What you see in the pictures is the result of Maruti Swift driving straight into the rear of the Mahindra Scorpio. The crash happened near Yediyur, on the Bangalore-Puttur highway. The primary cause of the Swift going out of control is said to be aquaplaning.
From the pictures, we can clearly see that the Swift is completely mangled from the front due to the huge impact. This was the mid-level VDi version of the Swift, with no ABS or airbags. The occupants of Swift were not wearing seatbelts and sustained multiple injuries, though none of the injuries are said to be life-threatening.
What exactly happened?
The heavy rain created the perfect scenario for aquaplaning. The Scorpio was being driven at 70-80 km/h when it began slowing down for speed breakers ahead. The driver of the Scorpio also experienced hydroplaning and somehow managed to bring the car in control. The Swift, which was said to be at more than 100 km/h lost control and the absence of ABS in the Swift did not help at all. The car hit the rear end of the Scorpio at a high speed.
The mangled front-end of the Swift tells us that the crumple zone of the car worked well to take on the impact but the ignorant occupants did not wear seat belts which cause grave injuries to them. The rear of the Scorpio, however, has seen only minor damage.
The Scorpio rides on a frame-on-ladder while the Swift is a monocoque body which caused the Swift to crumple. Also, Swift is a lower car than Scorpio and the impact angle caused such a huge damage to the Swift. The driver of the Scorpio says that he blacked out for a moment due to the big impact.
Things to learn from the accident
Driving during heavy rain is dangerous but there are many ways which can make sure that you are safe while driving in such conditions.
- Always wear seatbelts. They are the first line of defence in an accident. The seatbelts keep you secure and fixed to the seats. The Scorpio driver was wearing seatbelts and did not sustain a single scratch.
- Always drive slower on wet roads. Wet conditions increase your braking time immensely. Also, rain can bring down the visibility. Driving slower will give you longer reaction time.
- Always maintain recommended tyre pressure as per the manufacturer. Overinflation can cause tyre bursts and decreases the traction while underinflation can also cause tyre burst because of excessive friction. Underinflated tyres have a higher risk of aquaplaning.
- Maintain good condition of tyre, the treads of the tyre clear away water, always check your tyre for sufficient tread depth especially during rainy season. Change the tyre if they tread depth is lower than 2mm.
- Drive with caution, even when it is not raining or wet. Always be aware of your surroundings and if you are driving on a particular road for the first time, take extra precaution while driving because unseen potholes, speed breakers or water loggings may spring nasty surprises.
- Prefer a car with ABS when buying a new car. ABS is an active safety net and can save you from a lot of situations. Even though Indian laws will make few features including ABS, airbags and speed warnings in future, many manufacturers do not offer these vital safety feature in in mid and base variants.
Images courtesy Raghavendra.Putturaya