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Old 24th July 2007, 16:13   #1
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Post How I parted with my Ikon

This is the first time I am sharing my experience here on the forum. This happened to me late last year when I was driving back from Chennai to B'lore. It shook me up pretty hard and made me believe in the power of a simple (actually not so simple!) device called the seat belt!

We (my wife, son and wife's sister) were on our way back after a weekend in Chennai. The problem with the GQ is that the road is so inviting that it makes you forget other dangers that surround you. These include pedestrians, animals (other than humans!), slow moving traffic, gaps in medians etc. It was the last one mentioned above that lead to the incident. It was in the evening around 5 pm, around 20km from Krishnagiri (towards Chennai) that this happened. Everything was good, the drive, the weather and the car of course, my long cherished Ikon 1.6. I had that baby for almost 5 years clocking more than 80k on the odo. Until everything went wrong ...

We had just crossed one of those many small villages that you see on the GQ on that way to Chennai. I was on the right-most lane doing about 100kmph at that time when I noticed this APSRTC bus guy in the left most lane parked on the roadside. As I came near him, I realized that he had something sticking out of his window ... his hand! He wanted to make a U-turn through a gap in the median with no indicator on!! He not just wanted to make it but decided and continued to! I hit the brakes, pulsing them as much as I could trying to make the stop. Went into a skid towards the last few meters and thought that it was the end! My good fortune, this guy continued to take the turn (in afterthought, this actually saved all our lives!) and by the time I reached the bus, he was almost on the other side of the road. I even thought that we might just scrape through and started veering left. But it was too late and we went whack into the rear end of the bus! The bus continued to turn, went to the other side of the road and stopped there.

Luckily we all had our seat belts and were safe. The windshield shattered sending some shreds into the cabin. We were all visibly shaken but safe. What followed was the usual routine on Indian roads - a huge gathering from the nearby village. We were out fighting with the bus driver, who seemed to be sure that he had done nothing wrong. The highway patrol arrived, found out that he hadn't switched on his indicator and we decided to go to the nearby police station. Moving away from the accident spot, the cops gave me an option of filing charges against the driver (this would have been a task by itself, procedures, delays, waiting at the station with my 2 yr old son etc. with no fruitful end result) or just get a complaint signed off by the cops for insurance purposes. Weighing my options, I decided to do the later, got the letter and left.

I bet you must be wondering what happend to my car. Well luckily I was still able to start it (the engine was safe), drive it (though with a broken windshield and wheels rattling) and did that at speeds of 20kmph and got to Krishnagiri. There we checked into a hotel for the night, called the Metro ford guys the next morning who drove it back to the garage. The lessons I learnt:
- Always wear a seat belt
- Never underestimate what could go wrong on the road
- Beware there are tons of maniacs endangering theirs as well as our lives!

More on what happened to the Ikon later ...

Some pics of the incident ...
The bonnet

The skid marks

The bus ... what? where's the damage?!?!?
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Old 24th July 2007, 17:09   #2
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OMG that is one scary accident.
You said it dude "Seatbelts save Lives".
Thank god everyone is alright.
What happened to your Ikon?
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Old 24th July 2007, 17:23   #3
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Thank God, you dont have any grevious accident. All the Bus & lorry drivers dont have a driving ethics to follow. Recently we went to Yelagiri in the Bangalore Highway road where we witnessed many lorries and buses coming in the wrong route to save their fuel. Very Bad!!!
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Old 24th July 2007, 17:35   #4
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Illuminating experience.

Why the parted in the title? Hit on pocket? Insurance cost?
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Old 24th July 2007, 18:30   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floor_it_baby View Post
Everything was good, the drive, the weather and the car of course, my long cherished Ikon 1.6. I had that baby for almost 5 years clocking more than 80k on the odo.[...]

I hit the brakes, pulsing them as much as I could trying to make the stop. Went into a skid towards the last few meters and thought that it was the end! [...] we went whack into the rear end of the bus!
[...]
The lessons I learnt:
- Always wear a seat belt
- Never underestimate what could go wrong on the road
- Beware there are tons of maniacs endangering theirs as well as our lives!
One more lesson; this looks like a classic test case for the ABS. If you had it on your car, you might have been able to brake and steer the car around the bus because the wheels wouldn't have locked up. And possibly you might have been able to stop in time too.

I think I have heard complaints on this forum about the poor braking of the Ikon. Were your tyres in good condition? I ask because your car is quite old and has done more than 80k on the odo. If not, that might have been another contributing factor.
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Old 24th July 2007, 18:39   #6
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You did the acceptable speeds limit of 100 kmph. Even with that you could not manage to prevent it completely. It would have been more worse, if the speeds were over 120 (say 140 kmph).
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Old 24th July 2007, 19:15   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surprise View Post
It would have been more worse, if the speeds were over 120 (say 140 kmph).
That is why I am reluctant to exceed 120 kmph on regular four-lane highways, as opposed to six lane Expressways. My Santro does not have good enough braking at 120+ speeds, although with 5J alloys and tubeless tyres, the braking has improved substantially. I have braked hard (once too often for my liking) at 100-140 kmph speeds on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway in recent times; the car held its line beautifully and slowed down/stopped in good time with minimum noise from the tyres. Whereas with the stock 4J steel wheels and tubetype tyres the car pulled to one side upon hard braking at high speeds and the tyres screeched horribly.
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Old 24th July 2007, 19:43   #8
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Dude, What tyres were U driving on??
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Old 24th July 2007, 19:47   #9
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I slow down at the slightest hint of hanky panky ahead of me on the highway.. In such situations, especially when passing parked vehicles, bringing the speed down from 100kmph to about 80kmph isnt going to cost you anything in terms of time, but provides safety. You need to pace yourself.. even F1 car drivers do that!!
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Old 24th July 2007, 19:51   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rks View Post
One more lesson; this looks like a classic test case for the ABS. If you had it on your car, you might have been able to brake and steer the car around the bus because the wheels wouldn't have locked up.
I would like to correct this to read like

"One more lesson; this looks like a classic test case for the BRAKES. If you had it on your car, you might have been able to brake ".

Coming to a stop from 100kmph, that too with the vehicle being in the right most lane and the bus in the leftmost lane, isn't demanding much. However, changing pads more frequently negates the issue.

Good to know you and your car (to some extent) are safe.
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Old 25th July 2007, 00:02   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitrous View Post
Dude, What tyres were U driving on??
The tyres plus the poor braking of the Ikon contributed to an awful yet not too much damage. Thank god you are safe.
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Old 25th July 2007, 14:34   #12
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uffff that was a scarry experience. lucky none got hurt. esp the kid.

GQ, mysore road are death traps, roads definately are inviting but so much of danger(morons) hanging around. speeding on these roads is very dangerous.

"How I parted with my Ikon" did you sell the car?
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Old 25th July 2007, 15:26   #13
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I particularly feel the poor braking in my ikon,even i had applied such emergency brake on the Mum-Pune expressway and was dragged t0 meters to stop luckily nothing happened+seat belts.Bro your lucky everybody is safe.god bless
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Old 25th July 2007, 15:47   #14
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Horrifying to read about the accident, and good that you were all buckled up. As for the car, what happened? From the title, looks like you sold it.
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Old 25th July 2007, 16:39   #15
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Thank god you all escaped unhurt.

I have driven a little on NH4 (from Pune towards Satara) and found too many places left open for people to take U-turns. I was not sure whether they were because of unfinished work or not. I even saw trucks/tractors/buses riding in the opposite direction on that road and the trip ended up with another accident - a completely wrecked Maruti Omni that had hit or was hit by a bus coming in the wrong direction. High speeds on these roads can be very dangerous, no matter how skilled you are.
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