Fasten your seatbelts

5 08 2009

This evening I decided to go for another jog around Subang Ria Park. This is the second time in a week that I ran around this lake. Last Saturday I managed 7 slow circuits around the lake. By following first a lone jogger and later a small group I managed to run 4 laps and walk 2. This is surely a big improvement. I even got invited to run with the group that I followed.

On the way back form the park I passed by an accident along jalan Jengka in Subang Jaya. As usual there were many people milling about but doing nothing. I turned into the inner road and stopped my car not far from the accident. I happen to have a camera with me so I decided to take some pictures.

P8050049At first I thought the vehicle had smashed into the wall from jalan Jengka which is the lower road but apparently not. Look at the tree in the background. I then realised this MPV was first “introduced” to that tree before it ended up in this position. Here’s a close up of the two sides that met each other.

P8050045P8050047

The tree had just lost it’s bark but it had managed to bend the chassis of the MPV and leave an imprint of itself on the bonnet. But here is where I realised that the tree had probably saved the occupants of the vehicle! Since the vehicle had come from the elevated road, had it not hit the tree first, it would have continued over the embankment, pitch down and either hit another tree (where the boy with the bicycle is standing) head on or worse still end up on the busy Jalan Jengka onto oncoming traffic. Would you make the same assessment? That the tree actually saved them?

I then looked around for the driver of the vehicle. With luck the first person I approached happened to be the person behind the wheel. She said she tried to avoid someone, panicked and before she realised it she ended up here. I had noticed blood on the passenger door and asked if anyone was hurt and if i could send them to get medical attention. She said there was a child in the front passenger seat who suffered a cut on his forehead but he had already been sent to a nearby clinic. I asked if she needed any assistance but she said her neighbour and friends were already at the scene.

As a testimony to technological advancement in vehicular occupant safety, both the occupants of this car managed to walk away from this nasty accident with minor or no injury at all. All thanks to the three point seat harness (more popularly called the seat belt) and and newer invention called the airbag.

P8050050However I suspect the child who was on the front passenger seat did not have his seat belt fastened. Firstly there was blood on the airbag, which meant he had probably been thrown forward and hit something. Then there was the  seat belt. It was still in the stowed position. If he had been wearing it, the belt’s inertia reel would have activated and locked the belt. You can see that the driver’s side seat belt had not retracted from it’s last position (after the reel had locked) and as a result it was caught in the door as the driver exited the vehicle.

It really pays to fasten your seatbelt even if it is for a very short journey. We should not wear the seatbelt out of fear of the law but out of respect for the unknown.  This driver had just left her house which is less then 2 minutes drive away before she met with an accident. It is said that most accidents happen inthe first and last 10 percent of the journey. So wear your seatbelt, it may really save your life one day.

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