Friday, February 27, 2009

Car accidents again~!

It seems that there's been a lot of car accidents around this year. Well at least, from my observation. I saw quite a number of accidents. Damn lawak ones also.

Have you ever seen a Merc SLK vs. Proton Waja battle? Well, despite all the safety features and superior body chassis that Merc has, guess who won? Ans: The Proton Waja. Surprising but not unbelievable as the Proton Waja shared the same chassis as the old Volvo S40 and V40. I witness this when travelling back to Penang on PLUS expressway one rainy day. The Merc typically had to be written off already, poor Merc (hehe) but to be fair, the Proton had the whole door panel fell off. Nonetheless the side impact bar is still intact.

Well, this is what happen when you speed during rainy seasons? How many really know that despite all the performance tire those SLK, 330i, 350z, GT-R has, it has a main weak point. Those wide performance tires actually performed worse than the normal tires in rain, assuming that the tires are of the same type but just of different width. This is because, wide tires have the tendency to aquaplane compared to normal ones in a similar condition. I once read from the papers that a ferrari owner got himself skidded during and had a 'makeover' his ferrari just by doing 80 kmph on PLUS. Funny? I was always doing 115 kmph yet nothing happen.

Speaking of which, I saw 3 different accidents over a period of 2 months in a danger zone. The area is the flyover of Jalan University, both directions (the slope nearer to KFC). That area tend to be flooded with water after rain. Sometimes up to more than 1/2 feet. Mostly people who pass the area will be doing about 80kmph. But in water as deep as this, all tires would aquaplane easily.

Just yesterday I saw a black Proton Saga BLM got into accident, the same spot. That fella skidded and all. The rear part of the car was hitched onto the left barricade of the flyover, must have been 'gliding' like a speedboat on the water. I snapped some pictures which will be posted in due time.

So remember, slow down when approaching the slope (both directions) on the Jalan Universiti flyover during heavy rain. The area is flooded and your car will aquaplane and skid no matter what car it is.

I myself had a fair experience on the particular stretch also. The aquaplane I experience was very strong, unlike what I've experience previously. It is like a current sweeping your car away. I had like 50% of thread left on my tires but under those conditions (I was going about 95kmph), new tires would have failed you.

Luckily my Proton Saga LMST is equipped with best safety features in the world, namely ABS (Aku Brek Sendiri), EBD (Expert Braking Dynamics), and two SRS plastic bags. Hehe. No, the plastic bags didn't help. Oh, to recap, the best safety features in the world is the driver. The driver controls the car, not the other way round. That determines what will happen in situations like this. My car and I am lucky to survive without a scratch. I've seen better cars like Honda Civic (the latest version with VSA) skidded and bang. Well thank God~!

Truth is, my Saga LMST does not come with any modern safety features. So how the driver handles during times like this is more crucial than other cars. The thing is I did not brake when it aquaplanes, I just release the gas pedal. It was scary, the car gliding on the water and all that. I've read somewhere that when the car aquaplanes, it will normally follows the dynamics of the car which was heading before the aquaplane occurs (means even though it aquaplanes, it will continue to head the intended direction albeit gliding across), unless there's strong current in the water which is rare. So I restrained myself from braking. At least one tire will have different amount of grip compared to the others (different depth of water, different treadwear etc), braking will disrupt the dynamics and send the car into a different direction. 100% of inexperience driver will brake hard during times like this and send the car to God knows where. So it is important not to brake during aquaplane and erm, drive cautiously during rain. I said cautiously as I've observed drivers crawling like snails during rain and cause massive jams. Come on guys, that's not the way. Just drive cautiously ok?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Chinese New Year 2009

Photo taken by Olympus Mju 1200

This year's Chinese New Year 'chuin ka fook' took a welcome change from the usual photo spot that is my grandma's house to Gold Coast Resort. Notice the welcome addition of a new member Brian (the toddler) in the picture...

3 yee and family couldn't make it on time as their car ran into some problems so LK had to pick them up somewhere. That explains why they are not in the picture. Nonetheless they manage to make it to my grandma's birthday dinner...

Photo updates on dinner later.