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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Pro Car racer and his wife killed in road accident in city as car goes in flames

At first sight, it looks like something intentionally set on fire on road-side, not the looks of an accident to an automobile, a high-end car at that.

Gone are the days when Hindustan Ambassador ruled the Indian roads, now on city roads, you see so many high-end cars.  The other day I saw a HD motor cycle which costs 24 lakhs, multiple times over that of an ordinary Indian car – people say that high-end cars have high safety systems.  In most cars,  integrated package of intelligent safety measures ensures that if an accident cannot be avoided, the threat of injury will be kept to a minimum.

The cars are built, designed to withstand high impact; the  occupant cell is extremely rigid, with bodyshell components made of multi-phase steel and special reinforcements in the floorpan and doors maintaining a protective frame around the cabin in the event of an accident.  Some claim that the safety systems in the car,  react in an accident in a split second, coordinating the deployment of all necessary safety features, from airbags to seatbelt pre-tensioners to active headrests. It is the sensors in the columns and doors that register an accident at the earliest moments and react within milliseconds. The correct airbags are deployed to the appropriate degree, depending on which seats are occupied and the severity of the impact. If necessary, the battery and generator are disengaged and fuel pump deactivated to reduce the danger of fire. The central locking system unlocks all the doors and the cabin light and warning lights are illuminated.

ABS brakes automatically sense when a tire has stopped rotating under extreme braking, and will modulate the brake pressure to allow the tire to rotate. This increases the vehicles ability to turn while braking. Stability control automatically senses when the vehicles handling limits have been exceeded and reduces engine power and/or applies select brakes to help prevent the driver from losing control of the vehicle – and there are airbags – font impact; side impact and overhead providing protection. 

Sad to read that Professional car racer Ashwin Sundar and his wife Nivedhitha were charred to death after their BMW car rammed a roadside tree on the Santhome High Road in Chennai in the early hours of today. Police said Sundar and his wife were trapped inside the car as they could not open the doors. The car was stuck in between the tree and a wall. The car caught fire, and the couple were charred to death.

Sundar  27 was driving the car. His wife, Nivedhitha 26,  was a doctor working at a private hospital. Passersby, who saw the vehicle on fire, alerted the Chennai city police control room, and a team of police personnel from the Adyar traffic investigation wing rushed to the spot. Fire and rescue services personnel from Mylapore also pressed into service. They struggled for around half-an-hour to put out the fire.  Adyar traffic investigation wing inspector of police Vanitha and her team broke open the car and recovered the bodies of the couple. The bodies were sent to the Government Royapettah Hospital for postmortem.

Initially, the police didn't identify the couple. Later, they identified them with the help of the vehicle registration number. Inquiries revealed that the couple lived in Alapakkam near Porur. They visited their friend's house at MRC Nagar in Raja Annamalaipuram. The accident happened when they were returning home.

There would be reasons galore, whatever they be – a road accident on beach road near Santhome has claimed the lives of two;& unfortunately no safety features rescued them, perhaps denied the chance to come out of the car. Sad !

-      S. Sampathkumar

-      18th Mar 2017.

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