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Old 4th January 2011, 17:32   #1
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Default A car accident, a life lost - need some advice

My husband passed away in a recent car accident - on 1st Sept'10. The police declared the accident was an outcome of a tire burst. The car swerved and hit a truck rear sideways. Due to the accident the left passenger side of the car body and roof collapsed. The driver side was intact. The car is a Hyundai Tucson SUV. Since the car hit the truck sideways airbags were not activated. My husband, Ajit Shelat lost his life on the spot. He had no external injuries, seems to be hit on the head and lost his life due to the head injury.

The question I have is - should the car side and roof have collapsed in the manner it did for an SUV class vehicle. There did not seem to be any support for the roof and it just collapsed with the impact. Is there merit in this to take it up with the manufacturer. I need some advise before I take call on pursuing this matter.

This happened on Mumbai-Pune highway, near Bhatan tunnel. The time was around 5.45 pm. I have many pictures of the car after the accident, I could post some of them if that helps.

It feels that the we should do a follow up and not let it go. A precious life lost for no special reason.

Thanks and appreciate your inputs


--radha shelat
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Old 4th January 2011, 18:04   #2
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Default Re: A car accident, a life lost - need some advice

My heartfelt condolences first.
Feel extremely sorry about the incident.

You have valid questions and i hope the experts here can offer you help.
what is the point of selling SUVs with Airbags and ABS if it cant Protect us.
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Old 4th January 2011, 18:06   #3
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Default Re: A car accident, a life lost - need some advice

Very sorry and sad to read about your loss.

I am no expert on the matter but I dont think a vehicle's roof has any impact protection built into it.
But was the truck parked wrongly?
Also, trucks are supposed to have anti collision beams at the back and the sides that are supposed to prevent other vehicles from going under the truck. Based on your description, it seems these beams were not there.

Your determination to follow it up is admirable and i am sure TBHP will do all that it can to help you further.
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Old 4th January 2011, 18:13   #4
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Default Re: A car accident, a life lost - need some advice

Hello Ms Shelat. I have known (networking) and had met Mr Ajit Shelat a couple of times. It was a shocker of a news. I was told that the roof caved in as the car had rolled and then hit a truck. I am not sure of the details as these were told to me by a common friend.

Will follow this thread quite closely.
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Old 4th January 2011, 18:16   #5
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Default Re: A car accident, a life lost - need some advice

My heartfelt condolences

I dont think their will be much gain by pursuing it. The head can bang aganist anything during the accident & you cannot pin-point on that - even if he was wearing a seat belt.
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Old 4th January 2011, 18:19   #6
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Default Re: A car accident, a life lost - need some advice

My Deep condolences on the incident. Thats almost like loosing our own life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malikayil View Post
I dont think their will be much gain by pursuing it. The head can bang aganist anything during the accident & you cannot pin-point on that - even if he was wearing a seat belt.
I do think the same way, can some pics help to make a justification ?

Last edited by ganesh_bbr : 4th January 2011 at 18:25.
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Old 4th January 2011, 18:25   #7
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Default Re: A car accident, a life lost - need some advice

My heartfelt sympathies for your loss. It is very tragic to hear this and we can understand your pain as well

With reference to the situation at hand and with reference to Airbags, one common misconception about airbags are that they are supposed to deploy immediately. But that entirely depends on the sensors, where it is placed, what impact speed it is supposed to active and so on

For the crumpling of the vehicle, that can definitely happen. For one, the Tuscon was a smaller SUV, and no matter what vehicle, most often if it comes into contact with a truck, it gets crushed. Have seen numerous accident of this nature where the car at its velocity, basically collapses inwards, as the momentum is forcing it forward and the thrust from above pushes that portion down

As for the airbags, there is a certain speed limit which triggers the airbag to activate. Maybe he was at a speed which was not so high, but enough to cause impact and even a hit to the head at a wrong place, can fatally injure a person. It can also happen due to whiplash when the neck snaps due to impact.

In terms of filing a case against the manufacturer, what can be investigated is to why the airbags did not deploy, if his speed was, say over 70-80 Kmph atleast. This is the only ground you may be able to fight on. As for tyre failure, nothing much can be said, unless it can be proved it was some kind of technical defect, but it is a hard one. The roof collapsing, is again a thing that can happen with any car. On a head on impact, the crumple zones can probably reduce damage and all the technology may help, but not when going sideways under a truck.

Will be very useful to get a lawyers opinion also here, as to what can be taken to battle, and if the speed is over what is stated, then you can contest against non deployment

Last edited by thedreamcatcher : 4th January 2011 at 18:27. Reason: Problem with font
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Old 4th January 2011, 18:25   #8
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Default Re: A car accident, a life lost - need some advice

My heartfelt condolences to you.
As far as I know, the roof isnt bolstered enough in any Indian car to withstand a roll at high speed. I am not sure about the specs/ build of the Tucson, but it may be helpful to compare it with the specs of the same car in another country to understand if there is anything that should have been done differently by the manufacturer.
A couple of pics of the car would surely be useful to understand the points of impact on the car.
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Old 4th January 2011, 18:26   #9
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Default Re: A car accident, a life lost - need some advice

Heartfelt condolences, I really empathize with you. It is commendable that you have the concerns to follow it up.

Regarding the question- I understand that the pillars gave in and hence the roof on left side collapsed. Modern cars' body is designed in such a way that the shell takes the maximum impact and making sure the least of it (as much as possible) is transferred to the occupants.

Having said that, a lot depends on the accident dynamics. So may be a few pictures may help.
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Old 4th January 2011, 18:40   #10
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Default Re: A car accident, a life lost - need some advice

My hearty Condolences and it is an unbearable loss you have now. Appreciate your attitude of getting justice even at this moment.

I am not sure if the car crashing on its side will get the roof collapsed, Please check if some heavy metal or boulder kind of stuff fell from the truck because of the impact or the car might had got upset and rolled over. it is really sad that air bags did not function in a high end SUV.

Last edited by BulZire : 4th January 2011 at 18:41.
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Old 4th January 2011, 19:05   #11
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Default Re: A car accident, a life lost - need some advice

@Radha Shelat, thanks so much for sharing this incident, such sharing can save lives in future.

My heartfelt condolences.

The tire burst could have probably happened due to an underinflated tire running at a high speed. It is thanks to Team Bhp that I learned that underinflation can lead to dangerous consequences, especially on highways.

The roofs of cars and SUVs need to be re-inforced to guard against this type of accident, as well as the very common occurence of tree branch falls on car roofs in India. I know protecting against the latter is a tall task, but a start has to be made somewhere.

Posting pics of the damaged car will surely help, hope you can do this at the earliest.

Last edited by mooza : 4th January 2011 at 19:08.
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Old 4th January 2011, 19:07   #12
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Default Re: A car accident, a life lost - need some advice

my condolences,
@Radha Shelat,

I do not want to discourage you but as far as I know the roof is designed to collapse a bit on an impact. I had an accident myself in my Maruti 800 and the roof crumpled. I had the same questions as you have and I made a research which showed that the roof is designed to absorb impact force and crumple. In my opinion, it will the same even if its a big SUV.

Also since you have told that the car hit sideways and hence the airbags didn't deploy, if you pursue this legally, these two points very strongly favour them.

If you have any information of the absence of impact beams on the truck, any heavy object falling from the truck, wrongly parked truck, and also if the seatbelt was worn, you could pursue with those points

Sorry again and hope my info is of any help.
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Old 4th January 2011, 19:10   #13
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Default Re: A car accident, a life lost - need some advice

Felt extremely sorry for your loss. My condolances. Please do post some pictures of the accident ridden vehicle for better understanding.
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Old 4th January 2011, 20:53   #14
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Default Re: A car accident, a life lost - need some advice

Radhaji My heart felt condolences for the loss.

Even if you are sure that the life was lost due to the manufacturer's fault, am 99% sure that you are not going to get justice in this case, such is our judicial system. Am extremely sorry but this is the fact. You will waste lots of time and money running post to pillar.

Am not discouraging you from waging war against the culprits, but am just telling you not to waste your time and money. Even if you win the war, you will not get back the lost ones, right ? Instead, I would suggest you donate that money to some charity and am sure that your husband's soul will definitely feel happy for that humble deed of yours.

Be Brave and Take care!!
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Old 4th January 2011, 22:01   #15
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Default Re: A car accident, a life lost - need some advice

First of all please accept my heartfelt condolences.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Radha Shelat View Post
The question I have is - should the car side and roof have collapsed in the manner it did for an SUV class vehicle.
Please read following article.
Some S.U.V.'s Don't Do Well on Safety Test - NYTimes.com

Quote:
Is there merit in this to take it up with the manufacturer. I need some advise before I take call on pursuing this matter. It feels that the we should do a follow up and not let it go. A precious life lost for no special reason.
I totally understand and appreciate your though but then to be very frank I don't think there will be any outcome of followup, leaving aside a positive one.

From the above article:
Quote:
The worst-performing models were the Kia Sportage and its sibling the Hyundai Tucson, which got poor ratings.

Last edited by HammerHead : 4th January 2011 at 22:04.
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