Engineers Save a Life

Posted on April 19, 2013  Comments (7)

photo of car resting in river

This photo was taken by the driver’s parents when they arrived. It doesn’t show much of what it went through to get there, but it gets most of the point across. The picture was taken 200 feet away and looking down from the road.

I got into a major accident today that I was able to somehow walk away from. I lost control of my car and went off of a cliff into boulders, and after flipping a few times, settled in the river. I walked away with cuts on my hands from the broken glass and a bruise that runs from my chest over my left shoulder where my seat belt held me in place.

I shouldn’t be alive discussion on Reddit.

swapsrox: Time to send a letter to the manufacturer thanking them for their safety design! I guarantee your letter will be put on an engineer’s wall, and they’ll know there is a reason they go to work every day.

cmdshftn: Great engineering saved your life. The vehicle’s safety systems from the seatbelt to the crumple zones to the design of the seat kept you safe and alive despite all hell going on around you. Please write a letter to the manufacturer thanking their design team, but above all, follow up with whoever you need to in that jurisdiction to find out why there isn’t a guard rail on that road! Vehicle safety helps, but great road design to prevent an accident like yours helps more!

Related: Electronic Stability Control Could Prevent 33% of Crash DeathsDriver Thanks Engineer Who Hit Him on PurposeSmokeless Stove Saves LivesToyota Scion iQ: 37 MPGEngineer Tried to Save His Sister and Invented a Breakthrough Medical Device

photo of Crista, crash survivor

Photo of Crista, the crash survivor

These sort of accidents happen on this stretch of highway an average of a couple times a day during the Winter and continue to be a problem a couple times a month during the Summer due to the lack of guard rails (Source: California Highway Patrol).
I want to thank my rescuers who unfortunately witnessed my accident, called 911 right away, helped me get out of the river and climb up the boulders, helped me collect some of my things that survived, and kept me warm until the paramedics arrived. You all left before I could thank you in person.

And I want to thank the engineers for building such an awesome car

RIP VIBErator! It was snowing/raining hard on Highway 50 between Sacramento and South Lake Tahoe, CA on 4/15/13. My car fish tailed out of my control and I went off what is essentially a cliff. My front end hit the boulders first, flipped onto my back end, flipped back onto the front, and then settled sideways in the river. It took a dive team, two tow trucks, a flat bed, and $5000 out of pocket to get it out of the river. ALWAYS WEAR YOUR SEAT BELT!

The above comments also makes it seem like failing to take advantage of the engineering solution offered by guard rails is a risky decision. Installing guard rails costs quite a bit of money (probably not helped by inefficient government practices) so I would imagine that is the tradeoff that leads to unsafe roads.

7 Responses to “Engineers Save a Life”

  1. Anonymous
    April 22nd, 2013 @ 5:55 am

    I am happy to see that Christa is well.

    It is true that the security of today’s cars has evolved in an exponential way thanks to the engineers that struggle to find better sans safer techniques. A lot of lives have been spared because the cars are more and more secure.

    A big thank to all the engineers of the world that do their best for us!!!

  2. Felipe Porto Advogado
    April 22nd, 2013 @ 3:30 pm

    I give a lot of importance to safety when buying a car. Recently I had to change my sedan to a minivan, not because of space but ‘cos my three kids were not well acomodated in they seat belts on the back seat. So a more spacious minivan can carry three children with the safety I need.

  3. Chris
    April 24th, 2013 @ 8:44 pm

    iam happy to read that christa is well! what a story!

  4. harry james
    May 13th, 2013 @ 11:51 am

    It is true that the security of today’s cars has evolved in an exponential way thanks to the engineers that struggle to find better sans safer techniques. A lot of lives have been spared because the cars are more and more secure.

  5. Henrik
    May 23rd, 2013 @ 5:57 am

    That is a bit impressive that she can walk away from that accident.

    I had an old small car before which have never heard the word safety, but that was before I got children, now I have high priority in safety.

  6. Mark
    July 1st, 2013 @ 4:36 am

    A similar accident happened to my niece but unfortunately she didnt make it.
    Crista is very very lucky and im happy for her

  7. Andrew
    July 9th, 2013 @ 4:19 pm

    All engineers are heros to me. Come from a long history of heros myself! 🙂

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