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Old 7th January 2014, 23:59   #1
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Default Dzire Accident: How seatbelts, ABS & airbags saved my life. Update from NHAI on page 8

This accident happened on 4th January when I was driving from Bangalore to Nagercoil with pitstops at Salem(night stay), Dharapuram and Dindugal. From Dindugal, I was alone and maintaining a speed of around 120Kmh. This route is completely 4L and there are lots of straight stretches. However I reduce the speed to 80-100 when I am entering any bye-pass or while passing any towns/villages along this route since we have more intersections.

At around 4:00 PM, I entered the Tirunelveli byepass and I was approaching a fast right hander, immediately after this right hander, there is an intersection. I have taken this route mutiple times but somehow I have not noticed this intersection or may be it didn't stay in my mind. The speed was around 100Kmh(I am not sure about the exact number).

I was on the fast lane and after taking the curve I see the intersection and a two-wheeler was waiting to cross the road. However he didn't show any intentions to cross the road, hence I didn't brake or slow down. Along with me but little behind me another car(I think it was a fiesta) was on the left lane.

Now, for some reason the two wheeler decides that he can cross the road before I reach the spot and accelerates hard and then realizes that there is another car on the left lane too, so chances of crossing is almost impossible as both of us have approached very closer to him. He panics and brakes hard this time. Now he is bang in the middle of my path standing perpendicular to me.
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Old 8th January 2014, 00:06   #2
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Default re: Dzire Accident: How seatbelts, ABS & airbags saved my life

Just before and during the impact:

- With very less distance between us, I was sure that car will not stop before hitting him.
- I had only milliseconds to decide whether to hit him or take the divider head on and try my luck.
- Going towards the left lane means the other car should brake hard or I might be directly hitting him.
- I floored the brake, ABS Kicks ON, I steered to my right thus going behind the two wheeler and in the gap in the median on the intersection,
- Then I tried to steer towards the left to enter back on the road and that is when I hit the divider.
- Immediately the Air Bag deploys and the right tyre bursts.
- The car went in AIR(locals said that it went about 3 to 6 feets and they thought the car will topple).
- Landed on the left first and luckily didn't topple
- The cabin was full of smoke from the airbag and some smoke was coming from the right tyre side.
- The seat belt held me very tight and I didn't even move an inch forward.

After the Impact:

- For couple of minutes, the people around thought that the car might catch fire and hence they didn't come near the car
- The fog lamps were still ON(I turn this ON some times even during day drive)
- The player was still running
- My hands were still on the steering wheel
- The doors were unlocked
- I tried opening the door but couldn't as it got jammed due to the damages above the wheel arch
- One person approached me then and helped me to open the door
- I came out with a blank mind and didn't know what to do
- the two-wheeler had fled the spot

Help from the locals:

- They got some water for me
- They informed the police immediately
- Seeing the KA registration, once person started talking in Kannada to me
- They scolded me for taking the risk of going over the divider instead of hitting the two-wheeler who was at fault. Also, they couldn't believe that I was unhurt after seeing the crash. They started analyzing on the airbag.
- Some of them were willing to come till police station, I thanked them and said a NO as I had help from friends and family on the way.

Police:
- They arrived within 5-10 minutes.
- The locals explained the accident to them
- Police was convinced with their explanation and they towed my car to the police station.
- They provided a accident certificate and then my car was moved to MASS
- There was NO demand from police for money.
- They also informed me that this is the first accident on this curve where both the parties were unhurt. Otherwise it always ends in a fatality.

Insurance:
Its Royal Sundaram policy with zero-depreciation. I called them from the police station and no one picked the call.
Later I started interacting with the MASS directly.
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Old 8th January 2014, 00:27   #3
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Default re: Dzire Accident: How seatbelts, ABS & airbags saved my life

My friends and family nearby reached when I was in the police station and they helped me with the process, pulled a few strings to speed up the process as it was late in a Saturday evening to get the vehicle towed to a MASS and MASS is closed on Sundays.

Currently the damaged parts mentioned are,

Coolant tank
AC Compressor
Right Front Tyre+ Alloy
Radiator
Suspension(both sides)
Both the head lamp units cracked
Fog Lamp
Horn
Both Airbag
Panels above the tyre arch(both sides)
Cross Member
Minor damage to chassis

The estimate amount is 2.67L, I am yet to receive the complete details.

Dzire:
After 74K+ on the ODO, I have no complaints whats so ever. I have enjoyed all my long drives, city drives with no break downs till date.

Recently I did a economy drive by maintaining 70-80Kmh on a 4L and the FE was 26.95(100% AC ON)
In City, bumper to bumper traffic, I get around 15 with 100% AC ON
On the highways its around 19-23 based on the speed and kind of road.

Even during this accident, the impact was not transferred to the cabin at all.

Thanks to Team BHP for insisting on Seat Belts.
Thanks to Team BHP for advising on cars with ABS/Air Bag and other security features. Without ABS, I wouldn't have been able to steer away from the two wheeler.
Thanks to Threads that were insisting on Zero Depreciation policy. Yes, after 8 years since started owning the car, for the first time I took a Zero Depreciation policy which came in handy now.

Maybe, this accident was meant to happen. I come out of it with gratitude to the Almighty who got me out of it without even a single scratch. There were so many things that could've gone wrong to turn this accident into a more grievous one. So, I believe in a Higher Power watching out for me. :-)

Till recently, I was not able to convince my dad to wear seat belt. But after seeing his son coming out of this accident unscratched, he buckles the belt dutifully for every trip now. He was also explaining to his friends on how the Seat Belt/Airbag saved me.

I was back behind the wheels within 48 hours from this accident by driving from Nagercoil to Bangalore(670 Kms) in my dads Indica. Yes, now I am being more cautious especially on the curves. And thanks a lot to my Wife and Parents for showing confidence in me and allowing me to drive again.

Conclusion:

- Everyone in my family including me is convinced that besides God's abundant grace, its the seat belt and ABS/Airbags that helped save my life in this accident.
- I'm convinced beyond a doubt about availing zero-depreciation insurance policy as otherwise I would be in a financial quandary right now with this unexpected expense.
- It pays to be extra cautious in curves and intersections and wherever towns/villages occur along the highway.

Here are the pics,
Attached Thumbnails
Dzire Accident: How seatbelts, ABS & airbags saved my life. Update from NHAI on page 8-1.jpg  

Dzire Accident: How seatbelts, ABS & airbags saved my life. Update from NHAI on page 8-2.jpg  

Dzire Accident: How seatbelts, ABS & airbags saved my life. Update from NHAI on page 8-3.jpg  

Dzire Accident: How seatbelts, ABS & airbags saved my life. Update from NHAI on page 8-4.jpg  

Dzire Accident: How seatbelts, ABS & airbags saved my life. Update from NHAI on page 8-6.jpg  

Dzire Accident: How seatbelts, ABS & airbags saved my life. Update from NHAI on page 8-7.jpg  

Dzire Accident: How seatbelts, ABS & airbags saved my life. Update from NHAI on page 8-8.jpg  

Dzire Accident: How seatbelts, ABS & airbags saved my life. Update from NHAI on page 8-9.jpg  

Dzire Accident: How seatbelts, ABS & airbags saved my life. Update from NHAI on page 8-10.jpg  

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Old 8th January 2014, 00:27   #4
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Here is the estimate from MASS with long list of parts to be replaced/repaired. The total estimate comes to 2.65L and looks like insurance company has made it to 2.3L, I am yet to receive any official communication from Royal Sundaram. Tomorrow they are going to inspect the car again.
Attached Thumbnails
Dzire Accident: How seatbelts, ABS & airbags saved my life. Update from NHAI on page 8-es1optimized.jpg  

Dzire Accident: How seatbelts, ABS & airbags saved my life. Update from NHAI on page 8-es2optimized.jpg  

Dzire Accident: How seatbelts, ABS & airbags saved my life. Update from NHAI on page 8-es3optimized.jpg  

Dzire Accident: How seatbelts, ABS & airbags saved my life. Update from NHAI on page 8-es4optimized.jpg  


Last edited by GTO : 11th January 2014 at 13:46. Reason: Adding your repair estimate to the opening posts itself. Thanks
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Old 8th January 2014, 00:37   #5
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Default re: Dzire Accident: How seatbelts, ABS & airbags saved my life

Thread moved from Assembly Line


That is a very lucky escape for the biker and you.
Your choice of ABS and airbags definitely helped protect you. Thanks a lot for this thread.
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Old 8th January 2014, 00:52   #6
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Default re: Dzire Accident: How seatbelts, ABS & airbags saved my life

There surely was a higher power watching over you and the two wheeler!
Credit goes to you too for showing presence of mind and taking quick actions that ensured no one got hurt!
Cars can be replaced. Lives cant.

In the end, glad to know that you are ok! No minor bruises or sprains too?
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Old 8th January 2014, 00:59   #7
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Default re: Dzire Accident: How seatbelts, ABS & airbags saved my life

Quote:
Originally Posted by bblost View Post
Thread moved from Assembly Line


That is a very lucky escape for the biker and you.
Your choice of ABS and airbags definitely helped protect you. Thanks a lot for this thread.
Yup. Team BHP and the threads here played a major part in me deciding on ABS/Airbag setup (Dzire ZDi over SX4 VDi)

Quote:
Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
There surely was a higher power watching over you and the two wheeler!
Credit goes to you too for showing presence of mind and taking quick actions that ensured no one got hurt!
Cars can be replaced. Lives cant.

In the end, glad to know that you are ok! No minor bruises or sprains too?
Nope. not a single bruise or sprain. In fact, I didn't move an inch from my position in the driver seat, thanks to the seat belt and the airbag. I felt the seat belt tighten immediately on impact.
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Old 8th January 2014, 01:02   #8
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Default re: Dzire Accident: How seatbelts, ABS & airbags saved my life

A very miraculous escape buddy. You know, I would always suggest you not to exceed 100kms per hour. This speed still allows you to control your car, anything over and above is dangerous. Unfortunately, our roads are not meant for such speeds. I always maintain a speed of 80kms per hour and 100kms an hour is also rare in my case.

The best part is you are safe. Sometime somewhere you must have done a good deed which has acted as this shield to have saved you from this trouble. At least, I look at it this way.
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Old 8th January 2014, 05:25   #9
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Default re: Dzire Accident: How seatbelts, ABS & airbags saved my life

I am very much relieved that no one was hurt in this accident. ABS, AIRBAGS and SEAT BELTS have played a major role here. But above all this, your presence of Mind and a sudden decision saved all of you from what would have been a terrible accident.
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Old 8th January 2014, 06:20   #10
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Hey Arun,

We are proud that you did the right thing and your presence of mind played a very important role here. Of course you are a disciplined driver and maintain your ride in immaculate condition and it has played its role too to save you. I am especially thankful to the local police and crowd who helped you - be it rescuing, calling for police or explaining to police about accident. Its a rare sight I have seen so far that an accident victim who is anyway under shock of it happening isn't bothered by surroundings and happenings beyond formalities! I have every reason to believe that good people always get good treatment Hopefully the biker who was actually saved by you pays it forward and does a good deed in return for someone if not you. That will be my prayer to almighty.

Wish you a speedy recovery from the shock and hope your ride will be ready without any compromise on quality. But if not, of course thank Dezire and go for new car hunt. And hey, anytime give a shout if you need help with anything. This Tbhp neighbor is right next door for you.

Happy new year - this year is for you win over all odds!
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Old 8th January 2014, 08:15   #11
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Default re: Dzire Accident: How seatbelts, ABS & airbags saved my life

Very lucky escape indeed. Happy that you managed to come off unscathed. This thread once again shows the importance of safety aids. Thanks for sharing.

And while on expressways, it maybe a good idea to stick to the middle lane and move to the rightmost lane only when you have to overtake the car in front.
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Old 8th January 2014, 08:28   #12
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Default re: Dzire Accident: How seatbelts, ABS & airbags saved my life

Arun, Very happy to know that you are safe and this incident again, is an example why people should go for cars with safety features. I always try to influence the decision of friends and family to buy cars with ABS/Airbag/EBD and always refer them back to TBHP posts like this one to make my point clear. In addition to the safety features, I would say that it was your split second decision making ability which helped.
This is my usual route home, I was on the same route on 5th Jan and I can very well relate to the hazards awaiting in the intersections. Once I was in a similar situation, but luckily for me, there was no car on my left lane and I could steer left under hard braking and got saved by the skin of my teeth. Incidents at the intersections are at least predictable, but the ones like custom crossings made by locals by breaking the divider/median, coming in the opposite direction in the fast lane to avoid U-turns etc are even more dangerous menace in these 4 lane roads. These are quite unpredictable and only god and luck can save you in such case. I think NHAI should act strict and fine such fellows heavily for endangering the lives of everyone including theirs. The authorities turn a blind eye to such law breakers and I am planning to raise a complaint on the Central Govt grievance redressal website.
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Old 8th January 2014, 08:31   #13
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Default re: Dzire Accident: How seatbelts, ABS & airbags saved my life

IMHO, your choosing to not slow down (to something like 50, as I normally prefer, esp on seeing these moped riders/cyclists) or honk/flash lights led to this avoidable accident.

Having said that, thankfully your car did its job perfectly, and you handled your car really really well. 90% of drivers in your situation would have done much worse. I am sure I would've ended up jumping the median for sure. Kudos on making the most of a terrible situation.
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Old 8th January 2014, 08:40   #14
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Red face re: Dzire Accident: How seatbelts, ABS & airbags saved my life

Arun,

Thank your lucky stars truly that you have come out of this accident without any harm. Good to know that the wise decision of opting for ABS and airbags did come in handy in such critical times. Kudos to the cops and the villagers who went of their way to help you after the incident. I am going to forward this thread to all my colleagues in office who til date have stubbornly disregarded the benefits of opting for the safety equipments in their cars. Its unfortunate to know that the biker who you saved didnt have the courtsey to thank you before scooting off.

Keep us posted of the repairs, insurance claim experiences.
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Old 8th January 2014, 09:09   #15
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Default re: Dzire Accident: How seatbelts, ABS & airbags saved my life

Arun, your guardian angel was with you as well as with the moron biker.

Such incidents reinforces the importance of ABS and Airbags.They are life savers. But people don't yet understand their importance which is sad.

I follow the mantra of honking continuously when i approach a median till i cross it. I just keep the horn pressed from about 150 mts before the median till i cross it. It will be annoying to the people on road and also to the car occupants but that will ensure that the morons think twice before crossing the road . Its a small inconvenience we face for the safety of the on road and in car people!
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