How Did This Maruti Alto End Up In A Roadside Well In Kerala?

Modified On May 06, 2022 11:44 PM By CarDekho

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The Alto’s driver lost control after attempting to avoid a previous collision with other vehicles

A Maruti Alto fell down a well after going off a road in a Kerala town. Luckily, all passengers managed to survive the accident and were safely rescued from the well by emergency crews. Unfortunately, accidents such as these are far from rare in our country, and many of them result in severe injuries or even loss of life. 

How did the Maruti Alto fall into a well?

It’s unclear what caused the accident, but reports and a CCTV video suggest that the Alto ran off the road while trying to avoid another collision. The driver did still hit a two-wheeler which fell to the side as the Alto continued onwards, narrowly avoiding a pedestrian. Ultimately, the hatchback collided with a makeshift stone “wall” surrounding an open well, easily broke through the wall and ended up inside the well. 

It seems that a couple of vehicles were attempting to cross in front of the Alto to merge into the other lane on the two-lane road. Instead of braking, the Alto driver swerved rightward to avoid them and ended up on the wrong side.

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Reportedly, there were four passengers in the Maruti Alto, all of whom were rescued with the help of bystanders, the police and fire brigade. The car was pulled out from the well in a severely damaged state. Such a crash is likely to have damaged the engine as well, both from the accident and from being submerged in water. 

It’s possible that driver error played a role in the accident, but it’s undeniable that the well’s location at the side of the road wasn’t ideal. Moreover, the retaining wall likely wouldn’t have withstood a collision with even a smaller vehicle such as an autorickshaw or two-wheeler. 

Was it even possible to avoid such a car accident?

Taking the right decisions while driving and being fully alert can go a long way to prevent road accidents. In this case, the driver might have been better off if he had braked instead of swerving to avoid the crossing vehicles. It was certainly the Alto’s right of way, but once that right had been violated, it was likely better to yield to the cars instead of going on the wrong side of the road and into the path of oncoming traffic. 

What can I do to stay safer on the road?

Defensive driving can help you avoid accidents in general, but in some conditions, it can be absolutely essential to exercise restraint and stay calm. Here are some tips to help you avoid wells, drains or going off the road in general: 

Slow down: Try to stay close to the speed of traffic instead of speeding past everyone. It’s important to keep your speed in check when driving through a town or city. It allows you to watch out for pedestrians and keep an eye on unpredictable hazards that might appear without notice. 

Be fully alert: There’s no bargaining with sleep when it comes to driving on Indian highways. You must be properly awake and alert, especially when you’re driving longer distances. Take frequent breaks every few hours to stretch your legs. Try to share the load of driving, if possible. Energy drinks can be helpful, but they are no substitute for the right amount of sleep. 

Try to see far ahead: You can’t predict the future, but you can spot a potential hazard if you try to see as far forward as possible. This will also help you maintain a safe distance from the vehicles ahead of you and adjust your speed according to traffic and weather conditions.

Keep a safe distance: Try to keep a two or three second distance between yourself and the car in front. In addition, watch your sides and rearview mirrors to make sure other drivers don’t do something to compromise your safety (for example, overtaking from your left only to cut in front of you later). 

Stay off the overtaking lane: The right lane is always the overtaking lane, so avoid staying in that lane unless you’re overtaking a slower car. If you’re forced to stay in that lane, be ready to yield to faster vehicles. 

Remember that cars have blind spots: No matter which vehicle you use, always remember that car drivers don’t have a 360-degree view of the road. Areas behind A, B and C pillars are largely hidden from the driver’s view in most cars, and the rear visibility may be compromised by rear passengers, D-pillars, small windshields or sunshades. A good way to check if the driver can see you is to see if you can see the driver’s face. If you’re unsure, it’s best to yield and let the car pass. 

Use indicators before making a turn: Even if you have to make the slightest swerve, turn of the front wheel(s) or lane change, it’s extremely important to turn on your indicator ahead of time. 

Watch out for bad drivers and hazards: Unpredictable motorists are easy to spot for the alert driver, since they easily stand out from the crowd if you watch them long enough. People on phones, drunk drivers, and tired truck drivers are all people who can cause you hurt without meaning to do so.

The Maruti Alto involved in the crash was a relatively older car with fewer safety features. A next-generation Alto is just around the corner, and we expect it'll be safer with better structural rigidity and safety features. The upcoming compact hatchback sports a tallboy design that'll likely improve passenger space as well. Head to our last Alto spy story for the details.    

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