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Old 20th December 2007, 02:06   #1
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Default Narrate your own Crash experience

Hi Everyone,

I was introduced to TBHP quite a long time ago, however i have always preferred to keep my views and opinions to myself, partly due to lack of time and partly cos i am lazy, by birth!!! I am a "veteran" of a couple of real nasty crashes and have avoided being in another dozen of them, purely because of my instinct. I guess it will be good for everyone to share their experience with crashes on the road... thing to keep in mind, is to post only those crashes where all occupants walked out of the crash otherwise, this post would take a serious and sad turn. Let me start with a crash i had in July this year...

I have a zen '05 with about 31k kms on the odo (then).. it was the weekend and as usual after a couple of swigs and a few games of snooker, two friends and myself thought we will stop for dinner and then head home.. It was just one beer, not much by aaaannnnyyyy standards... so after dinner it was about 11.30, closer to midnight and we were not in a particularly sleepy state so we thought we would drive to the woods... It is in a pretty rural part of bangalore.. (for people from bangalore, we headed towards kothanur, after Hennur Bande)...

It was a particularly calm night... and the roar of the K & N was very very distinct... and so i felt like pushing the car a bit and i did that.. we had a blast... would bring the car to a halt and then put the pedal to the metal and release the clutch in the first gear... doing those things that make college going kids proud... (And i am not college going kid now) we were laughing and making merry... parked the car in the woods and turned on some music and relaxed for an hour or so...

The way BACK: I was driving the car to its limits. The tyres were screaming on every turn (well i wanted to change to tubeless tyres the following month anyway) and there was this particular curve, it was not a sharp turn by any measure.. it was something you could do comfortably with your speedo at 110 KMPH.. or so i thought...

While i was in the middle of the curve, at a little over 100 KMPH, i noticed that there were two huge, mother of all boulders in my way! Seems like one of those lorry drivers had a little trouble with their vehicle, so placed them boulders to avoid being hit by other road users, and conveniently left it there after they wrapped up their stuff...

I kid you not... from the moment i saw the stones, everything else happened in a micro second....

I swerved to the left to avoid these stones... my car banked to one side completely and i could feel the rear of the zen disobeying gravity and beginning to lift off... so i plonked the car back by tugging the steering to the right... the car made contact with the tar... and headed towards its right... off the road... complete right... at about 80 kmph (maybe)... and headed right into a telephone booth... i slotted it to 4th, managed 3rd before it hit the booth (Only good part about the booth was it was a reliance booth and I am not a fan of the Ambanis.. lol)... then i hit a syntex tank which was kept in front of a store... then 3 wooden benches, one big drum with God knows what in it, and finally it leaped, yes, leaped over a tiny culvert and landed on a heap of construction material... just an inch or two away from a handpump!!!

And the engine is still running....

Then it took a couple of seconds to realize the magnitude of what just transpired, another couple of seconds to realize that i am alive... (It took a few more seconds to realize my co passengers were alive cos the look on their deadpan faces made it difficult, it was as though they had passed out)

none of us spoke.. i could hear the villagers getting out of their homes.. what do i try to do? the usual.. slot it in first and try to accelarate... only thing i could hear was the spinning of tyres but the scenery was not moving much!!! Meant i was immobile...

when we got out, the whole village was around us.. at the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere!

I will, now, cut right to the chase... luckily for us, one of the front wheels of the car was just a few cms of the ground.. the other one was like 6 inches off it... so we put some stones under the "good" wheel and wriggled the car off the mound it was sitting on... after handling the villagers and a cop who happened to pass by during the melee, came the most surprising part...

We drove off from the crash site... again... drove off and NOT TOWED off. I had something that resembled a scratch on my right hand... my friends had one tiny scratch each... the car... hmmm windshield, front driver side glass, driver side door, RH fender, RH front wheel, Suspension, RH headlight/fog, front bumper, dents on the roof... yeah i guess that is it...

What i learnt from this is that all Crashes are NOT accidents... and I swear.. the first words that came out of my mouth after i crash was ... "Sh*t happens"...
cos it does folks... you can deliberate over whether it was our fault.. whether we were drunk.. whether we should be racing on roads or take our behinds to the race tracks... all said and done, even if you were driving carefully, and you saw these two stones in the middle of the road, if luck deserted you, then someone might actually be carving an epitaph on your name...

Thats my lengthy story... i will leave it upto you to comment... Cheers and drive safe !

P.S: In my 4 years of driving, this was the only day i drove after drinking, even a little alcohol
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Old 20th December 2007, 09:15   #2
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ak916, it was brave of you to share your experience so objectively. Now get ready for the sermonizing to start

And yes, you guys were real lucky, it could have been a hell of a lot worse!
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Old 20th December 2007, 10:20   #3
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ak916, you sure got some guts - for posting here, that is.

Not to sermonise, but you know what, sometimes all it takes is one beer, as I learnt many years ago. I had a new bike and for the 8months since I bought it, I had not let anyone ride it. And then I meet up with friends for a beer each. One of them stayed at Triplicane, so we just decide to ride to the beach nearby.

He had bought a Splendour (new to the market then) and we swapped bikes (my idea as I wanted to ride the Splendour ). And he crashes big time, with a jaw fracture and hospital stay of a month or so. And my poor new bike really damaged - 6K in repairs.
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Old 20th December 2007, 15:00   #4
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while i was doing my house surgeoncy in 2001, there was an intercollege meet at REC surathkal. since I was the designated driver in my M800, I was supposed to ferry some friends there from Mlore. Had to back out last minute due to last minute duties.

I came up with the brilliant Idea of letting my friend drive my car to suratkal and back, while I stayed back in lady goschen hospital mangalore and finished my duties

they won the fashion show that night, got drunk (I think) they still dont admit to it. then ran off the road down the cliff on the highway just before pentagon junction.

at 3'o'clock in the night, me and my friend went looking for the car, my heart sank when I looked down the ravine and saw the poor thing's lights glowing faintly in the distance, the stereo was still playing janie's got a gun by aerosmith(I still get scary flashbacks when i listen to that song)



at 80kmph, in an M800 with 4 passengers, down a cliff of 60 metres.
they lived, all with minor cuts and bruises.
my poor car didnt. most people thought it was an omni when the crane pulled it out of the ravine., there was no engine bay, and the passenger compartment had been crushed into the shape of an omni.

I was heartbroken! my first car, destroyed by another driver! someone i trusted! I returned next morning to find that the car had been stripped bare by the locals, and they were having an impromptu party around it at the bottom of the ravine. mloreans seem to enjoy the discomfort of outsiders more than any other place I've been to(maybe it was just the frame of mind I was in that makes me think like that)then came the nightmare of arranging a crane with pulleys and winches long enough to pull it out, bribing those lousy mlore cops to release the car without additional fines for running a PY reg car in karnataka without road tax, trucking it back to cochin for repairs by a trusted mechanic.(Mandovi at Mlore sucked big time)

the next few days were the worst of my life.

repair costs of close to 1 lac,we sold it to the insurance guys directly,
I saw the car 2 months later, running around cochin.
did he know the history behind it?

Moral of the story- never let anyone else touch your car!

I must say however-even though I had a crappy few days at mlore, the best times of my life were all also in mlore, so it kinda evens out in the end.
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Old 20th December 2007, 16:11   #5
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I had a nasty accident 5 years ago. It was 11th Sept, 2002, exactly one year after the WTC incident. At that time I used to have a Zen and a Bullet (Royal Enfield). I was young and considered myself immortal. I had ridden my bike up to Sarchu (above Rohtang), been Jammu from Delhi and back in a day. And like other bulleteers thought of piddly 100-150 CCers as mopeds.

I used to live in Noida, Sec. 36 at that time. On 11th Sept, 2002 my wife was in my home town - Bulandshahar. That day my b-i-l came to Noida for a day and wanted to meet his sis. So we decided to go to Bulandshahr (which is about 55 KMs from Noida). We decided to take the bike instead of car. We left Noida at about 7:00 PM. Passed Greater Noida in 30 mins with the speed hovering around 130. Then suddenly it became very dark and after 5 mins it started raining. I wear glasses and always wore helmet while riding. Due to heave rains, water film formed on my helmet visor and visibility was very poor.

The sensible thing would have been to stop and wait there; but since I was young and stupid, I carried on. I was taking a short-cut through a very narrow road which joins Greater Noida and Bulandshahr. On this road between Dankaur and Sikandrabad (two very small towns), the visibility dropped even more and wasn't more than 5-6 meters. I was still riding, although at a very slow speed (15-20 kmph).

Suddenly I noticed a bullock-cart (obviously without any tail light ;-); tried to apply brakes, bike slipped, tried to balance it, it fell on my leg. The side-guard crashing on my right leg below knee. Bullet is a very heavy bike, almost 185 kg, when it fell on my leg, it totally damaged it. About three inches of Tibia were crushed and broke into about 50 pieces. The fibula was also broken in two pieces.

Luckily there was no injury to my b-i-l. He smartly got up and gave me his hand to help me in getting up :-( I by then knew that there is extensive damage and asked him to arrange for help. That area is totally rural and there were no mobile signals. Some villagers gathered there and tried to stop passing vehicles. A police gypsy came, saw me, remarked that "zinda hai" and then drove off.

After more than half an hour of trying, a three wheeler tempo (popularly known as Ganesh in north India) stopped, it was filled with people to the brim. People lifted me and put me between the rows of back seats, in people's feet. This tempo dropped me at Sikandrabad. I still remember that since I was not able to sit, I was lying at the road. It was still raining and the road was filthy; but at that time the only thought that I had was that at least I am alive.

In Sikandrabad we discussed whether to call my parents there or hire an ambulance and drive me to home. We decided for the second option as it was night, and raining; and we thought that my folks will try to reach as fast to me as possible and that may lead to another accident. So we hired an ambulance which drove me to my home in Bulandshahr. There my parents immediately took me to a hospital, there I was admitted for 5 days.

Four days after my accident (15th Sept), I had a baby daughter. On 16th Sept, I was transferred to a Noida hospital and was operated upon on 17th Sept. Doctors put interlocking nails (metal rod in layman's terms) in my leg.

I started walking with the help of crutches a month after the accident. Walker with crutches for 3 months, then with the help of a stick for about 4 months. The day I walked again without a stick was one of the happiest days of my life.

Now more than 5 years after the accident, I still walk with a limp, which is more pronounced when I am tired or try to walk faster. My leg hurts if I walk too much or walk too fast.

But that accident surely taught me to appreciate smaller things in life like able to go to the loo with out any help ;-) or even being able to go to the loo :-))

whoooo... this is my longest post at t-bhp. i hope i didn't bore you guys.

cheers

Nitin
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Old 20th December 2007, 16:35   #6
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Wow, ntomer you have been bulleted.
Same thing happened to me couple of years back
I am not a biker, and my opinion of bikes is only slightly less radical than Jeremy Clarkson's.
anyways my BIL parked his bull at our place, and I got this new fangled obsession to ride the bull.
I took a couple of short rides around my apartment complex, and even took wife out on a short spin.

It was like a return of my biking days in BLR, way back in 2001.
Next day I decide that I will take bull to office.
Around afternoon, I am coming back towards home, riding very slowly(30kmph I think) when a madman jumps in front of me to scare me(he was actually mentally disturbed and had done such stunts a few times before taking out a couple of bikers).

I hit the brakes, but there is no time, the front tire hits his leg as he tries to jump out of the way(crushing it I hope), and I fall towards the left.
I fall on my shoulder and my helmeted head hits the road lightly(shoulder took the fall).
The biker behind me barely avoids me and I catch wind has his tires pass 2 inches from my face. On the other side a local bus goes whoosing by, blaring the horn and missing(unfortunately) the idiot.
I get up and take stock of the situation. People around come to my rescue, and that idiots parents also come and take him home, not even offering to ask me if I was all right.
I am limping and my shoulder hurts like hell. I try to put the bike to the road, but almost faint when a pain shoots up in my shoulder.
Call up my wife who takes me to hospital, and the doctor announces, shoulder fracture in 3 places. Luckily its the upper arm and not the collar bone.
4 weeks of sling and months of physiotherapy later I am somewhat normal. I could drive only around 50 days after the accident.
Today its almost 2 years but my shoulder still hurts if I stretch it fully or exert.
----------------------
My other accident was in Noida too. I am driving on the main road, in slow moving traffic across a intersection with a minor road. There is gap between the car in front of me, and to my right is a truck.
suddenly a santro comes whooshing at high speed, trying to make the gap. I can't brake in time and nick the santro.
The santro flies into air does a somersault and lands on the roof.
Its a lady driver and she is hanging by the seatbelt.
Crowd straightens the santro, and after police formalities(thankfully no bribes etc., and no case) take the car for repair. Its the first major accident. Radiators busted and so are the bumpers and headlights. Luckily no other damage. Engine bay was intact and so was the expensive stuff like compressor etc., etc,.

Now I drive like its the GTA game that everybody on road is trying to shoot me and I have to take evasive action.
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Old 20th December 2007, 16:56   #7
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Thumbs up ZX 13R - Life in the veryyy Fast lane

Sadly, this incident is my only accident to date ( hope it remains that way too ) and my worst as well.

In my younger days, the ZX 13R was my lady love for life. 1298 cc of raw brute power under the saddle.

The accident took place on a road popularly known as Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai. These days the place is full of crawling traffic, but back in 1997-2000, it was haven for blisterring speeds.

Having done severals rounds of 180kmph + speeds, it was a routine run to the Bowling alley.

At around 160kmph, coming out of a tunnel with a downshift the bike emerged to rammm into a Land Rover that was doing an illegal u-turn at the junction.

Within a fraction of a second, myself alongwith the weight of a size 16 bowling ball in my shoulder pack went flying in the air abt 40feet and landed on the ground.

Today, what remains is a small mark of 61 stiches keeping my skull together and the lost love of the ZX.

Sometimes, destiny does trick you - even in the secure zone.

Nevertheless, i still love the ZX and will remain it's fan forever.

Cheers and obviously am jus plain lucky to be here as well.
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Old 20th December 2007, 20:47   #8
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@ suman & supremebaleno : I thought i had a disclaimer about not sermonizing.. lol... i knew it could have been a lot worse.. best part was that it wasnt bad at all... i simply loved the car when she got back from the garage, gleaming and ready for a spin!
@ rippergeo - Man i feel your pain of losing the car to someone else's recklessness
Ntomer and tsk1979 - I am a little wary of the bull myself... At every opportunity i get to saddle it, i would ride so slow, you come race me by foot!!!
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Old 20th December 2007, 21:08   #9
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Oh boy! Thank your lucky stars,Srikanth..
I've been through 2 crashes,but thank God both of them turned out to be not so serious.
The 1st one was in 1994. My mom was driving our Omni van on our way back from Calicut,enroute to B'lore. The van skidded off the road,and we crashed into a tree. The van took a beating,and none of us were seriously injured.

The 2nd crash happened on my way to college,in 1999. I was riding my Kinetic on the Airport Rd stretch,when a moron lost balance on his scooter,and rammed straight into me. I fell on the road,and a KSRTC bus missed me by inches,but went over the front tire of the bike. Mild injuries,but I was able to walk away from the scene.
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Old 20th December 2007, 22:29   #10
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Nitin - your incident with the kinetic reminds me of a friend of mine, whose bike skid and he fell under a road roller... the ones with those huge iron .. whatdoyoucallit... wheels.. he had fallen right in between both the wheels... and the driver of the mammoth was alert enough and bought it to a halt, just a cm away from my friends face... needless to say, he lived to tell the tale and is generally a happier person and doesnt crib about anything nomore!!!
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Old 21st December 2007, 15:19   #11
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Way back in 1993, myself along with three other friends went to Mahabalipuram on the East Coast Road from Chennai in two bikes. We had a party there and had a nice bath on the shores. I was riding one bike and another good friend of mine the other.

On return trip, the person who was sitting behind during the onward journey took the driver seat and requested me to permit him to drive for few kms. Without knowing the consequences, I let him drive.

He turned the accelerator into full blast within few meters. It was like 100+ kmph, in next few minutes. This crazy guy refused to budge to my crying/shouting/constant hitting on his shoulders. On the way we missed the few oncoming vehicles by few inches.

Other bike came in parallel & the guys asked me to switch off the ignition. Remember this is not my bike and had taken it from my brother's friend. So was totally blank.

This continued for atleast 6-7 kms till a good curve towards right. I was reminding him the curve ahead. He failed to negotiate that curve and went straight into the empty land. Both of us were thrown out from the bike. It took few minutes for me to get back to my senses. I stood up to check the injuries and luckily not even a minor scratch on my body. Checked out the other friend and was shocked to see that his face was full of bleeding.

It was getting dark and we made the guy sit in the middle of the other bike and I took the seat of damaged bike. We towed it for next 35+ kms & got this guy admitted to a hospital. Nothing serious other than few cuts on his forehead and lips.

We got the bike to perfect condition in next few hours and parked it safely

We felt like something was achived then and narrating to every other person in joy
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Old 21st December 2007, 20:12   #12
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Default **** happens, we have to be cautious still

Quote:
Originally Posted by ak916 View Post
Hi Everyone,

.................
What i learnt from this is that all Crashes are NOT accidents... and I swear.. the first words that came out of my mouth after i crash was ... "Sh*t happens"...
cos it does folks... you can deliberate over whether it was our fault.. whether we were drunk.. whether we should be racing on roads or take our behinds to the race tracks... all said and done, even if you were driving carefully, and you saw these two stones in the middle of the road, if luck deserted you, then someone might actually be carving an epitaph on your name...

Thats my lengthy story... i will leave it upto you to comment... Cheers and drive safe !

P.S: In my 4 years of driving, this was the only day i drove after drinking, even a little alcohol
Its hard to agree with this philosophy (marked bold), but being more cautious reduces (does not eliminate) the chance of getting in to ****. We can not stop being cautious because **** happens.

Can not say much if this sounds like sermon, but my two cents.

It was good idea to share crash experiences.
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Old 21st December 2007, 23:17   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sreenivass View Post
Its hard to agree with this philosophy (marked bold), but being more cautious reduces (does not eliminate) the chance of getting in to ****. We can not stop being cautious because **** happens.

Can not say much if this sounds like sermon, but my two cents.

It was good idea to share crash experiences.
Hey Sreenavass - I respect your point of view cheers: but when i said "S**t happens"... I used those words "after-the-fact"... meaning after the crash... I, of course, dont go about life mouthing these two words and expecting the worse and being careless. What i meant is that there is no use brooding over something that has already happened and hence the saying "s**t happens"
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Old 22nd December 2007, 20:41   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ak916 View Post
Hey Sreenavass - I respect your point of view cheers: but when i said "S**t happens"... I used those words "after-the-fact"... meaning after the crash... I, of course, dont go about life mouthing these two words and expecting the worse and being careless. What i meant is that there is no use brooding over something that has already happened and hence the saying "s**t happens"
Yup, seemingly we both mean the same . Probably there is some thing to learn from each accident (either own or others experience).

You were very very lucky to have come out of the situation despite total loss of control on the car once you had hit the boulders.
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Old 22nd December 2007, 21:48   #15
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Real life eye openers. Thanks for sharing. Feel sad for those injured badly involved in these accidents/crashes.
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