A car is as good as the person behind the wheel- A case study

kermit

Village Elder
#1
In recent events where the governor of Nyeri Dr Gakuru left us, there have been all kinds of theories bandied around. It dumbfounded me how the rail found its way through the car like a spear.
After reading this driver report of the accident, I have come to the conclusion that the man did not have to die.
https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/art...ar-speaks-on-crash-that-killed-nyeri-governor

Samuel Kinyanjui, the driver of the ill-fated vehicle that killed Nyeri Governor Wahome Gakuru, Wednesday recounted how the horror crash unfolded.
The driver, who sustained minor injuries from the crash, spoke to us from Nairobi Hospital.

On Wednesday, Kinyanjui gave a blow by blow account of how the accident occurred on that rainy morning as he drove the governor to a television appearance in Nairobi.

He had started the journey at around 5.30am and reached Kabati about an hour and a half later.

"We were late but the governor told me not to speed because it was raining and the road was slippery. I was driving around a speed of between 105 and 110 kilometres per hour," he said.

All hell broke loose when one of the rear tyres burst.

"...but as I slowed down and was steering the vehicle to the side, I realised that a lorry which was behind me was approaching at a high speed. I had to swerve suddenly to avoid the lorry which was trying to overtake me," he recollected.

He explained that he deliberately decided to ram into the guard rail.

"I thought if I hit the guard rail the car would stop. I feared that if the lorry hit me from the rear, it would push us into the middle of the road and cause a multiple cars accidents (sic).

As they were avoiding the lorry, he recounted, the car hit the guardrail and upon the impact his airbag deployed, blocking his view and rammed his foot on the accelerator pedal.

The force of the accelerating car which had already hit the guard rail forced the left front wheel of the top-of-the-range Mercedes E250 off its axle and the guard rail punctured the car’s body.
At that point the governor gasped “God!”

“I don’t understand how the guard rail got into the car,” he said.

Kinyanjui had chauffeured the governor for barely two weeks.

He explained that he had worked as a driver at the Nyeri County Referral Hospital before he was deployed to the governor's office.

"I have been working with the county for four years," he said.

Police chase car driver Peter Mwaniki said when they arrived at the scene, they found car's still revving although it had been stopped by the guard rail.

“The driver's foot was still on the accelerator and he was stuck in his seat. I opened the door for the driver but he could not get out as he was trapped. The governor too was trapped,” Mr Mwaniki added.

The driver said the governor, who was seated at the front, had to wait for 40 minutes to be rescued.

Although Kinyanjui said he could not tell when the vehicle was last serviced, he said it was in good shape.

It was the same vehicle that had been used by Governor Samuel Wamathai and Nderitu Gachagua before him, he said, and insisted that he was not speeding.

“I was doing about 105 and 110 and the governor was comfortable with the speed and told me to maintain it since it was raining,” he said.

He explained that he was directed to always be within a 50-metre range with the chase car, which was behind them.

The journey from Nyeri was uneventful and the governor engaged in banter with the occupants of the vehicle "in his usual self".
From a driving point of view, these are the mistakes I see that led to the chain of events.

Mistake 1

Kinyanjui had chauffeured the governor for barely two weeks.

He explained that he had worked as a driver at the Nyeri County Referral Hospital before he was deployed to the governor's office.

"I have been working with the county for four years," he said.

A car is as good as the driver. In my circles we call it driver mod.
You can have all the latest technology and safety features form Germany or Japan but if the driver does not understand them or even know they exist, he might as well be driving an ox drawn cart.
The driver of Governor should be a person with years of experience on the road and trained in defensive driving.

Mistake 2

"...but as I slowed down and was steering the vehicle to the side, I realised that a lorry which was behind me was approaching at a high speed. I had to swerve suddenly to avoid the lorry which was trying to overtake me," he recollected.
The road is dual carriage at that spot. this means that the Mercedes was in the inner, fast lane. the lorry was in the outer lane, closest to the shoulder where i would expect the merc would have its tyre changed. maybe the lorry driver had no idea that the merc was striken and desperately looking for shore. that would explain why he was still speeding instead. the hazards on the merc should have been on at this point. if not, that was an omission by Mr Kinyanjui.

Mistake 3

He explained that he deliberately decided to ram into the guard rail.
"I thought if I hit the guard rail the car would stop."

Well, that is what guardrails are supposed to do. However, the angle at which you hit the rail and the rail design are very critical.
Remember the benz is not in the lane next to the rail. it has to move across the road so as to hit the rail. this is also at a substantial speed. this alters the angle of impact to be optimum to the kind of damage the benz sustained.
The first thing the driver should have done is to slow down while in his own lane, put hazards on and look for the opportune moment to go across the lane, and to the road shoulder.
However, his thinking is oldschool- use objects to slow down the car. It is also self serving- the side he was ramming the rail with, is not his side. incase anything went wrong, he would get the least impact.
Remember also that the tyres are run flats or tubeless at worst. a tyre burst should not trigger violent movements.

Mistake 4

Police chase car driver Peter Mwaniki said when they arrived at the scene, they found car's still revving although it had been stopped by the guard rail.

“The driver's foot was still on the accelerator and he was stuck in his seat.
upon the impact his airbag deployed, blocking his view"

This is outrageous. I thought the driver was moving across the lanes at reduced speed. this shows he was moving across while on the throttle.
he should have slowed down and waited for the lorry to pass. at that time in the morning there are few cars on the road anyway.
if the foot had been on the brakes, the jamming would have worked in their favour.

Mistake 5

The governor was seated at the front.

Verdict
An inexperienced driver made all the wrong decisions that led to the death of Dr Gakuru.
It is high time people driving us and our leaders were vetted and properly trained. include PSV drivers hapa.
KENHA should revisit guardrail design and installation.
 
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Mzee mzima

Village Sponsor
#2
Mistakes will always happen and we will all die. Heck some people die on their toilet seats. Would this have been your synopsis then?

Mistake number 1: This guy was shitting

Mistake number 2: Never shit where you eat

Mistake number 3: Always use flying toilet


Point is, mistakes happen all the time no need for blame game
 

kermit

Village Elder
#4
Mistakes will always happen and we will all die. Heck some people die on their toilet seats. Would this have been your synopsis then?

Mistake number 1: This guy was shitting

Mistake number 2: Never shit where you eat

Mistake number 3: Always use flying toilet


Point is, mistakes happen all the time no need for blame game
this is the problem.
escapism into "will happen"
why then do we have safety measures?
training?
investigations?
even a guillotine operator in a printing press undergoes training. otherwise we would just throw in the latest product from the 8-4-4 conveyor belt into a multi- million factory with eyes wide shut.
PS: Hata ndege ikicrash lazima kuwe na investigeshen bana.
 
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Mathaais

Village Chief
#6
Assuming as reported, the car suffered a blowout at 110kph(of course the driver can't admit to having been speeding), why do you reason like he had all the time to think and act as if he had only a flat tire to deal with?
A blow out violently alters the course of the car and handling it becomes a nightmare and most likely it will end up rolling or in a messy crash.
 

kermit

Village Elder
#7
The shiny eye is an amateur driver, how do you even comprehend steering of the road with a front tyre burst?
1. he should have put the hazard lights on.
2. Hold on firmly to the steer wheel and let the vehicle slow down on itself.
Granted, it was a rear wheel. but still the comment holds water
 

kermit

Village Elder
#8
Assuming as reported, the car suffered a blowout at 110kph(of course the driver can't admit to having been speeding), why do you reason like he had all the time to think and act as if he had only a flat tire to deal with?
A blow out violently alters the course of the car and handling it becomes a nightmare and most likely it will end up rolling or in a messy crash.
not in a low profile and tubeless tyre.
there is a good reason why majority of tyres are tubeless.
there is a better reason why sports cars and executive saloons ride on low profiles.
 

123tokambio

Village Sponsor
#10
Assuming as reported, the car suffered a blowout at 110kph(of course the driver can't admit to having been speeding), why do you reason like he had all the time to think and act as if he had only a flat tire to deal with?
A blow out violently alters the course of the car and handling it becomes a nightmare and most likely it will end up rolling or in a messy crash.
But that's not the case anyway. If he had a difficult time trying to regain control of the vehicle after the tire burst, he would have said it, but clearly his priority was on how to avoid being hit from behind by a lorry, and that's how he chose to swerve from the inner lane and on to the guard rail.
Would you have done the same if you were caught up in such an instance? I wouldn't....
Could the lorry have ended up rear-ending them? Probably. Could the outcome been different? Who knows...
 
#11
Mistakes will always happen and we will all die. Heck some people die on their toilet seats. Would this have been your synopsis then?

Mistake number 1: This guy was shitting

Mistake number 2: Never shit where you eat

Mistake number 3: Always use flying toilet


Point is, mistakes happen all the time no need for blame game
There's something you're missing here.
We need to learn from our mistakes in order to try and avoid recurrences!
 

Shaka

Village Elder
#12
The decision he made were of an inexperienced driver. Why was it important for him to steer a car with a flat tyre, he should have slowed to a stop while still on the inner lane with hazards on. You don't even brake till the car slows to about 60km/hr on its own. This is a result of giving a job to 'mtu wangu', and he ends up killing you.
 

gashwin

Village Chief
#14
This is a result of giving a job to 'mtu wangu', and he ends up killing you.
Here we go again. Students of vic Preston and Ian Duncan school of defensive driving wamekuja na CSI kit yao with an interview from the drivers hospital bed.
you are all assuming a lot of things. @Shaka, kinyanjui was picked from the county's pool of drivers who are rotated to drive anything from executive SUVs to ambulances.

having got that out of the way;
Ati the human brain processes at what GHz/second? how many sensory factors did he have to process in how many seconds? what unusual factors (slippery road, approaching lorry, car drag from the deflated tyre etc etc) did he have to deal with? i know you don't know just like i don't - and neither can we glean this critical data from the newspaper report. we cannot therefore say authorititively what should or should not have been...
 

kermit

Village Elder
#18
Here we go again. Students of vic Preston and Ian Duncan school of defensive driving wamekuja na CSI kit yao with an interview from the drivers hospital bed.
you are all assuming a lot of things. @Shaka, kinyanjui was picked from the county's pool of drivers who are rotated to drive anything from executive SUVs to ambulances.

having got that out of the way;
Ati the human brain processes at what GHz/second? how many sensory factors did he have to process in how many seconds? what unusual factors (slippery road, approaching lorry, car drag from the deflated tyre etc etc) did he have to deal with? i know you don't know just like i don't - and neither can we glean this critical data from the newspaper report. we cannot therefore say authorititively what should or should not have been...
lemme sit down since it is evident the point is lost.
@Shaka @123tokambio at least some see my point
 

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