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Racing champ Ashwin Sundar dead: BMW safety, precautions and fire crashes

Former national racing champion Ashwin Sundar and his wife Niveditha died in an accident on Saturday

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

Ashwin Sundar
Ashwin Sundar. Photo: Facebook

Time and again fatal accidents raise questions on the of luxury cars. The latest to hit the headlines is the sad demise of former racing champion Ashwin Sundar and his wife Niveditha. The couple was charred to death on Saturday as their car caught fire after it hit a roadside tree, according to police. 

The accident

The luxury car, a Z4 was speeding at about 120 kmph from Sathya Studio Road on to DGS Dinakaran Salai and encountered a speed breaker, a report published in The Hindu said. 

Sundar who was on the wheels apparently missed the speed breaker. The car went over the speed breaker and flew, following which Sundar lost control of the car which ran over the pavement and hit a tree. Soon after, onlookers noticed the car goinin into flames. 

What are the available in cars?

  • Irrespective of the the type and intensity of collision, the decentralised safety systems in cars are designed to react in an accident in a split second, coordinating the deployment of all necessary safety features, from airbags to seat belt pre-tensioners to active headrests.

The front-impact airbags protect the head during a frontal crash while the side impact airbags for the front seats protect the torso during a side impact collision. The overhead airbags protect the passengers' heads in case of a side collision or rollover and the knee airbags help to protect the lower extremities from serious injury.

The seat belt pretensioners automatically tighten seat belts to place the occupant in the optimal seating position during a collision.

The anti-whiplash head restraints react to rear collision forces and craddle the passengers' head in an effort to reduce the likelihood of an injury.
  • The sensors in the A and B columns and in the doors of the vehicle register an accident at the earliest. The correct airbags are deployed to the appropriate degree, inflated to the optimum level depending on which seats are occupied and the severity of the impact. Seatbelt pre-tensioners and the optional active headrests are activated at the right moment.

  • 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. 

  • In an accident, sensors measure the severity of the forces involved. The Advanced Safety Electronics (ASE) system uses a fail-safe optic fibre network to co-ordinate the safety system's response. ASE recognises which safety measures are needed and which are superfluous.


How failed to save the Chennai couple? 

The 2012 Z4 model, a two-seater, two-door roadster which Sundar was driving was designed in a manner such that the doors remain capable of being opened in the event of a head-on or front-offset, rear-offset or even a side-impact collision. 

Reports suggest that as the car hit the tree, it possibly wedged between the trunk and a wall which led to the jamming of the doors. Both Sundar and his wife, therefore, were stuck inside the vehicle. 

As the car was used by at least two previous owners, it is alleged that they might have made changes to the vehicle. The police is considering all the angles. 


How can a car catch fire?

Cars do not usually catch fire after an accident. In almost all the modern cars, including vehicles, the battery and generator are disengaged and fuel pump deactivated in case of an accident. 

In the following cases, however, the car can catch a fire: 

  • A mechanical failure, such as a stuck strap or brake pad causes massive overheating through friction can burn the car up in flames. 
     
  • Electrical malfunction or short circuit can also cause fire in a car.
     
  • Loose connections in the fan pumps, radiator, accessories, plug and ignition wires can cause car fires since they do not have a proper grip system. 
     
  • A fuel leak can cause the liquids to come into contact with areas of the vehicle which are hot enough to ignite them. This could have perhaps lead to the fire mishap in Sundar's case.
     
  • In case the car is not well maintained and serviced, the ASE might not function properly in case of an accident hence causing fire. The diesel pipes, hose pipes and rubber tubes crack due to delayed servicing in many vehicles. 

What can be taken in case of a fire accident in a car?

  • Seat belt: First, get your seat belt off before the heat of the fire fuses the metal of the buckle. Use a piece of cloth to release the buckle in case it is very hot. In case that does not work, push the shoulder strap. 
     
  • Tools as saviours: It is important to unlock the doors and windows at the earliest. It is, therefore, adviced to keep tools like fire extinguisher and hammer in a car. 
     
  • The last resort: In case it becomes difficult to break the window and unlock the door to exit the car, a wool or flame-retardant or flame-resitant blanket can be used to protect you from burns and scalding. 

When famous personalities died in car accidents

Paul Walker

Fast and Furious star Paul Walker died on November 30, 2013 in an accident when his 2005 Porsche Carrera GT crashed into a light pole. His friend, a professional race car driver was on the wheels. 

Diana, Princess of Wales

She died in an accident on August 31, 1997 when her driver lost control of the car trying to escape the paparazzi in Paris. The driver was reportedly drunk at that time. Besides the driver and Diana, her boyfriend, Harrods heir Dodi Fayed, also died at the site. They were in a Mercedes-Benz S280.

Rajesh Pilot

Senior Congress leader Rajesh Pilot died on June 11, 2000, when he was rushed to a hospital after being critically injured when a jeep driven by him collided head-on with a state transport bus at Bhandana village near his Lok Sabha constituency, Dausa. 

Gopinath Munde

Union Minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Munde died on June 3, 2014 when his Maruti SX-4 car was hit by another vehicle at Prithviraj road-Tughlak road roundabout in central Delhi. He was on his way to the airport. 

Jaspal Bhatti

On October 25, 2012 popular comedian Jaspal Bhatti died when his car rammed into a tree near Shahkot area of Jalandhar. Bhatti was sitting in the rear seat of the car and received serious head injuries. His son Jasraj was on the wheel. 

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Racing champ Ashwin Sundar dead: BMW safety, precautions and fire crashes

Former national racing champion Ashwin Sundar and his wife Niveditha died in an accident on Saturday

Former national racing champion Ashwin Sundar and his wife Niveditha died in an accident on Saturday
Time and again fatal accidents raise questions on the of luxury cars. The latest to hit the headlines is the sad demise of former racing champion Ashwin Sundar and his wife Niveditha. The couple was charred to death on Saturday as their car caught fire after it hit a roadside tree, according to police. 

The accident

The luxury car, a Z4 was speeding at about 120 kmph from Sathya Studio Road on to DGS Dinakaran Salai and encountered a speed breaker, a report published in The Hindu said. 

Sundar who was on the wheels apparently missed the speed breaker. The car went over the speed breaker and flew, following which Sundar lost control of the car which ran over the pavement and hit a tree. Soon after, onlookers noticed the car goinin into flames. 

What are the available in cars?

  • Irrespective of the the type and intensity of collision, the decentralised safety systems in cars are designed to react in an accident in a split second, coordinating the deployment of all necessary safety features, from airbags to seat belt pre-tensioners to active headrests.

The front-impact airbags protect the head during a frontal crash while the side impact airbags for the front seats protect the torso during a side impact collision. The overhead airbags protect the passengers' heads in case of a side collision or rollover and the knee airbags help to protect the lower extremities from serious injury.

The seat belt pretensioners automatically tighten seat belts to place the occupant in the optimal seating position during a collision.

The anti-whiplash head restraints react to rear collision forces and craddle the passengers' head in an effort to reduce the likelihood of an injury.
  • The sensors in the A and B columns and in the doors of the vehicle register an accident at the earliest. The correct airbags are deployed to the appropriate degree, inflated to the optimum level depending on which seats are occupied and the severity of the impact. Seatbelt pre-tensioners and the optional active headrests are activated at the right moment.

  • 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. 

  • In an accident, sensors measure the severity of the forces involved. The Advanced Safety Electronics (ASE) system uses a fail-safe optic fibre network to co-ordinate the safety system's response. ASE recognises which safety measures are needed and which are superfluous.


How failed to save the Chennai couple? 

The 2012 Z4 model, a two-seater, two-door roadster which Sundar was driving was designed in a manner such that the doors remain capable of being opened in the event of a head-on or front-offset, rear-offset or even a side-impact collision. 

Reports suggest that as the car hit the tree, it possibly wedged between the trunk and a wall which led to the jamming of the doors. Both Sundar and his wife, therefore, were stuck inside the vehicle. 

As the car was used by at least two previous owners, it is alleged that they might have made changes to the vehicle. The police is considering all the angles. 


How can a car catch fire?

Cars do not usually catch fire after an accident. In almost all the modern cars, including vehicles, the battery and generator are disengaged and fuel pump deactivated in case of an accident. 

In the following cases, however, the car can catch a fire: 

  • A mechanical failure, such as a stuck strap or brake pad causes massive overheating through friction can burn the car up in flames. 
     
  • Electrical malfunction or short circuit can also cause fire in a car.
     
  • Loose connections in the fan pumps, radiator, accessories, plug and ignition wires can cause car fires since they do not have a proper grip system. 
     
  • A fuel leak can cause the liquids to come into contact with areas of the vehicle which are hot enough to ignite them. This could have perhaps lead to the fire mishap in Sundar's case.
     
  • In case the car is not well maintained and serviced, the ASE might not function properly in case of an accident hence causing fire. The diesel pipes, hose pipes and rubber tubes crack due to delayed servicing in many vehicles. 

What can be taken in case of a fire accident in a car?

  • Seat belt: First, get your seat belt off before the heat of the fire fuses the metal of the buckle. Use a piece of cloth to release the buckle in case it is very hot. In case that does not work, push the shoulder strap. 
     
  • Tools as saviours: It is important to unlock the doors and windows at the earliest. It is, therefore, adviced to keep tools like fire extinguisher and hammer in a car. 
     
  • The last resort: In case it becomes difficult to break the window and unlock the door to exit the car, a wool or flame-retardant or flame-resitant blanket can be used to protect you from burns and scalding. 

When famous personalities died in car accidents

Paul Walker

Fast and Furious star Paul Walker died on November 30, 2013 in an accident when his 2005 Porsche Carrera GT crashed into a light pole. His friend, a professional race car driver was on the wheels. 

Diana, Princess of Wales

She died in an accident on August 31, 1997 when her driver lost control of the car trying to escape the paparazzi in Paris. The driver was reportedly drunk at that time. Besides the driver and Diana, her boyfriend, Harrods heir Dodi Fayed, also died at the site. They were in a Mercedes-Benz S280.

Rajesh Pilot

Senior Congress leader Rajesh Pilot died on June 11, 2000, when he was rushed to a hospital after being critically injured when a jeep driven by him collided head-on with a state transport bus at Bhandana village near his Lok Sabha constituency, Dausa. 

Gopinath Munde

Union Minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Munde died on June 3, 2014 when his Maruti SX-4 car was hit by another vehicle at Prithviraj road-Tughlak road roundabout in central Delhi. He was on his way to the airport. 

Jaspal Bhatti

On October 25, 2012 popular comedian Jaspal Bhatti died when his car rammed into a tree near Shahkot area of Jalandhar. Bhatti was sitting in the rear seat of the car and received serious head injuries. His son Jasraj was on the wheel. 

image
Business Standard
177 22

Racing champ Ashwin Sundar dead: BMW safety, precautions and fire crashes

Former national racing champion Ashwin Sundar and his wife Niveditha died in an accident on Saturday

Time and again fatal accidents raise questions on the of luxury cars. The latest to hit the headlines is the sad demise of former racing champion Ashwin Sundar and his wife Niveditha. The couple was charred to death on Saturday as their car caught fire after it hit a roadside tree, according to police. 

The accident

The luxury car, a Z4 was speeding at about 120 kmph from Sathya Studio Road on to DGS Dinakaran Salai and encountered a speed breaker, a report published in The Hindu said. 

Sundar who was on the wheels apparently missed the speed breaker. The car went over the speed breaker and flew, following which Sundar lost control of the car which ran over the pavement and hit a tree. Soon after, onlookers noticed the car goinin into flames. 

What are the available in cars?

  • Irrespective of the the type and intensity of collision, the decentralised safety systems in cars are designed to react in an accident in a split second, coordinating the deployment of all necessary safety features, from airbags to seat belt pre-tensioners to active headrests.

The front-impact airbags protect the head during a frontal crash while the side impact airbags for the front seats protect the torso during a side impact collision. The overhead airbags protect the passengers' heads in case of a side collision or rollover and the knee airbags help to protect the lower extremities from serious injury.

The seat belt pretensioners automatically tighten seat belts to place the occupant in the optimal seating position during a collision.

The anti-whiplash head restraints react to rear collision forces and craddle the passengers' head in an effort to reduce the likelihood of an injury.
  • The sensors in the A and B columns and in the doors of the vehicle register an accident at the earliest. The correct airbags are deployed to the appropriate degree, inflated to the optimum level depending on which seats are occupied and the severity of the impact. Seatbelt pre-tensioners and the optional active headrests are activated at the right moment.

  • 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. 

  • In an accident, sensors measure the severity of the forces involved. The Advanced Safety Electronics (ASE) system uses a fail-safe optic fibre network to co-ordinate the safety system's response. ASE recognises which safety measures are needed and which are superfluous.


How failed to save the Chennai couple? 

The 2012 Z4 model, a two-seater, two-door roadster which Sundar was driving was designed in a manner such that the doors remain capable of being opened in the event of a head-on or front-offset, rear-offset or even a side-impact collision. 

Reports suggest that as the car hit the tree, it possibly wedged between the trunk and a wall which led to the jamming of the doors. Both Sundar and his wife, therefore, were stuck inside the vehicle. 

As the car was used by at least two previous owners, it is alleged that they might have made changes to the vehicle. The police is considering all the angles. 


How can a car catch fire?

Cars do not usually catch fire after an accident. In almost all the modern cars, including vehicles, the battery and generator are disengaged and fuel pump deactivated in case of an accident. 

In the following cases, however, the car can catch a fire: 

  • A mechanical failure, such as a stuck strap or brake pad causes massive overheating through friction can burn the car up in flames. 
     
  • Electrical malfunction or short circuit can also cause fire in a car.
     
  • Loose connections in the fan pumps, radiator, accessories, plug and ignition wires can cause car fires since they do not have a proper grip system. 
     
  • A fuel leak can cause the liquids to come into contact with areas of the vehicle which are hot enough to ignite them. This could have perhaps lead to the fire mishap in Sundar's case.
     
  • In case the car is not well maintained and serviced, the ASE might not function properly in case of an accident hence causing fire. The diesel pipes, hose pipes and rubber tubes crack due to delayed servicing in many vehicles. 

What can be taken in case of a fire accident in a car?

  • Seat belt: First, get your seat belt off before the heat of the fire fuses the metal of the buckle. Use a piece of cloth to release the buckle in case it is very hot. In case that does not work, push the shoulder strap. 
     
  • Tools as saviours: It is important to unlock the doors and windows at the earliest. It is, therefore, adviced to keep tools like fire extinguisher and hammer in a car. 
     
  • The last resort: In case it becomes difficult to break the window and unlock the door to exit the car, a wool or flame-retardant or flame-resitant blanket can be used to protect you from burns and scalding. 

When famous personalities died in car accidents

Paul Walker

Fast and Furious star Paul Walker died on November 30, 2013 in an accident when his 2005 Porsche Carrera GT crashed into a light pole. His friend, a professional race car driver was on the wheels. 

Diana, Princess of Wales

She died in an accident on August 31, 1997 when her driver lost control of the car trying to escape the paparazzi in Paris. The driver was reportedly drunk at that time. Besides the driver and Diana, her boyfriend, Harrods heir Dodi Fayed, also died at the site. They were in a Mercedes-Benz S280.

Rajesh Pilot

Senior Congress leader Rajesh Pilot died on June 11, 2000, when he was rushed to a hospital after being critically injured when a jeep driven by him collided head-on with a state transport bus at Bhandana village near his Lok Sabha constituency, Dausa. 

Gopinath Munde

Union Minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Munde died on June 3, 2014 when his Maruti SX-4 car was hit by another vehicle at Prithviraj road-Tughlak road roundabout in central Delhi. He was on his way to the airport. 

Jaspal Bhatti

On October 25, 2012 popular comedian Jaspal Bhatti died when his car rammed into a tree near Shahkot area of Jalandhar. Bhatti was sitting in the rear seat of the car and received serious head injuries. His son Jasraj was on the wheel. 

image
Business Standard
177 22