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Old 20th August 2012, 22:51   #121
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Default Re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

These are some of the exact questions which are now helping me. I'm not sure if I understand this correctly the term "Aquaplaning".
I will try describing how I was feeling. When the roads are moist and there is absolutely no water logging on the road I can feel the car drive like expected, that is the tyres are rolling stuck on the road surface. Sometimes I felt that when there is a little higher amount of water logged, maybe like a depth of 2mm or 5 mm .. (not water logging) OR even a stream of water flowing, and when I drove past it, there is sudden loss of that noise the tyres make. I feel for that half a second that the car is gliding or even floating. This has been happening on my Yoko S drives I guess from the day I got it I suppose. Is this what is Aquaplaning, is this normal or is this bad? Does it mean at that stage when the noise has gone the grip on the road has gone as well? This may probably be my first major clue as to why the car skid as soon as i applied brakes.
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Old 20th August 2012, 23:45   #122
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This should help explain aqua planing .
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquaplaning#section_2
Braking and excessive steering inputs will only make your car spin in these conditions.
In your case probably the s drives which will be quite worn down at 30k acted like racing slick tyres in a wet condition, and the resultant loss of traction.
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Old 21st August 2012, 01:23   #123
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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 feel for that half a second that the car is gliding or even floating. This has been happening on my Yoko S drives I guess from the day I got it I suppose. Is this what is Aquaplaning, is this normal or is this bad? Does it mean at that stage when the noise has gone the grip on the road has gone as well? This may probably be my first major clue as to why the car skid as soon as i applied brakes.
What youve described above is the phenomenon of aquaplaning. When you are on a straight piece of tarmac, the best course of action would be to take your foot off the throttle and NOT make any steering corrections even if the car begins to glide slightly sideways. Any steering inputs \ braking during the two or three seconds of aquaplaning can be disastrous even in a straight line. If one has the presence of mind to ease the throttle and wait until traction is back (normally in 2 - 3 seconds at 'non mental' highway speeds) before making any steering corrections or braking - that would be the best course of action. Of course things get really tricky if the phenomenon strikes while negotiating a bend.

Reducing speeds while driving in the rain \ just after it has rained is the smartest thing to do. All of my aquaplaning experiences have been at speeds in excess of 90 kmph. At these speeds even a really thin film of standing water is sufficient to cause 2 - 3 seconds of that floaty sensation that makes your heart skip a few beats.
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Old 21st August 2012, 05:17   #124
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Default Re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

So Aquaplaning was indeed happening on my car., and maybe it did at that turn itself either when the truck hit me or after I applied the brakes. Even a speed around 80 was bad idea especially at that turn that I agree, but wondering what speed that truck must be to come from my behind on that same turn to put me in spin. Either I was slower than 80 or the truck was faster than 80, wow.

For my next car next car next tyre upgrade I think I should look at Michelin comfort series. I wont go with Yoko s-drives for sure. I think Yoko C-drives would be little better for wet grip and longevity?
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Old 21st August 2012, 05:45   #125
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Default Re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

I have been thru aquaplaning a few times and it can be scary. nothing can save you out of it except luck, coz steering nor brakes wont work in that situation. Its down right to bad design/execution of roads - lack of run-away areas, wrong angle of tarmac in heavy flow areas and so on...

God indeed saved you
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Old 21st August 2012, 08:14   #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frontosa
For my next car next car next tyre upgrade I think I should look at Michelin comfort series. I wont go with Yoko s-drives for sure. I think Yoko C-drives would be little better for wet grip and longevity?
Yoko C drives are good. Nice balance between comfort and handling, had them on my old Honda. It can really take a lot of speed through corners, the only issue I had with them were unusual side wall punctures and it seemed like to attract all kinds of nails. I switched them to Michelin xm1 and then the car's ride was transformed. Amazing comfort , only trade off being not that great a handler through bends. These tyres are virtually bullet proof, never had a puncture on them. Now I have Michelin xm1 plus on my polo and am very happy . Biggest improvement in polo has been in braking after changing to these. If you are looking for in the 15 inch tyres then Michelin pilot is a good option.
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Old 21st August 2012, 11:34   #127
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Default Re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

Sorry but posting only after reading the first page...

One: You are incredibly lucky
Two: As many have pointed out air bag deployment did not take place due to non-frontal impact
Three: After reading your inputs it seems to me that the road surface at that point is prone to water logging / or water wash across the surface. This is recipe for "aqua planing" and all it needed was combination of truck touching you and hard application of brakes. ABS was not effective as there was no traction available to tyres due to aqua planing. The aqua planing is further complicated if the stretch of road has oily surface (some near by work shop??). This is my conclusion since you say many others have had similar experience at the same spot.

Poor road engineering should be blamed for this. Sharing my experience:

Quote:
Recently I was doing a stretch between Nagpur and Raipur. It was raining heavily and at places water was running on surface of road. Some of the stretches were under thin layer of water. Something similar happened - but without ghastly consequences - as I was taking a high speed curve. I felt the car loose all traction and begin to slide sideways. I corrected my self by steering in to the slide (against the curve) and just letting off the accelerator slightly
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Old 21st August 2012, 11:54   #128
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Default Re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

God exists!!! How else do you explain getting out of that without any serious injuries or getting out of that at all!!

I guess the airbags did not open because it wasn't a front impact. My understanding is that the front airbags are deployed when there is a head on collision and there is a massive and sudden deceleration following the impact. You car flipped over a few times and thus the sensor never really triggered the airbags.
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Old 21st August 2012, 11:55   #129
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Default Re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

I am speechless!

And seriously you should visit some God worship place (Whomsoever you believe in), because looking at the pictures one cannot imagine that the driver came out safe on his own legs.

On Yokos and other brands, i have personally tried 4 brands and driven twice that number, and seriously when it comes to driving on water logged highways almost all are the same, especially on higher speeds.

And once the car enters the horizontal spin, the ABS+EBD does not help as most of the sliding is sideways (Spinning) and probably the sensors sense "everything is fine".
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Old 21st August 2012, 12:12   #130
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Default Re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

Still not able to fathom that you are alive, after such a horrific crash.
God certainly exists, and was on full attention when this happened to you. Thank your stars, and pray harder to whosoever you pray to.

As many pointed out, front airbags would deploy mainly on frontal colllision. Had the car had side airbags, they couldve deployed.

Hats off to the support staff on the e-way. Such professionalism is rarely seen.

A word for the cop in Lonavala station- you suck! Pardon me for the language, but this is certainly not done. Did he even know the seriousness of the incident?
Filing an FIR is his duty, for which he shouldnt charge at all.

If you are inclined, get media attention to this cops behavior. It wont be too difficult to find out this not so worthy cop.
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Old 21st August 2012, 14:21   #131
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Default Re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
BTW why not get a POLO again as your new ride? Afterall it looks like your lucky charm....... only a different colour this time around.
How about a brighter color? I think darker cars are less visible during rains and in low visibility conditions.
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Old 21st August 2012, 14:43   #132
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Default Re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

Great to know you survived this accident. As others have said, someone was indeed watching over you and put you and your car in the safest place you could have been; away from traffic.

In terms of the speed of the truck, could we consider the truck did not stay in its lane while turning left (as far as I remember its a left) and intruded into yours? In this case, this impact would be the only cause of your accident. Unless the aquaplaning caused your car to get into the truck's lane.

Respect to the e-way cops for helping you and doing their job. I had lost faith in all accident help based on recent incidents being reported but now a little bit is restored.
As far as those Lonavla leeches are concerned, I hope you didnt pay them anything. Perhaps some bhpians or media focus can help there?

If there is anything to be done on the Pune side in terms of logistics, do let us lot know.
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Old 21st August 2012, 14:51   #133
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Default Re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

Dear Frontosa, read through your ordeal. At the end, feel good for you and your family that you survived this horrific crash.

What you have described is indeed aquaplaning. Aquaplaning is a silent killer on highways and strikes when you least expect it.

A friend's SX4 went out of control on the expressway last monsoon without any sort of indication, did multiple spins, hit the divider and then toppled over a few times before stopping upside down. Aquaplaning cost my friend his parents.

Driving at medium speeds, even slower during rains is the only thing that can be done.

Get well soon and drive safe!
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Old 21st August 2012, 15:31   #134
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Default Re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

I read through all the posts. I want to post something different than others but nothing can explain this miracle. You are blessed with another life, cherish it.

Its a good example to us Bhpian on wearing seat belt and maintaining the car in proper condition.

Regarding your query for a second car, go for a well built Sedan or a huge SUV. NCAP 5* is a must.

Last edited by mac187 : 21st August 2012 at 15:33.
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Old 21st August 2012, 19:34   #135
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Default Re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

I had no idea this many of our members were religious. Practically everyone has credited the divine being with Frontosa's miraculous escape.

But spare a thought to the poor car that gave up its life- so to speak- to keep him safe. The structural strength of the Polo surely had a part to play in this story having a relatively happy ending?

Airbag deployment is not the be-all and end-all. A lot of things go into making cars "safe". While you should certainly get a satisfactory response from VW on why the airbags did not deploy in this instance, asking members to recommend a "safer car" is a little unfair, I think- considering the Polo did its job. There is another thread where the narrator credits the Punto for saving his and his family's life (A Fiat Punto saves a family). Of course in that case the airbags did deploy, but that was a case where significant frontal impact was involved.
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