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OT-5 vehicle pileup - i was in the middle of it! Some metalworking content...

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  • OT-5 vehicle pileup - i was in the middle of it! Some metalworking content...

    On a short local trip to take my 11-year old granddaughter to her bowling league, I was in a string of cars accelerating from a stoplight, when someone 4 cars ahead stops for reasons unknown to me. I did a panic stop - the ABS preformed as advertised and I was almost stopped, well short of the car ahead, when I was hit HARD from behind. I thought that the wreck was all over after the initial impact, but then impacts just kept on coming, 4 or 5 in all, all very hard, in rapid succession. When things came to rest, I was looking up through the spider-webbed windshield at the gas tank of the car that was ahead of me. My wife's arm was broken, my granddaughter was crying and all the arthritic joints in my spine were screaming pain of about 94 on a scale of 1-10. The pain quickly subsided to a 10 and I began to take stock. Engine still running - I turned it off.
    Police, paramedics and fire department arrived. Granddaughter complained of head pain so they took her out first. Couldn't open the door, so they used the jaws-of-life on the car body. (metal working content)
    Next, I got out and was able to walk and stand, though in some pain, while they lifted my wife out through the driver's side. The HHR stood up well, didn't cave in, and the only glass broken was the windshield as we were plowed under the car ahead. Curiously, the airbags didn't deploy. I will be talking to Chevrolet about that.
    We are home now, My back is gimped up and stiff, but I am ambulatory - so I get to wait on the Mrs hand and foot. Oh well, not like I will be going out much.
    Don't know about injuries in other cars. No sign of the lowlife who plowed into the back of me - Hit-and-run.
    Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
    ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~

  • #2
    Tomorrow, you may be a little sore... :-(

    I'm glad you all are, well, mostly OK.

    It's possible the airbag didn't deploy because the impact was from the rear and that the car in front slide up your hood (from your description) vs your bumper crushing against the rear bumper of the car in front of you. And you can be significantly injured by the airbags, things like broken noses, broken arms or dislocated joints (depending on how your arms are when the bag deploys)


    • #3
      Glad you and your family got out alive Weston. Looks like your car got hammered pretty hard. Strange that the SRS didn't fire though.
      Peter - novice home machinist, modern motorcycle enthusiast.

      Denford Viceroy 280 Synchro (11 x 24)
      Herbert 0V adapted to R8 by 'Sir John'.
      Monarch 10EE 1942


      • #4
        I'm sure glad that it wasn't a worse accident. With luck everyone should fully recover, I hope!
        Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada


        • #5
          dude .. glad your ok. Confused about the car that hit you (hit and run). Are you saying he hit
          you and drove around you and away. Or .. did he crawl out of his crushed car and run on foot ?
          John Titor, when are you.


          • #6
            Not what you need, hope you and the family get over it fast,


            • #7
              Glad you and your family got by with out real serious injuries. I alway fear of getting hit from behind more than front or side. I think the speed limit hear in Oregon is what ever it takes to tailgate the car in front of you.

              I would rather have tools that I never use, than not have a tool I need.
              Oregon Coast


              • #8
                The inertia from your mishap was primarily from behind. The impact sensors ignore that dynamic. The lift and drive from behind mitigated the frontal impact as the HHR was driven under the vehicle in front.
                Sorry. They can pull the Hexidecimal info from the SIR module but won't divulge the details unless the company is involved in a lawsuit as a primary.
                Last edited by Joe Rogers; 05-24-2017, 11:29 AM. Reason: mistyping


                • #9
                  Glad to hear you're all relatively ok. Twenty years ago that might have ended up in a fire.

                  I would be glad the airbags didn't deploy, there is a real chance they would have added more injuries if they had. They're designed to go off during massive deceleration where the steering wheel would break your face and crack your skull. The possibility of a few burns and broken bones from the airbag are considered a good trade-off for your head.
                  Especially the airbags installed in the US deploy extra fast (=violent) because of less seat belt use by occupants.

                  And indeed the fear of getting hit from behind is real. There are hardly any regulations for rear impact protection and thus on most cars there is very little protection. I recall we did tests in the past where we would "kill" the driver during the rear impact tests, but the regulations were only concerned with fuel leakage so it was all fine......

                  Last edited by ikdor; 05-24-2017, 07:07 AM.


                  • #10
                    sorry to hear about the accident and glad you're more or less ok - could have been a lot worse. I'd never heard of HHR, does it stand for something or just the name of the car model?
                    in Toronto Ontario - where are you?


                    • #11
                      Not sure what years or if they still are programed this way but I read you have to be traveling a certain speed in order for the airbags to function. Being at a dead stop they won't deploy.

                      Glad you guys are ok!


                      • #12
                        I too am struggling with that "HHR" abreviation. ...Inquiring minds want to know.

                        Nevertheless, sorry to hear of your mishap Weston, but glad you're (mostly) okay.

                        Ok, after reading the news link I see now the HHR refers to the Chevy model.

                        I also found this description in the news article kinda peculiar:

                        Two to three dogs were removed after the incident from the Malibu by a relative of the people inside the vehicle, Freeman said. The dogs appeared to be uninjured.

                        Now to me "two to three" implies a continuum of numerical possibilities, ranging from a low of two to a high of three.
                        - Unless of course the dogs were all mangled up, so that positive id was made difficult. But the article tells us "The dogs appeared to be uninjured."

                        I'm wondering if that was a direct quote from Freeman, or did our journalist take a little literary license.
                        Last edited by lynnl; 05-24-2017, 08:25 AM.
                        Lynn (Huntsville, AL)


                        • #13
                          Glad you and yours are still with us Weston!

                          All that damage and the guy/gal was able to drive off?What were they driving an APC?
                          I just need one more tool,just one!


                          • #14
                            Glad you and your family are around to report on the incident. That was quite the pile. Good luck on everyone's recovery.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by lynnl View Post
                              I too am struggling with that "HHR" abreviation. ...Inquiring minds want to know.
                              It's a station wagon.