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Old 22nd November 2014, 20:47   #106
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Re: Accidents in India - PICS

Originally Posted by Santoshbhat View Post
I doubt that. None of the car manufacturers mention this anywhere, not in their manual nor by way of any warning stickers. Airbags do work in conjunction with seat belts in providing safety but I don't think they get deactivated if seatbelts are not worn.

Also if airbags were linked to wearing seatbelts it just makes is very easy for car companies to say "you did not wear seatbelt, so our airbags did not deploy". How can one provide proof of having worn seatbelts?
As far as I remember, Maruti cars have this written in their manuals. Also I think I have seen the warning sticker on sun visor of A-star Zxi. Moreover, SRS Airbags means Secondary/Supply,emtry Restraint System Airbags, primary being the seat belts

And yes, manufacturer can always say that airbags did not function because you were not wearing the seatbelts if a seat belt does not have a pretentioner. However, I think there will be very few cars with airbag and no pre-tentioners.
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Old 16th January 2015, 17:11   #107
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Re: ARTICLE: Seat Belts Saved My Life! True Stories & Pictures from BHPians

Just wanted to share an incident that happened to a distant relative of mine back in Muscat, Oman during December last year. There are two reasons for it - one, the importance of fastening the seatbelt and two, how a BHPian who was a complete stranger to me helped us greatly in our hour of need. We are greatly indebted to him.

The place is Muscat, Oman during December last year. 3 guys were travelling in a Toyota Hilux pickup truck. One of the tires burst, the pickup truck flipped over 4 times and turned turtle. Turns out, out of the 3 guys inside the truck, my relative who was seated at the rear bench hadn’t fastened his seat belt and was thrown out of the truck whereas the others were able to crawl out with no major injuries except a few nicks here and there. He ended up having multiple fractures - left arm, a broken femur, scapula/shoulder blade and the skull. He was rushed to a hospital in Muscat (which specializes on attending to only road accident casualties - Khoula Hospital, Al Wattaya if you must know), some emergency surgeries were performed and he was moved to the ICU block while being under a ventilator. All this while, we never came to know of the accident or the aftermath. We were informed only after the surgeries were done and he was moved to the ICU block.

So that covers part I - please fasten your seatbelts at all times! It has been reiterated a billion times and yet, people do not pay heed and end up paying a hefty price for it! Sometimes, a family who’s dependent on the person will suffer for a lifetime.

My mother-in-law called me up and informed me of this. Unfortunately, we did not have any contacts in Muscat whom we could contact for some first-hand information. All we knew was he had met with an accident, the condition is critical and was in the ICU. I have a few friends in the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar and KSA but none in Oman. I quickly did a Google search for TBHP + Muscat and a bunch of results turned up:

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Some of the members had disclosed the location in their respective IDs, a few did not whereas some of them were not active on the forums. The second result was that of a 3M Car Care Hyderabad thread (Professional Car Detailing: 3M Car Care (Madhapur, Hyderabad)) and a BHPian arunu had mentioned Muscat as his location:

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A quick glance at his profile revealed he was a regular here. I sent him a PM:

Hello Arun,

I need some personal help from you since you are located in Muscat as per the location mentioned in your ID.

My brother-in-law’s brother-in-law (i.e. my BIL’s wife’s brother) has met with an accident in Muscat and we came to know that the car he traveled in toppled and as a result, he has been admitted to a hospital in Muscat. He is in the ICU and has not gained consciousness so far and is critical. We have not conveyed this news to his sister (who is in Malappuram, Kerala) or any of the close relatives so far.

He is based in Kerala but is currently working in Muscat. I am yet to know which hospital he is admitted in but this should be in Muscat. Can you please pay him a visit when you have some free time and let me know the status? His father is planning to fly down to Muscat this Monday from Calicut.

Many thanks in advance!

And guess what? Arun sent me a response over an e-mail! It read:

Hi Ganesh

Sorry to hear the news. Yes I m in Muscat. I will surely visit the hospital. Give me some details

Watts bil bil full name

If u know When accident hpnd

If it happened in Muscat then it will be khoula hospital
Let me know above details n I will Chk n call u

My e-mail. xxxxxxxxxxx@gmail. com

Pl revert asap do that I can Chk up
I was pleasantly surprised! I never knew Arun before and he chose to help us. I followed up, sent him the details over a mail, he paid him a visit at the hospital ICU, got in touch with an attending nurse and helped us with all the details we wanted to know. Arun came across as a Godsent! I never know if I will be able to repay him for this deed. We are greatly indebted to you Arun.

My brother-in-law flew down to Muscat a few days later and was with my relative for over 10 days until he was discharged. His vocal cords were damaged and he was unable to speak. The structure of his skull was retained using a steel sheet and he was confined to a wheelchair. My BIL recalls that he used to have nightmares of the event and would wake up in the middle of the night often. A special flight ticket had to be booked to get him back home due to his condition. He is currently recovering at his residence at Malappuram.

These were the snaps of the Hilux sent by my BIL:

ARTICLE: Seat Belts Saved My Life! True Stories & Pictures from BHPians-altap9robmtnlm6ckwr1477z2mxoa41symefizmebzzm5oy.jpg

ARTICLE: Seat Belts Saved My Life! True Stories & Pictures from BHPians-altattgqwgqqvk9ucq05x4vds3lrwnpnugnkys6g53h4t.jpg

It was declared a total loss.

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 16th January 2015 at 17:12.
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Old 16th January 2015, 17:24   #108
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Re: ARTICLE: Seat Belts Saved My Life! True Stories & Pictures from BHPians

Sorry to hear the news Ganesh. Though wish your BIL's BIL a speedy and complete recovery.

And what do I say about this wonderful Gentleman Arun. It is really a great gesture from his side. May your tribe grow!

Must also thank TBHP for building relationships like these where we may not know each other by faces, yet feel like being knit together closely.
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Old 16th January 2015, 17:24   #109
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Arun, you da man!!!

That's more than a lot of people I actually know and meet would do.
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Old 16th January 2015, 18:07   #110
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Re: ARTICLE: Seat Belts Saved My Life! True Stories & Pictures from BHPians


Hats off to you for your kindness and selflessness. Most folks in India don't stop to help a road accident victim and you took so much time out! Kudos!

Gannu - yet another case of TBHP helping so much in real life - thanks to GTO and the mods n the users for getting TBHP to where it is today!
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Old 16th January 2015, 19:30   #111
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Re: ARTICLE: Seat Belts Saved My Life! True Stories & Pictures from BHPians

Aru, that was one of the most selfless things one can ever do. Good job..

So sorry to hear about the incident Ganesh. Wish a speedy recovery to your BIL.
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Old 16th January 2015, 19:54   #112
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Re: ARTICLE: Seat Belts Saved My Life! True Stories & Pictures from BHPians

Okay, so the time has come to pen my experience of brush with death and the lessons learnt. Its been 1.5 years since the incident happened but just could not put it together for no specific reason.But I guess, have found the right thread now, so here I go:

When: August 2013

Where: Pune - Mumbai Expressway, where else?

Vehicle: Shared Innova of a (in)famed Airport drop service. People from Mumbai Pune will know.

Time: about 3:30 AM. Anything around those hours is worst time to be on highway.

Lives at risk: 4 including driver

Fatalities: None

Serious Injuries: None

Minor Injury: Driver Only. 3 Passengers (incl me)totally unscathed.

I was travelling Mumbai Pune in this Innova for an airport drop. I had made reservation well in advance as this is the only decent option available at odd hours from Pune.I had just celebrated my son's 4th b'day and late night was heading out for taking this flight at 5:30 from Mumbai International airport.

When the Innova arrived to pick me, the front passenger was already snoring. Must be around 12:30 AM. I took the rear right seat. Everyone's luggage was in the rear of the Innova. I buckled up immediately after I boarded the cab - honestly till that day it was not always that I'd buckle up in rear seat. Am sure my guardian angel was doing a late shift knowing what was coming up.

The passenger on rear left took a cue and also buckled up. I do not remember well, if the front passenger was strapped or not but I think he must have and thus survived.
In 15 minutes we had hit expressway and everything was routine. Both my co passengers were fast asleep - I know this is a dangerous thing but people usually shrug off such concerns if you bring it up.

Though nothing much unusual with the driver, I noticed that he'd at times do a last minute flick on the steering. I uncomfortably ignored it to be the driver's style.
Air conditioning was cooling well, comfortable ride,mild music and the time - recipe for sleepiness but for some reason I just cannot sleep in a cab and I usually keep awake irrespective of time and surroundings. We stopped at the food mall before the ghats and tanked up. Then the driver went missing for a long break and as we had enough time on hand I didn't pay much attention. Back he comes and we resume, cross the ghats without an issue and reach the Khalapur toll. Paid up, resumed. People familiar with the route will know that after the toll, there is a relatively straight stretch and that is where the monotony played its game with driver tending to doze off.
I had not realized it but as I said I was keeping a close eye on the road ahead. There is stretch where the 6 lane highway passes through a section carved from cutting a mountain - dark mountain walls on the sides. We were doing about 85 kmph. I was looking at the lorry ahead of us and it seemed we were slowly inching into the rear of the lorry.When we were only an arm's length distance of the lorry and still the driver didn't react, I patted him slightly on the shoulder with a vocal alert realizing that he had indeed dozed off.
Don't know if I should have done something else, but the driver realizing what was happening, steered the vehicle to the right (we were already in fast lane) and there she climbed the divider. In this section, the divider is nothing but the height of a usual curb that we see everywhere in city. I was completely horrified with this and the other 2 people woke up too - albeit helpless. Thought it was happening too fast I could surely recall some horrific incidents from recent past where vehicles jumped divider on expressway.The results were almost 100% fatal. No wonder I had the worst thoughts crossing my mind- family album whizzing past my eyes - prayed that he keeps it on divider and we don't get rammed into by a Volvo or truck, trailer anything from other side. But he couldn't and it crossed into the other lane. Luckily there was nothing in that lane at that point and driver could manage to steer it back on divider. Very filmy..huh??
Now we ram into a few more things, a big car size road sign was hit head on and floored in a snap..worse, the driver perhaps wanted to steer back to left but something went wrong and the Innova tipped over to the right. Continued to skid for a good length but all the glasses including mine, that was rubbing on the ground, were intact.
Finally the vehicle did a U and came to a halt in the Pune -Mum fast lane facing the traffic from Pune. I breathed a sigh of relief but knew the ordeal is not yet over. 2 things I was worried about - fire from leaking fuel though probability in a diesel vehicle is less, and secondly being hit by a heavy vehicle. All of us were still tightly strapped in our seats, the person on my left leaning over me as vehicle rested on right side.Good for us, the lights were still on and working.

So the seat belts seem to have done a great job and saved our lives certainly.Also, I found later that the Innova had fared well considering what it went through. Though, we had come to a stand still, getting out of the vehicle was not that easy. We tried hitting the glasses hard but from our awkward positions we could do very little. Traffic on both sides stopped, crowd gathered and it took a good 10 minutes for people to break open the front windshield and pull us out to safety.
What followed is of in-consequence and I got a ride till airport from someone. So did the other 2. There was no point returning as what had happened had happened but yes there was a shock factor which remained with me for many days.

Few lessons learnt:
  • Seat Belts are life savers - though I knew it already
  • Completely avoid to be on road from 12 AM to 5 AM slot. You may be the best driver and may never fall asleep, but there are plenty of other drivers about to doze off anytime.
  • Avoid MUV cabs on highways. Instead take a Volvo bus if it has to be odd hours.
  • Co passenger (navigator) must not sleep. Keep talking to driver
  • Don't hesitate to raise a concern - its your life at stake after all.

Sorry about the long post but I had to pen it down someday. I hope it inspires at least a few to use seat belts. Also, after this incident I decided that my next car will be the top variant with all safety features coz........ life is priceless.

Drive Safe!!
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Old 16th January 2015, 21:18   #113
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Re: ARTICLE: Seat Belts Saved My Life! True Stories & Pictures from BHPians

Way to go Arun !

Team-bhp is our online family in so many ways, isn't it ?
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Old 16th January 2015, 23:35   #114
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Re: ARTICLE: Seat Belts Saved My Life! True Stories & Pictures from BHPians

Sorry to hear about the accident Gannu but man hats off to Arun.

Quoting his post from another thread so that he knows we are discussing him & his good deed

Originally Posted by arunu View Post
Voted for Hyundai Elite i20.
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Old 17th January 2015, 08:31   #115
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After we met with an accident in October 2012 where we all were belted up (5 people) and had no damage whatsoever other than that to our Santro, now my parents, without even asking, put on seat belts when sitting on rear seats. Last Sunday, my driver was reprimanded by my mother for not putting on the seat belts which I had missed noticing. Thanks to TeamBHP for enlightening on importance of seat belts.
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Old 19th January 2015, 16:25   #116
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Re: ARTICLE: Seat Belts Saved My Life! True Stories & Pictures from BHPians

Hey Ganesh,

I was out of town on official visit and hence had not logged in TBHP for some time now. Surprised that you mentioned this incident and our interaction on this thread.

First of all, glad to hear that your relative is back home and recovering.

Secondly, its a grim reminder to all of us seat belts are MANDATORY for all occupants of the car no matter how safe the car is.

Its was a horrific scene / situation when I first visited your relative in the ICU. Such incidents force you to re-think what you are doing in a foreign land with limited support system. I in-fact wanted to be with him during discharge from hospital but came to know from his local relatives few days later that he was already discharged and went back to India.

Glad to be of some help and pl don't say thanks for such small deeds..

Wishing your relative a speedy recovery.

Dear @ Bhp'ians,
Thanks for the kind words.

Last edited by arunu : 19th January 2015 at 16:28.
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Old 19th January 2015, 20:21   #117
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Re: ARTICLE: Seat Belts Saved My Life! True Stories & Pictures from BHPians

Originally Posted by arunu View Post

..........don't say thanks for such small deeds.......
It's not the size of the deed, but the magnitude that matters! Your 'small' deed gave a concerned family living thousands of miles away a window to critical information they otherwise didn't have. Like a lot of other members have already said, you've done more than you realize. Kudos to you
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Old 20th January 2015, 12:36   #118
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Re: ARTICLE: Seat Belts Saved My Life! True Stories & Pictures from BHPians

Just to share my recent experience while driving towards Nandi Hills, Bangalore. I was driving on the elevated road leading to the International Airport and all of a sudden the cab driver ahead of me decided to take a quick break for juice or some thing. He suddenly started moving left and then put his indicator on.
I had to apply brakes suddenly and then I realized that the seat belt is pulling me backwards keeping my driving posture intact (pretentioner). That way, I was able to control the vehicle without any issues. I had my wife and her sister along with 4 kids. I thanked that day to the seat belts and ABS, otherwise I am sure I would have had some sort of mishap which could have been fatal and I could not have lived with the guilt!!

So I think that seat belts not only helps you avoid injuries during crash, but certainly helps you prevent one as well!!
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Old 1st February 2015, 12:03   #119
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Re: ARTICLE: Seat Belts Saved My Life! True Stories & Pictures from BHPians

Great Job Arun!

I believe most of us use forum official app to contribute and keep ourselves updated. Is there any plans to include "SOS" button within app so that members within a specific range could help in critical situations like break down etc.
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Old 1st February 2015, 17:20   #120
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Re: ARTICLE: Seat Belts Saved My Life! True Stories & Pictures from BHPians

Hello and welcome to TBHP!
Glad that you were able to avert a tragedy on road with your alertness. And yes, seat belts are the way to go always.

Originally Posted by Rabbit80 View Post
I had to apply brakes suddenly and then I realized that the seat belt is pulling me backwards keeping my driving posture intact (pretentioner).
What you experienced is probably the retracting mechanism built to the seatbelt assembly. Pretensioner is an explosive mechanism which fires once it detects sudden and abrupt deceleration... Just like how airbags get triggered off. The Pretensioner consists of a small piston which comes into action to roll the retractor so as to remove slack in the seatbelt. Due to the kind of trigger mechanism, pretensioners will need a change once they have seen action.

Trust that makes it clear.

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