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Old 18th August 2012, 21:39   #46
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Default re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

Frontosa,
You are one very, very lucky man!! It's hard to believe that anyone survived after seeing the pictures. Take care of yourself, old chap!
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Old 18th August 2012, 21:43   #47
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Default re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

Quote:
Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
Front Airbags are designed to help in a frontal collision, they wouldn't be of much help in a rollover or side impact. Side and Curtain Airbags are good for side impacts and rollover. The only hatchback i know which comes with Side airbags is i20(Optional in a single variant in petrol).
Furthermore, here are FAQs on Airbags by one of most trusted agencies- IIHS.

Link:Q&A: Airbags

Some quotes from Article:

Quote:
Why do we need airbags?
Frontal airbags: In serious frontal crashes, occupants don't stop immediately, but continue moving forward. Frontal airbags are designed to work with lap/shoulder belts to protect heads and chests from hitting the steering wheel, instrument panel, or windshield. If occupants strike these surfaces hard, they can sustain serious or fatal injuries.


Side airbags: In side impact crashes, the side structure of the struck vehicle or the structure of the striking vehicle can injure properly belted occupants. In some cases, occupants collide with nearby objects (like utility poles). Side airbags cushion and spread the load of these impacts to prevent any part of the body from sustaining concentrated impact forces. Side airbags that offer head protection are particularly important because they may be the only thing between an occupant's head and the front of a vehicle, a tree or other object, or the ground in the event of a rollover.
Quote:
When do airbags deploy?
Airbags are designed to deploy only when they might be needed to prevent serious injury. In order for airbags to be effective they must deploy early in a crash; this typically occurs within the first 50 milliseconds (0.05 seconds) in a frontal crash and within the first 20 milliseconds (0.02 seconds) in a side crash. A vehicle's airbag control module relies on feedback from sensors to predict whether a crash is severe enough to warrant airbag deployment.


Frontal airbags: Frontal airbags are designed to inflate in moderate to severe frontal crashes. Among airbags with advanced features that include a safety belt sensor, there are different inflation thresholds depending on whether people are using safety belts. One threshold used by airbag designers is "must deploy," which includes a situation such as an impact into a rigid wall at 10-12 mph if occupants are unbelted. The "must deploy" threshold is slightly higher — about 16 mph — for belted occupants because the belts alone are likely to provide adequate protection up to these moderate speeds. Frontal airbags may deploy to help protect occupants in side impacts if there is sufficient forward deceleration during the crash. If a vehicle is moving forward at the time of a side impact, frontal airbags can help prevent serious injuries.

Advanced airbags compliant with government crash performance standards have been required in all passenger vehicles since model year 2007. Advanced airbags are designed to suppress deployment or alter deployment characteristics to reduce the risk of injury by the airbag if weight sensors in the seat detect that a front-seat passenger is small or in a child safety seat. Advanced airbags also can deploy at a lower energy level or pressure when passengers are small or out of position, or if the crash is of very low severity.

Side airbags: Because of the small space between an occupant and the side of the vehicle, side airbags must deploy very quickly to cushion occupants from intruding vehicles or objects. Some airbags typically deploy within the first 10-20 milliseconds of a side crash. "Must deploy" thresholds can be as low as 8 mph for narrow object crashes (e.g., trees and poles) and 18 mph for the more distributed side crashes (vehicle-to-vehicle crashes). Several auto manufacturers deploy the side airbags in frontal crashes to help control occupant movement during the rebound phase of a crash.

Quote:
Do frontal airbags ever fail to deploy when they're needed?
An Institute study reviewed airbag deployment status for fatal frontal crashes contained in the National Automotive Sampling System/Crashworthiness Data System, a sample of tow-away crashes with detailed data from crash investigators. Institute researchers estimated that 1-2 percent of frontal occupant deaths represented potential airbag system failures where deployments would have been expected. However, there are inherent uncertainties about whether or not airbags would be expected to deploy in some crashes.

Last edited by .anshuman : 18th August 2012 at 22:13. Reason: added something
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Old 18th August 2012, 21:47   #48
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Default re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

Is it possible that the vehicle stalled or switched off before the first major impact.

The vehicle got a nudge, starts spinning out of control. During this time it switches off. Then it makes frontal and side impacts. Airbags don't deploy because the vehicle is not running.

Thank god your Guardian angels were also in the same car and saved you.
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Old 18th August 2012, 21:49   #49
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Default re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

Dear Frontosa,

Thanks a lot for sharing your experience in here. Infact, like many others have mentioned, you are one hell of a lucky guy to be able to do that!
  • Regarding S-Drives. They are performance tyres. IMO, most of these performance tyres lose wet grip at about half their life. Even if we can see visible thread in them. Occasionally during leisure drives, in controlled environment, I brake hard in dry, wet and take sharp turns and what not, just to know what my car can handle. I guess this helps.
  • Re Airbags deployed: Well, looking at your car I really cant figure out why the airbags didn't deploy. But my guess would be: The very hard side impacts which happened before the frontal impact, might have damaged some integral part which deploys air bags. Or else, by the time the front was hit, the speed would have been reduced to city speeds (<50) where the airbags don't deploy.
  • Re ABS and skidding: A car even with all electronic wizardry becomes the most uncontrollable, when it takes a sideways hit in the rear half at high speeds. I personally don't think that any gadget would have helped you here. However, ESP, electronic control over throttle and individual power to all four wheels might have helped. Which car has this? - EVO X?
IMO, by today's hatchback standards, only as you were in a Polo, you were saved. May god bless you to share much more happy incidents in here.
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Old 18th August 2012, 21:54   #50
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Default re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

Quote:
Originally Posted by bblost View Post
The vehicle got a nudge, starts spinning out of control. During this time it switches off. Then it makes frontal and side impacts. Airbags don't deploy because the vehicle is not running.

Thank god your Guardian angels were also in the same car and saved you.

Wow who decides( ment designers/law/.. ) the deployment of airbags ? .

Assume that you have parked you car on side of the road with blinkers on , just in case if some one does a head-ON , the airbags don't open ,since the car was not running ? . This is a design flaw then .

Airbags(and the collision detectors ) should be ON irrespective of the car is running/stationary or ignition turned ON/OFF .


@Frontosa, take care dude , live life to fullest . I would have be pissed off high if those airbags has not opened. You should get full answer and explanation and compensation and sue them for the major component not working (which you have paid for) .

Last edited by black12rr : 18th August 2012 at 21:57.
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Old 18th August 2012, 22:17   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRIV3R
You should really thank your stars! Thank God you are safe.

I see in one of the pics that the front LHS tyre has some uneven wear on the tread. That could have lead to loss of grip, maybe?
You are right. The center part of your left tyre seems to have lost lot of tread, not sure if it was because of the skid in this accident.

Frontosa can you please confirm.

Last edited by anandtheleo : 18th August 2012 at 22:19.
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Old 18th August 2012, 22:40   #52
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Default re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

The airbag deployment algorithm is quite complex and keeps getting complex. The frontal airbags in some cases will not deploy for roll over accidents. And in somecases if the airbag is not deployed in the fist 0.5ms the chances of it getting deployed is reduced.

In your case i second Bblost on why the air bags did not deploy.

The tyres had close to 30K. It may sound less but i feel the safety is slightly compromised at that mileage. Specially during rains the tyres wont have any comparable grip like in dry. The same tyres would have avoided skidding may be in the dry condition.

I am not saying 30K is too high. I am just saying the tyres are not at their best conditions.

You are extrememly lucky to have walked out of such an accident.

And there are no safe cars. There are only safe drivers and a huge luck factor.
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Old 18th August 2012, 22:43   #53
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Default re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

Dear friends, Thanks a lot for all your replies, its giving me a very similar feeling when a child is born and his parents are congratulated.. except that the child in this case is a grown up 30 year old who understands the blessings of all well wishers

I was on the 1st lane on the 3 lane express way, i.e. on the right most side which is meant for overtaking. The truck which kissed me was overtaking another truck on the left most side, I had seen this in the left view mirror, but because of the turn I had slowed down and was paying full attention on the road ahead. I was enjoying music at a moderate volume but was fully attentive and I got a little nudge at that time the car seemed to me that it is pushed, however that moment I instantly applied brake - not full pressure brake but about 50% I may say, and the car swirled,, i could see myself in the opposite direction of the same truck which pushed me and it was empty orange colour regular truck and then ofcourse all that incident happened.

Yes there was no direct front collision on the headlamps if you will, that happened, it was mostly all side crashes. I dont know exactly its the side of the car that broke the 15 feet wide RCC wall and also in that same pit I fell. What I realized after that was it was a canal as I mentioned earlier - the RCC brick debris had already fallen before the car fell. And hence there was a heap, and that heap was above water level. So when I crawled out of the car, I was on the heap, the car had blocked access from the other side for the police to rescue me. and the police told me not to go to the other side as the water was little deep. Another thing when the drama stopped and the car was upside down and I was in it - had it been all water my head might have been submersed under water which would have definitely panicked me and -- anyway that didnt happen, God is great.

I'll surely puruse with VW though on the Airbag deployment and keep everyone posted. I dont think I'm going to sue them or anything of that sort. The car was a super pleasure to ride, absolutely nothing to complain in the last 1.5 years of ownership - everytime I would go out with it, would bring a huge smile, always made me feel safe whenever I close the doors. I had asked in my ownership thread or somewhere if Yoko S drives could be used for 25K kms - but someone mentioned they can go much longer. But now I will keep a check.
Yep I understand that ABS or anyother stuff may not have helped this exact situation, its just that I am resting at home now, so will be on tbhp to read and study more about which new car to go for - and dare I say I'm atleast a little excited. I'm personally not so much in shock anymore, ofcourse my family hasnt seen these pictures for obvious reasons. I understand God has given me a moment to pause in life, have a relook, take stock of the situation and decide how my rest of the life should be
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Old 18th August 2012, 22:52   #54
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Default re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

Man really happy that you survived the crash! It is really unbelievable to walk out with only some injuries.

Regarding Airbag, I read in my Elantra workshop manual, (my car has only 2 airbags) atleast my cars airbags are designed to also open up on side impact also.
My car has airbag sensors in the B pillars. I have seen them.

I alone had accident in my car and hit a tree at approx 50kmph. My airbag opened, passengers din't.
Because passenger seat has a weight sensor.

When i looked up ebay U.S. for Elantra driver airbag, i came across DUAL STAGE AIRBAG. My car is 2004 and has single stage (explode to full size) airbag. It has a 2 wire connection.
2005+ cars have Dual-Stage airbag having 3 or 4 (don't remember) wires. If you are not wearing seat belt then, only one section of driver airbag fires which makes a smaller and softer balloon (so that you are not thrown back by a huge balloon to damage your back and neck).
If you are with seat belt, both sections fire up to inflate a bigger balloon.

Looking at your scenario, I would expect airbag to open. I feel, yours was a frontal collision, when you hit the RCC wall.
One possibility for unopened airbags, I think, can be that you broke the whole wall. So there was no sufficient sudden deceleration to your car.

Saving life is a car's construction's virtue and seat belt. Airbag would have saved your ribs. That's all. So the strong car did save you! Of course with Gods grace!


Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
The biggest worry is the ABS didn't kick in. If it had, you wouldn't be in such a bad accident in the first place. It's supposed to prevent the car skidding in such cases.
Honeybee, he did say ABS kicked in his very first post. But as somebody said no hatch in India has stability management. ABS might have helped him, but it was out of ABS's reach to bring things in control.


One learning from my accident:
I was driving with one hand on steering and other on gear. I misjudged a turn, went into gravel on the outer side of the curve. My car's back started sliding out.

Me overconfident. "Back sliding, correct with counter steer".

Turned steering wheel to 0 degree and then 90 degree left. Car over-corrected and now starts sliding to other side!
Again same mistake! Turned steering to 0 and then 180 right. By this time it was too late. I banged straight into a tree!

Moral: With one handed driving we tend to over react in panicky situations.

From that day till today, i always drive with both hands on steering wheel.
Frontosa I hope you were not a victim of these over-corrective actions.

Last edited by LP640 : 18th August 2012 at 22:59.
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Old 18th August 2012, 23:02   #55
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Default re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frontosa View Post
I got a little nudge at that time the car seemed to me that it is pushed, however that moment I instantly applied brake - not full pressure brake but about 50% I may say, and the car swirled,, i could see myself in the opposite direction of the same truck which pushed me and it was empty orange colour regular truck and then ofcourse all that incident happened.
This sounds so much like the PIT maneuver used by Cops to bring a chase to an end.

The way to protect yourself is to accelerate away and not brake.

I may be wrong. Have never been in such a situation myself and this is bookish knowledge.
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Old 18th August 2012, 23:20   #56
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Default re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

Looking at the pictures and reading your write up I can say that You are really LUCKY to be alive! Do take adequate rest.

Glad to hear that the highway patrol acted quickly, I often travel on the expressway and thought they are good for nothing.

And regarding the scene at Lonavala Gramin Police station do you have the name of the person who demanded the money? If yes, can you please PM it to me, if you dont mind?

Last edited by Y@SH : 18th August 2012 at 23:24.
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Old 18th August 2012, 23:25   #57
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Default re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frontosa View Post
4. The car is under warranty, but still airbags didnt open which remains a mystery to me. What should I be doing?
.
.
.
7.Please suggest me a safer car.


I think only GOD saved me and no other car would have. Please share whatever thoughts you have for this incident.
Good to learn you are fine.
Looking at the pics, don't know what to say, your destiny.

4. There are few other thread about some so called technologically advanced cars about Air Bags not deploying during accidents. There are and will be many explanations about the same (for & against), but one thing is for sure, no body knows when it`ll deploy.

7. Pray to God, he is the only one who can suggest, more so if you are driving in India.

Apologies, this post may sound sarcastic.
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Old 18th August 2012, 23:42   #58
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Default re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

Those who don't will start believing in God after seeing your post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LP640 View Post
Moral: With one handed driving we tend to over react in panicky situations.
Fully agree to this. Must hold steering with both hand with appropriate grip. Loose grip is risky in case of sudden tyre burst also.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bblost View Post
The way to protect yourself is to accelerate away and not brake.

I may be wrong. Have never been in such a situation myself and this is bookish knowledge.
I too have seen people accelerating in Hollywood movies in such situations. Braking should be avoided.

This is also a case of paying price for following rules. This might not have happened if you were over-speeding.

Last edited by sourabhzen : 18th August 2012 at 23:44.
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Old 19th August 2012, 00:11   #59
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Default re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

BTW why not get a POLO again as your new ride? Afterall it looks like your lucky charm.

Your incident reminds me of another one which happened just 6 months back with a guy in my college. He also had a brand new polo tdi, done around 4k kms, 6 months old. Met with an accident on the highway and the car toppled, turtled and did every acrobat possible. The condition of the car was just like yours and the insurance wrote it off as a total loss. Any guesses on which car did he buy next? The Polo Tdi once again, only a different colour this time around.

Last edited by drmohitg : 19th August 2012 at 00:14.
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Old 19th August 2012, 00:26   #60
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Default re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

Frontosa

You are a very lucky person to have survived such a massive crash. Looking at the photos, it would looks as though it could have consumed more than just you.

Please call your patents, friends, etc., and thank them. Go to a Temple, Church, mosque and Thank God for the second leash of life. Take care... Please...
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