Rain + RWD + zero traction control = ??? [Archive] - SaabCentral Forums

: Rain + RWD + zero traction control = ???


Russell
09-07-04, 05:26 AM
Lovely road near where I live, 3 miles of steep hills, sharp bends, negative camber, the lot. Great great fun in the M5 in the dry....

Last night, tipping down with rain, really bad visibility just at the start of this road there is a roundabout where a Porsche 944 pulls out in front of me. Now the guy sees one look at my car and takes off. Through the bends he goes charging, misses the puddles, passes a slower taxi (and so do I). Then comes a long steep hill. I am probably about 20m behind this car and he floors the car. As he accelerates up the hill he must hit around 60 ish. Hill flattens out suddenly and then continues to climb in a more gentle slope....

Get to the top of the steep bit, traction control in the M5 goes crazy. Can feel the car being pulled left and right and the brakes pulling the car into line. Oil + water + spray = a big dramatic accident.

This is what happened, and believe me, it seemed like it took place in slow motion...

Porsche hits the slippery bit and the back ends starts to snake a bit , guy overcompensates and makes the back more gittery. Car starts to slide sideways still pointing forwards, but back end now sticking out. The right hand side if the road is protected by a steep bank something like 70 degrees and about 10 feet tall. Porsche hits the bank slightly at angle and slides along, still facing forwards, pointing uphill. Great I think, it will stop on the bank.

Sh*t what happens next is unbelievable. Car must have snagged something - and launches itself skywards end over end in a huge huge cartwheel. Hits the ground front end down, bounces end over end and then comes to rest on the side of the steep back, its wheels on the ground and in tact.

By now I have stopped and just stare - what to do, call the police or get to him first? He starts to shove the car door open and walks out, dazed and confused. I call the police and in what seems like an eternity (actually only 15 minutes or so ) three big volvos and an ambulance turn up...

Having got out of the car, the man was clearly shook up... and I got him to sit down in my car and wait for the ambulance and not to move or do anything at all..

Bits of the car and mud are all over the road and because of the position of the accident, there was a real risk of other people hitting us.. So I start to direct the traffic and I am not joking we could have had at least two three car pile ups as people came upon the accident, jammed their brakes on and tried to stop....

When the ambulance turned up the guy seemed to be really in a state of shock. The police asked me what happened (only witness) and went over to talk to him. Having talked to me they then asked me to leave as quickly as possible.... the officeer was really quite calming and he said that it was quite common after witnessing something like this to feel nervous so don't be embarrased if you want to stop down the road for a bit ....

FOrtunately for me it was literally five minutes from home, which is where I went, sat down and had several cups of very sweet tea....

I tell you guys, it all happened in slow motion.. when the car went end over end it was just like in the movies - I knew he was going to crash, the sun on the road made the slippery surface so obvious that it was just going to happen!

In waiting the ambulance I had a good look at the car. All I can say is that the driver was one lucky bast*ard...

This has really made me think though.

If he had been driving some little sh*t box saxo, fiat or ford he would have died. His car saved his life, without a shaddow of a doubt.. Though a complete mess at the front and back, the car was in one piece, the sunroof had gone, the tailgate had been ripped off, but and heres the big but the shell of the car had not buckled or deformed in any way.

Yet again it reconfirms my belief never ever to buy a little squirtbox car - the bigger and more solid the better. I don't know how the M5 would have survived the same type of accident, let alone my convertible saab all I can say is that this guy owes his life to the designers of that car. Of that I have no doubt.

And this morning on the M23 going to work, another pile up, tive cars and a transit van... there are times I really really wish there was an alternative to the car.

Abbott 900
09-07-04, 05:47 AM
Good to hear that with something so serious the driver was ok...

Like you point out, I'd dread to think how the outcome would have changed if he'd been in a hothatch or some other tinbox car.

My first car was an MG Metro, I had it for 7 months and vowed never to own a small tin box car again... I always had a constant fear that in the event of an accident, it would be game over. After that I always had the biggest car I could afford, with the most amount of bonnet and heavy bodywork in front of me...

boxman
09-07-04, 05:48 AM
If he had been driving some little sh*t box saxo, fiat or ford he would have died.


i doute it he wouldn't have been racing a M5 but he and you was very lucky

boxman

Russell
09-07-04, 05:50 AM
If he had been driving some little sh*t box saxo, fiat or ford he would have died.


i doute it he wouldn't have been racing a M5 but he and you was very lucky

boxman

.... no, not racing: this guy was pulling away from me I was not pushing him at all.

Stumpage
09-07-04, 06:17 AM
SAAB 9-5 big and with a Euro Ncap rated 5 stars, front wheel drive and traction control. Nice and safe then.

boxman
09-07-04, 07:10 AM
If he had been driving some little sh*t box saxo, fiat or ford he would have died.


i doute it he wouldn't have been racing a M5 but he and you was very lucky

boxman

.... no, not racing: this guy was pulling away from me I was not pushing him at all.

yes but he drove a porsche so he was probably racing you even though you wasn't racing him back

Paco
09-07-04, 09:12 AM
Yes, you may not have been racing, but would he have been driving that quickly if he had been in a Saxo? At the top of a hill? How fast were you going up the hill, Russell? he was obviously going faster....(I'm absolutely NOT pointing a finger at you Russell, the guy is responsible for his own actions!!)

I've always thought 944's were excellent cars and very safe, they handle superbly too, but it doesn't really matter how well your car handles if there's diesel/oil on the road and you're going too quickly, only electronics are likely to save your butt!

Back to the point though, I think I've posted countless times along similar lines, big cars are a good idea!

I don't have a massive amount of sympathy for the guy I'm afraid, he got out in one piece and he'll think twice about driving like that in conditions that were clearly bad (as you stated Russell). However it could easily have been Mrs Paco (except we don't live there :wink: ) coming the other way who was killed by an out-of-control 944 going too quickly for the conditions.......I wouldn't be sympathetic then either.

If he had lost it in a Saxo at the same place at a lower speed, the accident may still have happened, but it would be at lower speeds, and therefore be less likely to kill anyone...

Lots of conjecture here obviously, but have I got my point across??? (Scrambled brain today.... :roll: )

Russell
09-07-04, 09:39 AM
Yes, you may not have been racing, but would he have been driving that quickly if he had been in a Saxo? At the top of a hill? How fast were you going up the hill, Russell? he was obviously going faster....(I'm absolutely NOT pointing a finger at you Russell, the guy is responsible for his own actions!!)

I've always thought 944's were excellent cars and very safe, they handle superbly too, but it doesn't really matter how well your car handles if there's diesel/oil on the road and you're going too quickly, only electronics are likely to save your butt!

Back to the point though, I think I've posted countless times along similar lines, big cars are a good idea!

I don't have a massive amount of sympathy for the guy I'm afraid, he got out in one piece and he'll think twice about driving like that in conditions that were clearly bad (as you stated Russell). However it could easily have been Mrs Paco (except we don't live there :wink: ) coming the other way who was killed by an out-of-control 944 going too quickly for the conditions.......I wouldn't be sympathetic then either.

If he had lost it in a Saxo at the same place at a lower speed, the accident may still have happened, but it would be at lower speeds, and therefore be less likely to kill anyone...

Lots of conjecture here obviously, but have I got my point across??? (Scrambled brain today.... :roll: )

agreed... I read your points with interest. Probably would not have been driving that fast - and in hindsight if I was far far away from him then maybe he would not have taken off in the way he did..... lots of ifs and maybes.

And yes, Paco, you are absolutely right, had anyone else been involved then it would have been a different matter. If he had dies, or someone else had been involved then the pain, suffering and guilt for everyone involved would have been horrendous.

Last night really has made me think about things differently. There by the grace of god go I... we all speed, I have done it, you have done it, we all do it. 99 times out of a 100 it's fine...it's just that one time where it is not. Yesterday as I sat in the car in that split second when my mind was deciding between calling the police and running over to see how he was, this though kept going through my head, and it has not left me since... this guy could be dead: the feeling left me completely cold, in the moments between the car stopping and the guy getting out, I thought he was dead, that I was going to go over to find bits of human being spread all over the road and the field, or worse, if it could be worse, that he would die with me next to him and there was nothing I could do to help him.

I feel like cr*p - like a delayed shock...there by the grace of god go I. Paco, I must have hit the top of the hill about 50, he about 60. He almost made it - some here will say that he did make it, in that he walked away... What's the loss of a piece of tin when there is a human life at stake?

I am not going to suddenly turn into a speed zealot - not a reformed smoker on a crusade! but sometimes, just sometimes you witness something that makes you stop think and reassess both your own actions and those of the people around you.

You are right, I am not to blame for his error, not directly, but if he had died then no doubt I would have in some part blamed myself. I see crazy stuff on the roads every day, every day I see an accident, 800 miles every week and just mostly shunts and prangs, but when you see a big one, boy it leaves you shaken up ....

Again, in the moments when he stopped I thanked god that there was no-one else around. It is a busy road, it could have been carnage. Only two miles away from the scene yesterday a group of lads and lasses (including a brother and sister) in a 3 series BMW died only two months ago, taking out a Freelander - eight people died. Last night could so easily have been in the same league.

It does make you stop and think ... at the end of the day, when the tyres let go, all you are is a projectile. That's it, no control, no future, it's simply up to the fates as to what happens next. That's the thought I am left with.

As for using that road in th wet - I think I will give it a miss and stick to the bypass ..

Drive carefully,

Russell

CleveSaab
09-07-04, 09:57 AM
Wow!
As for tin boxes vs 'real' cars...it's true even with cars. In most cases you do get what you pay for.
$15,000 Geo Metro can't possible be as safe as a Porsche 9xx or Saab 9x-xx.
Wheneve road conditions get that bad I always have one thought in the back of my head...


150 FT
150 FT
150 FT......



The stopping distance of my car on wet pavement. ;) I make sure to give the other drivers AT LEAST that much space.

heavy_t
09-07-04, 10:02 AM
Last night really has made me think about things differently. There by the grace of god go I... we all speed, I have done it, you have done it, we all do it. 99 times out of a 100 it's fine...it's just that one time where it is not. Yesterday as I sat in the car in that split second when my mind was deciding between calling the police and running over to see how he was, this though kept going through my head, and it has not left me since... this guy could be dead: the feeling left me completely cold, in the moments between the car stopping and the guy getting out, I thought he was dead, that I was going to go over to find bits of human being spread all over the road and the field, or worse, if it could be worse, that he would die with me next to him and there was nothing I could do to help him.

Reading this with interest as I have actaully applied to be an Ambulance Technician and hopefully from there a Paramedic. I had to think long and hard about how I would handle situations where I might come across dead bodies or servered limbs and that kind of thing. But the fact that I have been in an accident like this myself - I was a passenger in a car that left the road at 80mph and fractured my spine - led me to the conclusion that if I can help someone else in that situation then it's got to be worth it. Even so I still get very freaked out when I see bad accidents but I'm going to have to learn how to deal with it if I get the job!


Also, having recently bought a T16S I've noticed that sometimes people want to race or prove that their car is quicker than you. Like the Celica this morning that came screaming up behind me when he saw me (safely) overtake a car+trailer. I just let him past this time but I can't honestly say I always have done that or will continue to. Sometimes we get wound up or our egos get the better of us but we should all try to keep ourselves in check in these situations..........

Paco
09-07-04, 10:31 AM
I walked away from my "big" accident (hopefully the only one I'll have :-? ) but the psychological damage surprised me.

A bit of counselling sorted in no time, to my amazement, but my point is that although I was absolutely blame free, it totally changed my attitude to driving (a bit too far as it happened, but the counselling balanced me out again :cheesy: ).

So while this guy "walked" away, he'll probably have a few issues....and it sounds like it's affected Russell already, although perhaps not to the extreme of needing to seek professional help :wink:

Without stating the obvious it's the minutest details which mean it could have been SO much worse (as in my crash...) and you then realise that every one tiny chance you take could actually result in the death of say 8 people (I saw that BMW crash on the local news, horrendous) and the grief of countless family members etc so maybe it's best to not tkae that chance.

Yes I speed still, (9 points, moi?) but now every time my mirrors are "filled" I tend to wave people past, maybe following far behind at a spirited pace, but certainly with no point to prove. There is no point. What's the point if you all die? That's my point!

Mr 944 is probably a nice guy, a bit of a petrol-head like the rest of us, who cocked-up. I think he did "get away with it", as Russell says the car is metal and rubber, easily replaceable, hopefully he won't ****-up again, perhaps saving a more serious future accident.

How are your cards stacked today? Think about it on the drive home :wink:

Paco
09-07-04, 10:39 AM
Reading this with interest as I have actaully applied to be an Ambulance Technician and hopefully from there a Paramedic.

Hats off! Good stuff, I thought long and hard about it myself, blood and guts doesn't really bother me, but I don't know if I could shut off from the tragedy as easily, and the cumulative effect could send me loopy, especially seeing kids hurt/lose parents. I like to think I'm Mr Darwin about such things, but I'm not, and that BMW crash Russell mentioned really churned me up, and I wasn't even near it!

You won't be buying a motorbike in a hurry, then Tom? :roll:

GearHead
09-07-04, 01:43 PM
How would a SAAB C900 do under those cercumstances(SP)?

Dave B
09-07-04, 05:11 PM
It has often been said that the bigger the car the better the chance. Its called 'survival space'. If you ever park a c900 up alongside a mini you get the idea.

When I passed my driving test I bought a mini and drove it, shall we say, enthusiastically'. Looking back it frightens me somewhat. The car has no bonnet to speak of, wafer thin doors...I guess your only chance is that the mini is nimble enough to give you a chance to avoid such occurences. But that won't work all the time.

I was out in a Caterham Seven Fireblade the other night, the car was being driven by a very experienced seven driver and I was comfortable that he was driving, although exceptionally fast, within his and the cars high capabilities but...and thats the thing...there is always the BUT. You certainly wouldn't want to have a big accident in one of those.

TFatC
09-07-04, 05:32 PM
I've had a big one, missed a few by luck and seen several nasty accidents, including trying to save a soon to be dead girl. I still love speed, and occasionally, in the right circumstances still do :cheesy:

However, the best thing I ever did was start going to track days :cheesy: Safe speed, calculated risk, no innocent bystanders etc. Gets the adrenaline going, and slows me down on the road for ages afterwards :cheesy:

Also helps to improve my car control, and know how it reacts on the limit.

Heavy_T - go for it! My friends daughter is a paramedic in London. Says it is the best thing she has done in her life. Good luck and let us know how you get on. :cheesy:

valbowski1980
09-07-04, 05:35 PM
Wheneve road conditions get that bad I always have one thought in the back of my head...


150 FT
150 FT
150 FT......



The stopping distance of my car on wet pavement. ;) I make sure to give the other drivers AT LEAST that much space.

Good idea. I'm gonna start doing that.

CleveSaab
09-07-04, 07:06 PM
I'm betting your BRAKING DISTANCE is a bit shorter, Valb. ;)

garry
09-07-04, 10:20 PM
In all my years of driving I have had one bad accident... Last year.. My only insurance claim.
You sure do replay it in slow mo.
After our crash (a jackknife trailer) we were in a fair bit of 'silent' shock... Then that night we both found it very difficult to sleep for shaking as the experience kept replaying in our heads and that we were so so lucky to live another day.

SO, I replaced that car with the fastest c900T16S I could get my hands on. :cheesy: .... In the same way pilots would be sent back into the sky's after an accident.
The accident changed the way I think in two opposing ways. Firstly, be more careful and secondly, life is short - go out and buy that fast car and enjoy it while you can.

During the months I have owned this very fast SAAB I have noticed that you are pushed by other drivers to show your Braun and that dangerous limits can be very easily exceeded where standard engines would be running out of steam. This is where smaller engined cars can be much more fun. You feel like your at the limit but well within the boundary's of the cars traction even when the conditions are dodgy.
High powered cars require a lot of respect and restrain.

valbowski1980
09-07-04, 11:44 PM
I'm betting your BRAKING DISTANCE is a bit shorter, Valb. ;)

I tend to slow down by shifting down instead stepping on the brake, sometimes I get a bit close. Not always a good thing :).

goalkeeper21
09-07-04, 11:48 PM
wow, that is really bad, maybe not a good time to tell me that story because I'm gonna buy a 944. thank god that guy was alright. oh on anothing note please tell me that you weren't hitting it. you should have killed the 944.
Tony

Stefano
10-07-04, 12:10 AM
It has often been said that the bigger the car the better the chance. Its called 'survival space'. If you ever park a c900 up alongside a mini you get the idea.

When I passed my driving test I bought a mini and drove it, shall we say, enthusiastically'. Looking back it frightens me somewhat. The car has no bonnet to speak of, wafer thin doors...I guess your only chance is that the mini is nimble enough to give you a chance to avoid such occurences. But that won't work all the time.



The size of a car isn't everything. A couple of years ago an accident involved a Smart and a Seat Ibiza, in Italy. The Smmart t-boned the Ibiza, litterally ploughing into it. The Ibiza was almost cut in half and there was nothing to do for the 4 passengers, the Smart only had a crashed front bumper and maybe a cracked windshield, and the driver walked away.


Here's a couple of interesting pics of a Smart crash test:

http://mypage.bluewin.ch/Chris_und_Diddl/smart/sicherheit/crash_mit_eklasse_50_oben.jpg

http://www.funkysmart.co.uk/images/smartcrash.jpg


I know that such a stiff structure won't help if impacting against a solid wall, because the deceleration would be too high to stand for a human body, but for sure even if you don't have huge energy absortion zones this doesn't mean that you would be crushed in your car if you have a crash (like I sometimes fear when I listen to all the squeals than my 9000 does, or when I park with just one wheel on the sidewalk and see how hard is to open and close the doors :oops: )

Matthew
12-07-04, 04:54 AM
SAAB 9-5 big and with a Euro Ncap rated 5 stars, front wheel drive and traction control. Nice and safe then.
Providing you have a EuroNCap style road accident ;)

Russell
12-07-04, 06:49 AM
.. I spoke to the traffic department on friday afternoon - the guy is OK, only minor injuries. It still makes me shudder at it, all credit to porsche for saving his bacon.

I shall put this one down to experience then ..

Paco
12-07-04, 07:05 AM
Good news, I wonder if he'll be prosecuted for anything?

Considering the age of the design, I reckon it's a pretty tough car the 944....always had a soft spot for them.