Posted by isodope View Post
The passenger airbag deactivation switch is not for cost savings, it is used to shut the airbag off if you've got a child in the front seat. Abroad, children are seated with booster seats that anchor to ISOFIX points provided for the seat, so they end up closer to the dashboard - and airbag, and that's a bad thing.
I'm glad you made this important point. An airbag can not only injure, but kill a child seated as you describe. I believe the manufacturers learnt this lesson the hard way.
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Old 21st December 2011, 13:02   #102
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Default Re: Mercedes S-Class Accident : Owner dead, Airbag doesn't activate and Court orders

We have discussed nearly all the points here. But we haven't spoken of truck and it's driver. Were they caught? If yes, then a photo of the truck with it's damage can help a long way in coming up with the right circumstances of the accident.
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Old 21st December 2011, 15:11   #103
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Default Re: Mercedes S-Class Accident : Owner dead, Airbag doesn't activate and Court orders

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Originally Posted by nanduchitnis View Post
No matter what model of the car, the best speed to drive on Indian Highways is a safe speed of perhaps no more than 80-100.

At this speed perhaps chances of survival are good.

After significant experience due to extensive driving on our highways over the past 25 years, the best and safest speed on open highways is ~80 km. I got saved from a accident in similiar circumstances in Aug 2005 between Ambala and Kurukshetra as I was able to brake in time. I was going to overtake the truck in front, when it started swerving dangerously across the carriageway as the driver lost control. Luckly the driver regained control of his truck and a horrible accident was averted. I stopped for a few minutes - for the adrenaline rush to hit and get over before I continued.

I plead with all Team Bhpians to remember that our highways are not designed for high speed driving. There are too many variables (including no fencing, mixed traffic , animals, etc etc) and I have escaped on numerous occassions just because of safe and defensive driving.

My cheartfelt condolences to Mr. Sharaf's family and pray that no more such terrible occurances happen with Team-Bhp members or anyone else

Last edited by Jaggu : 21st December 2011 at 15:15. Reason: Removing [Font] tags, please avoid Copy Paste from external Font editors. Also do a Preview before Submitting posts. Thanks
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Old 21st December 2011, 16:23   #104
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Default Re: Mercedes S-Class Accident : Owner dead, Airbag doesn't activate and Court orders

Coming to terms with the loss of a loved one is not an easy process. We tend to look for reasons and answers to explain the loss. Time is the best healer.
Coming back to the question of expensive cars in general and Mercs in particular - one has to agree that at the end of the day the laws of physics will prevail. The best option available for us is to make sure that we give due importance to safety features in our cars and bikes. Ditch the fancy amp and alloy wheel budget in favor of ABS and airbags.
The other important message that this discussion thread brings out is the fact that driving in India continues to remain a dangerous exercise and defensive driving is the best recommendation. That and providing the necessary time allowance while planning trips so that we are not in a race against the clock to reach our destination.
Pls note that im not implying any of these aspects in connection to the incident being discussed.
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Old 22nd December 2011, 22:58   #105
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Default Re: Mercedes S-Class Accident : Owner dead, Airbag doesn't activate and Court orders

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Originally Posted by markmytravel View Post
My Brother in Law met with a fatal accident on the Jaipur-Agra highway. Seems like the driver side airbag on his mercedes did not fire. It feels like Mercedes has started taking Indian customers for granted and is just believing their brand name is enough to sell numbers. We know our BIL cannot come back but atleast others can be made aware so that precious life can be saved.

RIP Nirmal ... We will miss you.
Very tragic to hear about the death of your brother in law..My heartfelt condolences and sympathies on the sad loss.The tragedy and the loss is irreparable. And the people talk about the battle tank like build quality of these cars. What nonsense to entice gullible buyers? These very people writing such stuff should be made to buy one for Rs 1 crore and sent to undergo crash tests.
In fact, I have been apprehensive of the hollow claims by this company ever since Princess Diana lost her life in a road accident near Paris in August 1997. She was being driven on a 1994 "S" Class, a S280, with the Prince Dodi Al Fayed when the car collided with the wall of the Alma tunnel.And they were seated on the back seat when the car was doing some 110 kmph and not 190 kmph as was claimed in the earliest reports.
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