: my STS, TOTALED ....WARNING graphic material & dirty pictures inside!!!



freshchops
08-02-09, 05:50 AM
About two weeks ago, I took my STS off roading in the rain. It wasn't my idea, but hydroplaning was just the thing to do at the moment. So, long story short (or vise-versa):

I jumped on the interstate to head to an appointment. It had just started to rain and had been raining for about 8 minutes into my trip when it slacked off to a light drizzle. Everyone was still driving a little more slow and cautious as was I. I was in the passing lane and holding at about 70 MPH. For no apparent reason, I suddenly felt, actually I think I could more so see, my front end drifting left / counter-clockwise. I knew right away that this wasn't going to end up good. Reaction wise, I froze, of the millions of thoughts running through my mind, the most prevalent one was, there's nothing I can do: I brake, I'm screwed, I over steer I'm screwed, etc. So I locked myself into position, bracing myself up against the chair with both arms firmly locking the steering wheel while forcing myself up against the chair, including my head.

I should probably mention, the state had JUST added those safety wire-rope fences inside the interstate median... no more that a month ago. Because of this, and I am sure it plays a big factor why, I wasn't the least bit scared throughout. No life flashes before my eyes, no visions of family..... I think I'm capable of all of that, but was thoughts were.... here comes that fence, let's see what it's all about and I was also bummed out that this was going to be the complete detriment of my car. Yes, I was stressed about my car. Call it superficial or whatever, but I loved that car and knew between it and the fence I would be safe, but my car was in for a whole bunch of nastiness.

So, I can attest, the fence worked as it should! I ended up hitting it first with the front passengers side. I continued to spin around (not flip), but spin into the fence (like a slinky) as it slowed me down. Needless to say, and as if you haven't looked at the pictures already, it managed to tear up every single panel. Inside the car, I was completely unscathed. Not a bruise, not a scratch, not even a sore muscle. The inside cabin held it's form and showed no signs of indentation.... even where some larger impacts were. It's really quite amazing. I credit a great deal to the engineering of those safety fences as well as the quality, weight and craftsmanship of the STS. In hind sight, it could have been a great deal worst, either without the safety fences (hello to oncoming traffic) or in another vehicle. I do feel VERY fortunate and immediately got over the loss of the vehicle. I do wish it didn't have to happen, but for deep intuitive reasons, I feel it was better it happened then, like that, with nobody hurt. My tire treads were getting low, so it might have been inevitable at some point, in the rain, but maybe with my family in the car or somewhere without a safety fence..... so, everything for a reason.

I've tried to analyze and playback in my mind "what and why", but it mostly comes back to "if I was going to hydroplane, I was going to hydroplane". I do question the condition of the treads on my tires, which were low.... my negligence. I also wonder, the way it just decided to float off the road felt so unnatural and I guess unexpected but at the same time was very graceful and inevitable. Ironically, the car a little ways ahead of me suddenly swooped to the other lane in a way that caught my attention although they reason wasn't obvious, it just seemed it wasn't their time and place for that to happen. I also remotely wonder if I experienced any hydroplaning, and the "traction control" kicked in maybe even over-compensatingly corrected a particular tires rotation, so that when they found traction again, if even instantaniously, it sent me spinning? I'm not particularly ranting about the STS or even the experience, if anything, and by all means stay safe, but if you were to get into trouble in your STS, I can vouch for the level of security they provide.

Regardless, I learned some new things from this experience:

I've found out those wire-rope fences along the interstate are specifically made for "Caddy Flossing".

I also figured out the the "STS" stands for "Slick-Track Simulator".... and a very realistic one too!

Here's some before and after pics for your viewing pleasure (or horror).....

•*The before: 2005 STS V8, Mary-Kay promo-repaint, fully loaded:

http://www.thegraphixlab.com/TEMP/05sts/05STSca.jpg

http://www.thegraphixlab.com/TEMP/05sts/05STScb.jpg


• The after:

http://www.thegraphixlab.com/TEMP/05sts/05STSta.jpg

http://www.thegraphixlab.com/TEMP/05sts/05STStb.jpg

http://www.thegraphixlab.com/TEMP/05sts/05STStc.jpg

http://www.thegraphixlab.com/TEMP/05sts/05STStd.jpg


• Not the actual one, but a safety fence similar to this, and the one I hit was set further into the median, off of the road:

http://www.thegraphixlab.com/TEMP/05sts/fence.jpg


I'm currently waiting on the paperwork for my replacement car..... another STS!

P.S. I warned you about the "Dirty Pictures"

Jesda
08-02-09, 06:59 AM
http://smiliesftw.com/x/huge_shock.gif

Unique Distributing
08-02-09, 08:07 AM
Thank God For insurance!

Unique Distributing
08-02-09, 08:08 AM
ohh by the way. did the side airbags deploy?

widmann@hotmail.com
08-02-09, 08:09 AM
Wow! Glad you are safe.. Sorry about the STS.. Looks like it held up well considering... Hopefully your were well insured and you will be shopping for a new one soon..

AllWheelEric
08-02-09, 09:59 AM
I am glad to hear you're safe. Thanks for sharing.

Eric

Greg00coupe
08-02-09, 10:59 AM
Glad you came out OK. Cars can be replaced. A guy I know ran his Suburban, an auto trailer and a corvette in the trailer into one of those barriers with the same result. They truly are life savers.

hazcaddy
08-02-09, 11:34 AM
Looks like the wire strand dividers have enough give in them not to send you bouncing back across 3 lanes like a concrete Jersey Wall would. Glad you're safe.

The wheels rims still look good - why not talk to your insurers and see if you can have them, then you can put winter tires on them and do your own summer/winter changeover?

trackbait
08-02-09, 12:33 PM
Not too bad.. Beats running into a concrete bridge pillar.

turnerbend
08-02-09, 12:38 PM
Make you think about the old tired phrase " Driving to fast for conditions."

K STS
08-02-09, 05:57 PM
I agree. To prevent hydroplaning.... drive slower.

next2pool
08-02-09, 07:04 PM
What a shame guy!! We have those cable dividers here in the Phoenix area and they have had universally negative reviews for a lot of reasons!1

DBeaSST
08-02-09, 07:35 PM
Yikes! Sorry to see your car totaled but it did it's job and saved your life!

mbnv992
08-02-09, 09:04 PM
Wow, i was wondering the same thing (if your side airbags deployed).

Platinum06
08-02-09, 10:14 PM
Holy S H I T !

freshchops
08-02-09, 11:14 PM
Thanks for the sentiments. I really wanted to show this thread for what it's worth, that piece of mind about a crash situation and your car. There's nothing pretty about the pictures or the situation, but it could be looked at as a first hand review of a crash hold up..... and as I mentioned the inside was completely unscathed.

Regarding the airbags, this is a questionable outcome that I've talked to quite a few people. The ONLY airbags that deployed were the passengers side "side" airbags.... NOTHING ELSE. I was shocked that's all that deployed. Of the people I spoke to, mechanics, etc, they weren't all that surprised or disappointed and said that it's all situational and could be the expected results depending on how hard what panel hit and when. I don't really know about that and as far as airbag confidence on this car, I don't know if I'm convinced. My personal opinion is that throughout what happened, I think everything should have deployed and am still surprised it didn't. THAT BEING SAID: It completely worked out for the best that they didn't deploy. I was able to hold myself in a safe position the whole time, greatly due to being able to brace w/ the steering wheel. I think if the wheel airbag went off, I'm pretty sure it would have knocked away my arms... thus sending me flailing all around inside the car. So, flawed or not, it worked out for the best. So for that in a backwards way, I'm grateful. Why the drivers "side airbags" or even the passengers forward bags didn't deploy, I really don't know. I'd be interested in hearing a GM tech's opinion.

"Jesda" that "eek" is classic... LOL!!!!

"next2pool": I've really heard nothing but good things about the fences here. Of 14 incidences they've had here, all were very successful. I noticed when searching for a picture of them, they're made different depending on where they're at. It may be that Phoenix's engineering is inferior. Compared to the picture I pasted, ours here seem higher, the post spacing is greater and there is 5 ropes, not 3. The one pictured, in my opinion also seems too close to the shoulder, I would complain too if they were like that.

"tunerbend" and "K STS": you've got to be kidding me! A lecture, do you have any class WHATSOEVER? Neither of you clowns have ever hydroplaned I assume? First off, I can tell you that you can hydroplane going whatever.... 20 MPH. If it's going to happen, it's going to happen. As much as you self righteous f***s would like to think, this wasn't the direct result of negligence. I've prior, never had the slightess driving incidence other than someone backing into me in a parking lot, and consider myself responsible and a careful driver. I was cruising down the interstate in heavy traffic at the exact flow of traffic. Not faster or slower than a soul around me.... in fact if that piece of road at that time was dangerous (10 mins after rain, oil spot, un-absorbed water, etc.) and someone was going to plane off of it, I don't mind it was me, seeing that the outcome turned out ok. Have you ever talked to anyone who hydroplaned??? It's almost never provoked or due to negligence, meaning the drivers are just victim to the coincidental and spontaniously changing conditions of the road. If you could comprehend this, you could see how much of an ignorant hineyhole you come across to me. I kinda even don't blame you for assuming I asked for this, because when I see a situation, I instinctually wonder, what could have been done to avoid it. In this situation, because I witnessed first hand, there's nothing that could be done differently which makes lecturing pretentious and pointless! I sure would hate for you in either of all of you self righteousness one day fall victim to hydroplaning. That would surely break my heart ;) But anyway, I feel better knowing that you two clowns are not susceptible to it though since you've got the whole thing figured out. No doubt though, this thread was due a couple dumba$$, hineyhole comments. Congratulations!

next2pool
08-02-09, 11:47 PM
Thanks for the summary. As far as the wire fences in phoenix, I think it is an application problem in that they are all in sort of a "gulley". Some cars have gone through or under them, while others tend to snag rather than deflect--either has its issues I suppose. As far as the airbags, they need a set level of impact to set them off--that's much more complicated than just speed or deceleration. It is actually the "3rd derivative" of deceleration but that's getting way too technical. (I've been involved with airbags since they came out). I suspect they all did exactly what was called for. it's almost unheard of these days for them to malfunction. BTW, the derm or module can be read if it hasn't already been captured by your insurance company. It will reveal everything that happened including the events just before impact--speed, yaw, roll, braking, steering angle, airbag deployment plus more. Hope it all works out for you--that was a beautifull car!!

C&C
08-03-09, 05:32 AM
First off, glad you are okay.

Now, for a little evaluation of some of your comments. You implicate the traction control and airbags (as maybe not functioning as designed) but in my opinion they performed 'as designed' and correctly. Once your car started to hydroplane, your tires are no longer contacting the pavement and any traction control mechanisms just can't do anything to correct the situation until they regain contact (the hydroplaning began because of either too shallow a tread on your tire or too deep of water).

The other implication of mis-operation is that you felt that the front airbag should (maybe) have deployed. If you look at the front of your vehicle, you can see that there is only a relatively small amount damage. Your vehicle was saving that front airbag (in case further along the accident, you hit something a lot more solid, which would crunch the front end); kind of holding that last 'trump' card in reserve (in case you needed it).

Again, sorry for your crash, and again glad you are okay; you're STS did a stellar job and performed flawlessly in my opinion.

Regulator
08-03-09, 07:53 AM
I was cruising down the interstate in heavy traffic at the exact flow of traffic. Not faster or slower than a soul around me.... in fact if that piece of road at that time was dangerous (10 mins after rain, oil spot, un-absorbed water, etc.) and someone was going to plane off of it, I don't mind it was me, seeing that the outcome turned out ok.

This is my biggest concern with the STS or specifically the Michelins I drive on. With a sled like the STS, this thing can go from 0-360 degrees faster than any car I have ever been in. With the posi-traction, poor weight distribution and wide good for nothing michelin tires, you are right about the "slick track".

Your "driving at the same speed as everyone else" comment confirms my theory with the sts. Possibly the worst wet/snow weather car out there. I am usually 5-10mph slower that other freeway traffic due to my lack of trust in the stock Michelins and the feeling that the car ALWAYS wants to kick out from under me.

Don't get me wrong, I love driving the car, it just keeps me on edge in anything but sunny days.

Force-1
08-03-09, 08:17 AM
This is my biggest concern with the STS or specifically the Michelins I drive on. With a sled like the STS, this thing can go from 0-360 degrees faster than any car I have ever been in. With the posi-traction, poor weight distribution and wide good for nothing michelin tires, you are right about the "slick track".

Your "driving at the same speed as everyone else" comment confirms my theory with the sts. Possibly the worst wet/snow weather car out there. I am usually 5-10mph slower that other freeway traffic due to my lack of trust in the stock Michelins and the feeling that the car ALWAYS wants to kick out from under me.

Don't get me wrong, I love driving the car, it just keeps me on edge in anything but sunny days.

I agree on your Michelin comments, which is why I got rid of them shortly after I bought my car. I traded them in for new tires at Discount Tire--they had about 2k miles on them. DT gave me $150 for them.

c5 rv
08-03-09, 08:49 AM
One of the reasons more airbags did not deploy was to save them in case you really needed them later in the accident. In many high speed accidents, the first blow is glancing and the real impact is when the still speeding car hits a tree or bridge. If the airbags all deploy at the first blow, there is no protection when the car impacts the large, solid object.

Regulator
08-03-09, 05:00 PM
How much money is the insurance company giving you for it?

Thunder Gray STS
08-03-09, 05:50 PM
Anything worth doing is worth doing right! Glad you weren't hurt!

freshchops
08-03-09, 06:21 PM
'next2pool'
I'd be really interested in seeing a "derm or module" report...... any suggestions about how to obtain it? Do they make it available to the owners? As far as I know now, the insurance company still has it as a total.

'C&C'
as far as any suspicion about traction control, it'd be about wether it maybe unnecessarily was triggered and deactivated, creating a hydroplaning thrust when disengaged? I'm seriously doubting it, really, but just thought it's worth while to mention theories because ya' never know, a few other people start claiming similar experiences and it may bring something to light.

Same with the airbags, I'm not disappointed and I can see the logic about the level of impact vs. which one's triggered as mentioned by many here. I only mentioned it well, because some asked and if others have had experiences with questionable airbag deployment... it be worth considering. I'm really just taking my own consensus with considerations of replacing this car w/ another.

'c5RV'
I can see that, there wasn't really a bad head-on impact. The passengers front side was really messed up though and can be seen in the last car photo.... the link is messed up so it doesn't show up. Maybe I can get the mod. to fix the link.

If that's the case and the airbags did perform exactly as they should, given the degree of damage per side and what was going on inside..... I think they were amazing.

'Regulator'
as far as insurance goes. I was going to wait until all is said AND DONE before commenting on that. It's still in the works but should be all settled by this week. The insurance co., so far, has been 100% top notch.... super cooperative, friendly and very reasonable. I have Allstate and have had a very professional experience w/ them so far. As you know, it was deemed a 'totaled loss'. As far as the claim.... they offered 23,700. When I got it, it was 26,000 little over a year ago and I owed about 17k on it. I think the book's were valuing it between 19-22,000'ish so I feared they'd be low-balling me which hasn't been the case. I think they have been very reasonable! So far so good, but all checks haven't been issued yet, so I'll reserve my summary until then, but as of now, Allstate has been super accommodating.

megeebee
08-03-09, 06:48 PM
Ouch!


.

Thunder Gray STS
08-03-09, 07:53 PM
Don't forget to make AllState include the sales tax in the settlement!!

next2pool
08-03-09, 09:01 PM
The derm or module that controls and records all of the airbag and brake force systems can be read with a special reader that is available commercially. Many insurance companies will read the derm to substantiate what happened. This has been a very controversial issue but I think the courts have pretty well cleared its use as evidence. Many times, insurance and rental contracts will have small print allowing them to obtain or read the module. It certainly becomes part of the evidence if lawsuits are involved or serious injury or death incidents. GM will also seek the contents if a vehicle related lawsuit comes up.

ewill3rd
08-04-09, 07:00 AM
DERM is an old school term.
They actually switched to an SDM many years ago. Same function essentially but insted of using "Diagnostic Energy Reserve Module" we use a "Sensing and Diagnostic Module".
There are some differences but both do record crash data.
Bags only deploy if they are needed. It's not like Demolition Man where the car fills up with bags and foam. It sounds like you walked away and the car did what it was designed to do. Sorry for your loss, but cars can be replaced.
I won't give you a lecture on driving 70 in heavy rain. I am sure you learned everything you needed to from that incident.

I think people believe crash data is used against them a lot more than it really is.
I am not sure us laymen could even understand the data even if we could see it.

Glad you are okay and that the safety barriers did their job.

next2pool
08-04-09, 11:04 AM
Well it's sort of like calling the the modern Vortec V-8 a small block--it is what it is and sometimes these monikers hang in there for years--that has nothing to do with what the capabilities and outcome may be. I agree that most layman can't decode the info in one of those modules, but insurance companies, lawyers, and the automakers certainly have that capability. I'm involved in a business that routinely will obtain access to the module and it's data. The facts will speak for themselves and assist in accident analyses.

WillySTS
08-04-09, 12:12 PM
Well it's sort of like calling the the modern Vortec V-8 a small block--it is what it is and sometimes these monikers hang in there for years--.

Actually, more acurately, it is LS Series engine, since Vortec refers only to the truck lines and was also used with the later of the old truck engines, small and big blocks.:hide:

next2pool
08-04-09, 12:27 PM
Yup--that too :)