wrecked HCH-II/ good safety report

Discussion in 'Honda Hybrids' started by jmelson, Nov 3, 2008.

  1. jmelson

    jmelson Well-Known Member

    Well, my learning how to get good mileage on my 2008 HCH-II has come to a premature end. Saturday night, my 21 year old daughter was zipping around town in "Daddy's car" and sheared off a telephone pole and ended up upside down. At least she was wearing the seal belt. Amazingly, she didn't get a scratch on her, although she has a few small bruises and sore muscles. I guess those air bags really work. The car is an unbelievable mess, I think maybe she stood it on the front bumper and then it nosed over, smashing the roof in against the pole. Anyway, that is sort of my guess from the damage. 3 of the 4 doors still open and shut again, which amazed me.

    But, now I am out one car, only two months old, and 3200 miles! Arrghhh! I will report on what happens with the insurance. I've never had a brand-new car totalled before, and have no idea how this will turn out financially. Umm, I ***DO*** know our insurance rates will be higher next year!

    Last edited: Nov 3, 2008
  2. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Oh no!!!! :ccry:

    I'm glad that at least your daughter is okay... but she shouldn't be driving again anytime soon. :mad:
  3. Kacey Green

    Kacey Green Well-Known Member

    I'm glad your daughter is ok, the car can be replaced.

    Was she distracted or racing?

    The HCHII does really well in roll-over crashes. I've had three customers roll theirs:
    The first was someone who steers where they look, which happened to be over an embankment (she was looking at her daughter) with the highway being higher than the rest of the terrain and her high rate of speed the car rolled 3-5 times side over side.

    The second was speeding in the rain and caught a soft muddy shoulder all I know is they rolled once.

    The third was eating a biscuit from McDonalds and a piece of it got stuck, he passed out and the car did half a summersault somewhere along the way. The seatbelt cleared his blockage, he said next thing he knew he was upside down in the seat and some young man was trying to help him unbuckle.

    All three had no major injuries and two bought new Civics, one an Accord. Their experiences where one of the final pushes to get me into my '09 HCHII from the Prius.

    Let us know if there is anything we can do to help.
  4. laurieaw

    laurieaw Sorceress of the North

    holy cow. how scary for both of you. i am glad she's ok.
  5. SlowHands

    SlowHands Hypermiling Ironman

    Wow. Glad your daughter is ok.
  6. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Jmelson:

    ___I am glad to hear your daughter is ok and I hope the experience makes her an even better driver in the future.

    ___As with any vehicle, it gave its life up for your daughter and you have to give Honda Engineers credit for that one.

    ___Good Luck

  7. jmelson

    jmelson Well-Known Member

    Neither, but she has a rep for driving fast. Fast enough that it scares some of our other kids, so we've heard about it before, and warned her. Lately, my wife hasn't let her drive with any of our other kids due to these reports. (Of course, she never drives fast when WE are in the car!) She admits she was doing about 50 MPH before the accident.

    Oh, yeah, once is a while I get in a car after she has driven it, and the radio was left set to "earthquake" volume levels! I couldn't drive like that, it messes with my focus on what is happening around me. So, yeah, distraction could easily be part of it. We've warned her MANY times about it. This particular daughter had some REAL problems when learning driving, she is nearly oblivious to what is going on around her, and often pulled out right in front of semis or whatever. She recently got glasses for the first time, and we were hoping that was helping her, but she wasn't WEARING them when she had the accident. But, I doubt that had anything to do with this particular incident, she was just going WAY too fast. 50 or so on a winding, hilly, 30 MPH road. I think, on dry pavement, I could have kept a good car on that road at 50. But, an inexperienced driver (well, she's 21, she shouldn't be that inexperienced) in a car she hadn't driven a whole lot, at night, got surprised at what was suddenly happening, and overcorrected. When I get caught unawares going too fast on a curve, I know, from experience, to go easy on sudden changes in momentum, and use the margins of the road (when available) to aid in getting it back under control. Maybe I have to give her some defensive driving lessons. Right now, she won't drive at all, and I don't blame her.
    Well, so the HCH-II administers the Heimlich maneuver, too!?! Wow, what will they think of next!
    OK, why did you change to the HCH-II? Because you work for them, or did you really like the Honda better? Was it all safety (yes, I AM impressed, when a compact car comes out this good after meeting a PHONE POLE head on, at, maybe, 40 MPH!) I have the opportunity to switch here, and have been thinking about the Prius. I didn't know, when I bought the HCH-II, about the sizable loss in economy in cooler weather (here in MO is sure hasn't gotten real cold yet, but the drop in mileage has already been quite easy to see) and those darn rear seats that COULD have been made to fold, even IF the battery was still across the middle, you could stuff some long items over or under it.

    I saw the car Saturday night at the police station, while it was perched on a tilt-bed wrecker, and tried to get some stuff out of it. We went over to the tow yard today, during daylight, and got a much better look at it. Kind of amazing, once I thought to open the left rear door from the inside, ALL FOUR doors and the trunk still opened and shut! 3 of them were normal, one had the outside handle damaged enough that it wouldn't unlatch from the outside. The car is MASSIVELY smashed. It went through a phone pole, and landed upside down. I still haven't figured exactly what caved in the rear roof, it kind of looks like the car may have done a half somersault and the rear roof hit the upper part of the pole, it has a U-shaped dent in the middle, pretty much bringing the center of the rear roof down to the top of the trunk. But, the roof pillars held so well the doors can still open and shut! Incredible!

    Ahh, psychology is weird! A 2-month old car with only 3200 miles on it gets converted to total scrap, and I'm delighted to find 7 cans of soda that hadn't popped open during the impact!

  8. jmelson

    jmelson Well-Known Member

    Oh, I DO! In another message I give some details about how well the structure of the car held together in a QUITE serious accident. After looking at it in daylight, I am totally astonished that all 4 doors still open and shut! I may get some pics on my web site if somebody is interested in seeing them.

    My daughter is quite lucky, of course, that the strongest parts of the car were directly impacted upon the phone pole. If a big chunk of that had come through the windshield, for instance, passenger compartment integrity wouldn't have done her any good.

  9. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member

    I'm glad to hear this report, but I am very sorry for your loss. Hopefully, the insurance company will be generous. I would do some searching to see what the street value is and be prepared to do some hard negotiating if they try to lowball you. That is an adjuster's directive with many companies, so be ready. What brand of insurance do you have?

    I'm glad to hear that it held up well safety wise. In 168 days (she's counting) my daughter will turn 16 and be driving the HCHII. She wants a Jetta, but this reinforces why she needs to drive a Honda.
  10. Kacey Green

    Kacey Green Well-Known Member

    I had noticed a nice drop in FE during my first and second winters with the Prius too. My main reason was that my commute changed and the HCHII is a better highway car than the Prius. The peer pressure and who the employer was didn't really factor in. After FE what factored was the safety ratings were marginally better. I've been happy with my purchase. Plus the bluetooth and navigation system are leaps and bounds better than the Toyota systems.
  11. brick

    brick Answers to "that guy."

    I think (though I could be wrong) I read a post by msantos in which he said that the cold-weather hit on the HCH-II is actually less severe than with the Prius. That makes sense to me for anyone with a city-type cycle since the Prius tends to idle rather than shut down when it's cold. On the highway it probably doesn't make much of a difference.

    Glad to hear that your daughter came out of this unharmed! And I really, really hope that she learns from this mistake. I'm only a few years older than she is and I remember having some of the same tendencies. I occasionally got the urge to drive my slow car fast, and avoided wrecking a few times only by the skin of my teeth. (I think I told myself I was "good" at the time...what a joke that was.) Some are naturally great and safe drivers, the rest of us have to learn.

    I'm wondering if a hands-on defensive driving course would help restore her confidence and keep her out of trouble later. Some driving schools will take you out on a slippery track and show you the ragged edge of handling. (My youngest brother's drivers' ed course included a day of this.) It teaches you how limited a car really is, and builds a healthy respect for it. And it's a good deal safer than my learning method of playing tag with snow banks on icy New England back roads. :D Talk it over with her.
  12. Kacey Green

    Kacey Green Well-Known Member

    I forgot to mention I traded a Civic on the Prius, and the Prius for a Civic.

    I really missed having a Honda, they way they do things is really unique.
  13. Harold

    Harold Well-Known Member

    I think Brick is bang on! Make sure your next car you lend her has ANTI- SKID option. May help keep your insurance rates from going thriugh the roof? H
  14. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member

    Post some pics if you have them of the car.
  15. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    Glad your daughter is OK.
    My 22 yo son also managed to ding our 2006 Prius.It was relatively minor- low speed barely sideswiped a parked car.


  16. jmelson

    jmelson Well-Known Member

    Oh, our insurance IS DEFINITELY going to go through the roof! I wouldn't be surprised if we end up with the "special risks" division of Lloyds of London soon. We just got the bill for the next six months, and this accident hadn't happened when that bill was printed. The '89 Corolla wagon I had been driving got crunched by an uninsured motorist when a friend was borrowing it, then #2 daughter got a speeding ticket, then #1 daughter wrecks a 2-month old car with 3200 miles on it. Ohhhh, they are going to eat us for lunch!

    Did you know it is state law in MO that if you get hit by an uninsured motorist, you have to sue them yourselves, state law FORBIDS the insurance from making any settlement on the collision part of your loss? (At least, this is what the adjuster told my wife. I was incredulous!) This doesn't apply to the totalled HCH-II, but the '89 Corolla, which didn't have any collision coverage, anyway. Hell, on that car, a broken headlight housing makes for a total loss, costs more than the car is worth.

    So, anyway, now all our cars have anti-skid, air bags, etc. But, anti-skid doesn't work when you try to take a curvy road at 50 MPH. I will do something about defensive driving training, especially when we get some snow here. There's a big school parking lot near here. Right now we need to get her calmed down so she will even get behind the wheel again. She hasn't driven since the accident.

    Thanks for all your good wishes and suggestions!

  17. Kacey Green

    Kacey Green Well-Known Member

    What has her temperament been when riding in a car since the accident?
  18. jmelson

    jmelson Well-Known Member

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 7, 2008
  19. jmelson

    jmelson Well-Known Member

    Oh, just fine, as long as somebody ELSE is doing the driving. She has 3 days off school now, maybe we will be able to get her driving next Monday. We will see.
    It's not like she has no idea what went wrong, she knows exactly what she did wrong.

  20. Kacey Green

    Kacey Green Well-Known Member

    I've seen a number of smashed Hondas Acuras and Toyotas, but that is definitely one of the worst roofs I've seen.

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