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

  1. 1) Pete Said: (09/02/2005 14:43:51 GMT) Gravatar Image

    How was the woman then? and whats with the Fire brigade? any cutting out needed?

  2. 2) Ben Rose Said: (09/02/2005 14:50:47 GMT) Gravatar Image

    All drivers walked away without any major injuries.

    Fire brigade had to cut open the bonnets to allow the electrics to be disconnected.

  3. 3) The Lion King Said: (09/02/2005 15:26:07 GMT) Gravatar Image

    I've had a broken rib from a car accident. They are more annoying than anything else. Glad to hear everyone is ok (for the most part). Get well!

  4. 4) Debbie Said: (09/02/2005 16:06:34 GMT) Gravatar Image

    I'm glad you came out of that as well as you did! You will be sore for quite awhile, I'm afraid. :( Take care of yourself!

  5. 5) Ted Stanton Said: (09/02/2005 16:24:41 GMT) Gravatar Image

    Ben, this is the first time I have commented on your blog. I'm happy to see that you did not suffer any major injuries. Take care of your self.

  6. 6) Said: (09/02/2005 16:36:04 GMT) Gravatar Image

    Glad to hear everyone is ok. Despite my carrer here at IBM, I actually went to school for mechanical engineering. As such, I have a little interest in cars ;-) It's good to see that the modern safety devices are worth all the money that goes into R&D.

  7. 7) Ben Rose Said: (09/02/2005 16:39:48 GMT) Gravatar Image

    I guess I'll be taking a visit to the car in daylight shortly to get some proper photos of the result...

  8. 8) Rock Said: (09/02/2005 17:36:07 GMT) Gravatar Image

    Wow, glad to hear you're ok. As a person who has totaled (US term meaning to wreck a car such that it cannot be repaired) 3 cars (1 my fault, 2 not) I can also attest to the fact that modern safety devices are amazing. My first wreck was in 1995 with a 1991 vehicle (Ford Ranger XLT, no airbags) and I didn't fare too well from it; the other two were in vehicles with modern safety equipment and I walked away from them without a scratch.

    Again - sorry for you loss, glad to hear you're fine. Now you get to have fun shopping for a new vehicle!


  9. 9) JoJo Said: (09/02/2005 19:39:18 GMT) Gravatar Image

    Wow.. I'm happy to hear that you got out of it alright Ben *hugs* Would hate for anything horrible to happen to you...

    If you need anything, let me know..


  10. 10) Ben Poole Said: (09/02/2005 20:57:28 GMT) Gravatar Image

    Glad everyone got through that OK. Nasty business, but heartening to know all this devices work!

  11. 11) Bob Obringer Said: (09/02/2005 21:08:51 GMT) Gravatar Image

    Makes one realize that you never know where you could end up by the end of the day.

    Glad you and the woman in the other are ok. Not that I wish pain on anybody, but, may the van driver experience enough pain to A) know what an ass he his and B) never do it again.

    He he... I'm sure we Americans use some terminology that sounds strange to you guys, but... "driving with undue care?" He he... you guys are funny.

    Hope your ribs get better right quick!

  12. 12) Philip Storry Said: (09/02/2005 21:31:23 GMT) Gravatar Image


    Glad to hear you're OK, though. I hope you get through to the insurance company before your ribs heal! ;-)

  13. 13) Darren Said: (09/02/2005 23:43:56 GMT) Gravatar Image

    Ben, thank heavens you're okay. Cars can be replaced, lives can't. Sad to say, there are so many twats on the road. The stretch of the M3 near me is subject to over-turned lorries every day. Never mind about giving guns to terrorists, just give a large vehicle to someone with a brain the size of a walnut.

  14. 14) Richard Schwartz Said: (10/02/2005 02:47:55 GMT) Gravatar Image

    Glad you're ok. Even if the rib isn't broken, it's a probably a good idea to take it easy for a day or two. The stress of dealing with the insurance is reason enough ;-)


  15. 15) jonvon Said: (10/02/2005 18:41:04 GMT) Gravatar Image

    to echo what everyone else has said, glad to hear you are all right!

    also glad to hear you were in a vw, i drive a jetta. which makes me feel a bit better about safety... hopefully i won't need it!


  16. 16) James Said: (11/02/2005 04:23:37 GMT) Gravatar Image

    Glad to hear your ok mate, modern cars are getting safer to drive every year. Sad to see the R32 is a right off. There my favourite car, if you dont mind me asking can i have the old parts? ;)

    Take care


  17. 17) joey Said: (12/02/2005 00:09:50 GMT) Gravatar Image

    glad to hear you're ok -

    looks like it hurt :o(

  18. 18) Kevin Said: (12/02/2005 23:08:30 GMT) Gravatar Image

    Sorry to hear about the crash, glad you walked out and relatively OK


  19. 19) Rich Said: (12/02/2005 23:44:15 GMT) Gravatar Image

    Oh no, a VW off the road for good!

    Glad to hear u r all right dudue ;-)

  20. 20) Iain T Said: (13/02/2005 11:16:56 GMT) Gravatar Image

    Damn Ben! glad you're okay. Probably a good job you weren't still in the FD or you might not be as unhurt!

  21. 21) sam Said: (17/02/2005 09:21:41 GMT) Gravatar Image

    Glad to read that noone was seriously hurt.

    Would have been totally buggered if that was me on my bike!


  22. 22) Shep Said: (24/02/2005 17:03:21 GMT) Gravatar Image


    all you need to do to fix your golf is get a deflated basket ball, slip it in between the body work and the interior trim....and inflate with a tyre pump that plugs into the cigarette lighter.

    Worked for an Escort once.

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