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Old 1st September 2008, 02:18   #1
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Default Oncoming vehicle jumps median - can you do ANYTHING?

Hi,

Just back from Jaipur. On the ~87km milestone, a Canter had jumped the median and crossed over to the jpr-del stretch leading to an UGLY head on with another truck. No pics taken as cops were aggro and I could see some blood. Very reminiscent of what happened to Shri Saheb singh ji.

Third such case I saw today. First that was so bad, tho.

That gets me to the question - if an oncoming vehicle (truck) jumps median, can we even anticipate, let alone do anything?

Even assuming the truck doing 60 kph and me doing 90, the approach velocity would be 150, ie WAY too fast for me to realize anything.

The scene has stuck in my mind, and to me, its like nemesis - inescapable if it happens to us.

/Rode back thereafter only in left lane, not median/right at all!
//On a side note, even the maharaja of jaipur uses a Safari 4x4VX!
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Old 1st September 2008, 07:37   #2
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atleast in your part of india you've got roads with medians. down here, its a free for all. diving into the bushes is all we can do.
and yes, driving in the left lane.
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Old 1st September 2008, 08:10   #3
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Swerve... just swerve.... to whichever space you find...and avoid headon collision... that all we can do.

Forget about trucks jumping the medians, once a truck going in the front stopped, took reverse at full speed, and crushed the hood upto the windshield of our car. We could walk away from the accident only because it wasn't a small car.
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Old 1st September 2008, 12:40   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clevermax View Post
Swerve... just swerve.... to whichever space you find...and avoid headon collision... that all we can do.
You'd require some level of experience, quick response and presence of mind to anticipate where the vehicle is headed, and to swerve away from that point.

Phamilyman : Unfortunately, there is little that one can do in this high-risk situation....simply too many factors in play and it all depends on luck. Also, divider jumps aren't restricted to highways alone. The JJ Flyover in Mumbai has suffered from cars jumping the divider and crashing onto another on the opposite side. What I can say is:

1. If at a distance, brake.

2. In most situations, a collision will occur in the right-most lane. Thus, it makes sense to move over to the left. Again, this is only going by probability.

3. If you are lucky enough to have more than one car, always take the safer one out on the highway.

What road transport authorities need to do is raise the size of the median to atleast 5 ft, like they have on American freeways.
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Old 1st September 2008, 12:47   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clevermax View Post
Swerve... just swerve.... to whichever space you find...and avoid headon collision... that all we can do.

Forget about trucks jumping the medians, once a truck going in the front stopped, took reverse at full speed, and crushed the hood upto the windshield of our car. We could walk away from the accident only because it wasn't a small car.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
You'd require some level of experience, quick response and presence of mind to anticipate where the vehicle is headed, and to swerve away from that point.

Phamilyman : Unfortunately, there is little that one can do in this high-risk situation....simply too many factors in play and it all depends on luck. Also, divider jumps aren't restricted to highways alone. The JJ Flyover in Mumbai has suffered from cars jumping the divider and crashing onto another on the opposite side. What I can say is:

1. If at a distance, brake.

2. In most situations, a collision will occur in the right-most lane. Thus, it makes sense to move over to the left. Again, this is only going by probability.

3. If you are lucky enough to have more than one car, always take the safer one out on the highway.

What road transport authorities need to do is raise the size of the median to atleast 5 ft, like they have on American freeways.
Not always possible to swerve at the last moment at such speeds. I have had a major accident on Mehrauli Gurgaon Road. I was at 80 kmph and an auto-rickshaw coming from the opposite side (must be around 50 kmph) decided to suddenly take a turn by jumping the median. I swerved completely to my left (I was in the left most lane anyway). However, I had to stop swerving as there was a bus stop. In the meantime, panic gripped the auto-guy and he banged on my Indica's right fender with full force, resulting in the auto toppling over on my bonnet and 3 people in the auto being flung 20 mtrs away.

No blood was spilled but lot of crowd collected at the spot. My Indica was damaged to a large extent (total repair bill came to Rs 75k), however I waled out scratch less. Of course, it was a complete vain experience to explain to the cops that it was not my fault.

Last edited by nishantgandhi : 1st September 2008 at 12:51.
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Old 1st September 2008, 13:02   #6
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Quote:
What road transport authorities need to do is raise the size of the median to atleast 5 ft, like they have on American freeways.
Like GTO mentioned, thats the only proactive way by which such accidents can be avoided by our government. But then it depends on our government and the space required to build such kinds of roads (Atleast the highways). A big ask considering the Indian scenario !! Rest all depends all what you can/may be able to do which involves luck and anticipation.
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Old 1st September 2008, 13:48   #7
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Nothing can be done, but are there ways to lessen the impact and probably save a few lives? I could think of a few.

Do not press clutch. There might be a last minute chance to swerve and you need the gear to be engaged.

Avoid turning suddenly since the tail might swing out and result in a side impact. Most of the Indian cars have airbags only in front so side impacts can be more dangerous.

In Indian context it might be good idea to swerve right if there are no passengers, or probably jump the median yourself.

Having wide medians may not serve the purpose as long as we have people who deliberately come in wrong direction to save distance.
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Old 1st September 2008, 14:02   #8
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By the way guys, that section of NH8 is extremely safe because the median has thick bushes, no oncoming glares, and atleast for one side, the cars on the other side are ~3-4 feet lower, and hence can't jump the median.

In this case, the Canter careened off the higher level. So even his headlights would've been unseen till the moment it broke through the bushes.

Very scary.
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Old 1st September 2008, 14:08   #9
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Pray.

I cannot think of anything else.
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Old 1st September 2008, 14:22   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clevermax View Post
Swerve... just swerve.... to whichever space you find...and avoid headon collision... that all we can do.
I think the swerve is more dangerous than the head on collision when you have just a second or two to react. By swerving (which is our natural instinct), you are actually going to take the hit side on which would injure/kill the driver immediately. I can't think of a better way to minimize the impact.
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Old 1st September 2008, 14:24   #11
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Nothing can be done in this situation. Swerveing may help in some way but what about the vehicles coming behind you? Even if you act, they may not be able to act so fast as they might not have visualized it. As rippergeo suggested, we need to dive into bushes or drive into bushes to your LHS. Either ways, there will be no escape from the accident.
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Old 1st September 2008, 14:32   #12
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Originally Posted by watashi75 View Post
In Indian context it might be good idea to swerve right if there are no passengers, or probably jump the median yourself.
And hit the vehicle on the other side with a bang
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Old 1st September 2008, 14:45   #13
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What if the median is full of bushes and it is not possible to see what is coming even if something is? (all of GQ is like this) I have always had this phobia in my mind. The vehicle would simply be invisible and you will only be able to see it the moment it comes in front.

I would want to slam the brakes and turn the car around using the handbrake to avoid the head on collision at least, but that too is impossible given the reaction time.

Good thread, will at least let all our fellow bhpians know of this kind of a possibility. Most of us take the right lane for granted. Be careful guys, we dont have the wake up railing on the highways like the developed countries do. I am talking about the shoulder which vibrates the car enough when the wheels go over it, to wake up the driver. Its all over the Interstate in US and smaller roads as well. I am not getting the correct word for it.

But we need it much more than they do,. Why can't our country make something right straight from the beginning?
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Old 1st September 2008, 15:20   #14
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I would drive at a speed which is according to my capacity of anticipation and quick reflexes.
Truck jumps or bulldozer jumps,if we drive at speeds at which we are in total control we will always come out unharmed.
This is from experience as i have had a truck head on scene a year back in my 800 where i was in a no win situation all the way and i did the impossible with total confidence to get out alive and with not a scratch on my 800.
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Old 1st September 2008, 15:47   #15
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in such a situation , if you are doing some speed at which you can sverve and avoid collison this has to be done but in majority case thsis would not be the case.

When i was doing my B Tech at CUSAT in cichin the strech of the NH 47 which runs next to the college was the scene to many such accident the mopst gory one i remeber was the one where a private bus from aluva to jetty was over speeding and broke his sub axle somewhere after the Changampuhza nagar after the CUSAT signal entrance and result in the bus flying off the divider and landing on an hapless aut which was ferring a family to aluva. It is said that the people in the auto didnt even know what hit them as they were slowly coming up the slight incline....the family was wiped out in an instant and as usual the driver went absconding and the bus owner would have gotten away with charges . I still remeber the scene and belive me gory would be an understatement here...

Sometime its just the prayer for the supernatural to come to your help that gets you to your destination in one piece ...
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