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Old 18th August 2012, 17:25   #31
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Default re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

Thank you all Friends. I was indeed wearing seatbelts. Infact I cannot even drive without seatbelts as it is even for nearby grocery shopping. I will now call VW Helpline and atleast ask them to check why Airbags didnt deploy and keep you all posted on the followup.
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Old 18th August 2012, 18:01   #32
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Default re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

Hey Frontosa , you are one lucky guy !!
I do think the "Polo " saved you !!
The car is in a scary condition and no one would believe that the driver survived .
Thanks to the Euro NCAP 5 stars and your stars !
Cheers man !
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Old 18th August 2012, 18:01   #33
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Frostosa, you are you lucky lucky person. You do realise that all major impact stops just ahead of your seat position. Its moments like these that make me believe in destiny. You've probably been adjusting your seat to that position for years now, never realising that it places your body exactly next to the B pillar whose structural rigidity kept you just out of harms way.
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Old 18th August 2012, 18:18   #34
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Frontosa, I saw your car at about 1600 the same day on my way back to Bombay. It was kept on the shoulder, probably at the same place where the photos have been shot. One thing I noticed was that, although the car was badly deformed, most of the hazard lights were working. At that moment, I did not imagine that the occupants must have survived.

I am very glad that you have made it through the accident with just those injuries which you mentioned. Get well soon! And I hope your car gets well soon too! Its such a shame to know that you and your car had to go through all this for no fault of yours.

Happy driving!

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Old 18th August 2012, 18:20   #35
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Default re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

You are a very lucky man indeed.

Give credit to yourself for wearing your seatbelt. Without that, I think even the car's best efforts would not have saved you.

I'm not sure whether to suspect ABS. I guess you were already pushed into a spin and out of control when you hit the brakes. I think in that case, probably ESP also would not have helped you.

You mentioned your car broke the concrete wall before falling into the tunnel. Do you know if the car hit the wall with the front or some other part of the car? If it hit the wall with the front side, I am surprised that your airbags did not open.
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Old 18th August 2012, 18:21   #36
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Default re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

Scary accident indeed!

I personally feel that youíre alive to narrate this incident because you were in a Polo, and of course very lucky.

I donít think there is anything wrong in airbags not deploying. This was not a front-on collision, and if I am correct, sudden deceleration is one parameter which provide input to the crash sensors. So the reason (for not deploying) maybe no frontal impact + you were not doing speeds to have that sudden deceleration.

Do you have any pictures of the passenger shell?

Originally Posted by Frontosa View Post
Also does the 5 star NCAP Euro crash rating help? I know this post Morten exercise is futile but I am considering a safer car for around 10 lacs, I thought of duster but it has only 3 star rating + its door dont shut with a thud. So lets see I will read about all that here on tbhp. But any quick suggestions are welcome. And moreover I'm trying to learn more on how to buy safer cars and how to keep them more safer for e.g. by checking the threads of the uneven tyre wear out. So please keep your comments pouring in - It all helps me bring smile in this new 2nd life
I am not sure there are many options in the sub 15-lakhs segment. As Anshuman mentioned, Polo is quite a safe car. Even a sedan like the Vento/Fiesta/Linea would have acted in the same way as the Polo in this case. These cars have good impact absorbing characteristics.
Alternate option is go with something like a Jetta which is extremely loaded on safety kit.

Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
2. Your Polo has ABS with EBD and Brake assist but it is not designed to stabilise the car. ESP helps in stabilisation but i doubt i would help in case of a external impact. ESP is not available on any of the hatchbacks here.
I am not sure if Polo in India have EBD. Last time when I checked, it was not available in the Vento, and that probably is the case with the Polo as well. Anyway, that wouldn't have made any difference in this case.

Originally Posted by johy View Post
Also, wonder which cars in the 4L to 15L range do come with ESP in India.
AFAIK, in the said price range, only Fiesta Petrol AT and Fluence E2 have ESP.
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Old 18th August 2012, 19:00   #37
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Default re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

Man I am shaking while writing this. You really are lucky that you have survived such a crash.

Some of your good deeds came in your way. Thank GOD a million times for that. You now have two birthdays.

I believe that MSRDC should have CCTV cameras installed on such accident prone spots. They are charging a fortune anyways for you to drive on the expressway.

Highlight the 20K FIR episode to the press if possible. This is seriously insane - some greedy dudes shame the entire Police Department.
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Old 18th August 2012, 19:45   #38
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Default re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

Seeing the pics of the car I must say that I was stunned. God saved you ! Thank him for retaining you in this world without much of injury after such a crash.
Even though the airbags have not deployed while the car collided , still its the tank like structure ; the built quality of VW that saved you.
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Old 18th August 2012, 20:07   #39
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Default re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

The explanation gave me jitters, I cant imagine your state when you came out of the car. The next post where I saw the state of the black beauty, I had goose bumps, THANK GOD YOU ARE SAFE.

Dost! you were in a car that is built like a tank, this is the day you bought a car with good crush zones and all that safety. Thank your stars you opted for a German tank. Hope you have recovered from the shock, though the injuries I guess would take some time to heal.....

I was involved in a horrific pile up of traffic about a month back and thanks to another German tank (Vento) I was saved, not a scratch to me.

As a lot of good souls on this forum advised me, I think I would pass on my unwanted 2 cents to you, spend a lot of time with the family, they are the biggest pillar, that would help a lot in forgetting the horrific incident
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Old 18th August 2012, 20:12   #40
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Default re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)


I am reiterating what everyone else has said" You are very very lucky to come out of that mess". You sure are right in saying that indeed God saved you. Looking at the mangle is still giving me goose bumps.

I really fail to understand how did the car fall exactly in the duct and how was the car retrieved from the duct. Its a pity that the airbags didnt deploy upon impact. I am sure VW have some explaining to do.

I am regular on the e-way and will have to be more observant when I take that killer turn.
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Old 18th August 2012, 20:24   #41
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Default re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

Truly you have been given a second lease of life. It was indeed a very bad crash. Good to see you walk out of it virtually unharmed.

Didn't you pursue the matter with police to get hold of the truck? Maybe video capture from toll booths prior to or after this spot can give some clue? Maybe you could identify the truck if you saw it on screen?
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Old 18th August 2012, 20:45   #42
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Default re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

Thank god that you are safe, as most people mentioned that after seeing the car its very hard to believe you made it alive. You must have done few real good deeds in your life. Even though the Airbags did not deploy the structure of Polo is strong and that protected you.
Get well soon and god bless you.
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Old 18th August 2012, 21:04   #43
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Default re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

Absolutely chilling incident. Thanks for sharing with us. Know this spot very well as I do this route quite often and inspite of the critical turning at this point have seen cars as well as trucks do excess speeds without bother to other vehicles. You truly experienced a miracle. This seems straight out of the Final Destination. Welcome to the 2nd life.

I think Polo did save you inspite of crumpling like that it kept you well in shape to live another life and it will not be appropriate to term any other car safer than this. Not many cars come to mind with such strong build quality. It seems to have taken worst of the beating while leaving the driver safe. Though it is indeed intriguing to see the air-bags did not deploy. Do share the findings after the thorough analysis.

Flashback to May 2004 and we had similar incident in the family. In ghats near Neemach, MP, my bro driving our 800 sees suddenly an oncoming trax coming in wrong side of the ghat on hill side at a turning in the ghat, with nowhere to run seeing valley on the immediate right, tries to maneuver to the hill-side and takes on a ramp on the hill having no space on the small road that is, the car turns turtle, does numerous swirls while sliding and comes to standstill with bro hanging upside down tied with the seatbelt, midst of the road, which could have very well been the deep valley on the other side. Fortunately no impact with anything and with any other vehicle as the traffic was rare. He comes out unscathed but with shoulder and legs stressful pains, the car only suffering a dented top. The passing villagers helped later to turn up the car, the car started without hitches and drove to nearby village. To this day, he relives that incident every moment of the life and thanks the goodness in the world. The car is still doing duty very well till date into its 15th year. We can't imagine the situation if it was crushed like this.

A couple of questions remain in my mind:
1. Why did the airbags not deploy, situation certainly warrants it
2. But even if they deploy would they have been really useful given such a crash would they have adversely affected?
3. How did ABS work in this case? Did it function as it should or did it misbehave? Did the panic sudden braking cause any abnormality in its behavior which means the braking should be controlled for ABS to be effectively operational?

Do share all the findings upon complete analysis.
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Old 18th August 2012, 21:34   #44
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Default re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

man !! you are one lucky chap to come alive out of this accident, and that too with only minor injuries.
for sure the built of this car saved you. imagine what would have happened if you were in something like swift. sturdier car than polo in this segment, punto is the way to go.
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Old 18th August 2012, 21:37   #45
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Default re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

Frontosa, at the cost of sounding cliche, you are a very lucky man.

Secondly, do follow up with VW on why the airbags didn't deploy, because your experience will help many other VW owners as well as other vehicle owners about when and how the airbags may or may not deploy. The biggest worry is the ABS didn't kick in. If it had, you wouldn't be in such a bad accident in the first place. It's supposed to prevent the car skidding in such cases.

From the accident pics, the front left tyre does not seem to be in good shape. I am not sure if the baldness I saw is because of the accident, but most likely it's not. Also I am not familiar with Yokohama brand, but if these are so-called performance tyres offering superior grip, they are likely to have a softer compound and hence lesser life as compared to other brands such as MRF.

The tread wear does look uneven to me. Please check if the tyres were regularly rotated and aligned and were always run on the right pressures.

Are you sure the truck only 'kissed' your car? What was your car's position and the truck's position relative to the road? Usually the trucks drive in the middle or the left-most lanes, occasionally hogging the right most one, and I assume you weren't driving in the left-most lane.

It's highly likely under the circumstances you have described that the truck caused your car to spin, which makes me think it wasn't a mere kiss.
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