Wednesday 9th February, 2005
I've seen many a car crash photo on the web, but this time it's mine...


I was the driver of the silver VW Golf R32 in the foreground before it crashed head-on into an oncoming Seat Leon. Just a routine drive home from work ended up in disaster when a white Mazda van pulled out of a side turning without looking. Faced with nowhere to go I just hit my brakes hard, colliding with the rear side of the van which deflected me into the path of the poor woman driving the Seat. I ended up hitting her whilst halfway across the while line at what was probably a combined speed of around 80mph. I'm guessing she never even had chance to hit the brake. Full airbag deployment etc. all around. It had to hurt and it did. I'm informed the van driver has since been charged with driving with undue care.

All the safety devices functioned perfectly on my car. Before I even knew I'd hit her, the airbags were fully inflated on both sides of the car and my seat-belt pre-tensioner had pulled me right back into the seat. So tight, my body never left the seatback minimising whiplash. It did compress my rib-cage so hard however that I've have a suspect rib fracture. As the only cure with rib fractures is time, there's apparently little point in exposing me to an x-ray machine just to confirm either way. Sat in the stationary car after the accident, out of habit, I went to put the the gear to neutral and discovered that there wasn't even a clutch pedal there. All the pedals vanish in the event of an accident to prevent injury.

Credit to modern cars, I'm a lot better that I could have been. In an older car I guess the damage would have been a lot worse along with the injuries. I've seen people get friction and heat burns from airbags and stuff, but my nose never even touched it due to the excellent seatbelt system.

As VW no longer make the R32, I guess I'll be looking for a new car. I just need to confirm with my insurance company, when all the lines to India aren't engaged! Maybe I won't be choosing to insure with Norwich Union Direct in future, let's hope the claim is faster than their phone system.

Update - Further pics are available by clicking here

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