2017 Smartcar Hydroplane Wreck




On 2/6/2017 while on my morning commute to the office my Smartcar hydroplaned and slammed into the center divide.  This was on Highway 280 going north near the Farm Hill Exit in Redwood City, California.

The movie:


Below is a picture of where the car came to rest.


A picture of the inside of the car with the airbags deployed.  There are two deployed, one out of the steering wheel and the other is a "curtain" down where my knees were.  My legs were unscathed, not a single scratch or bump or bruise.  The airbag coming out of the steering wheel scraped my arms a bit.



My left knuckles had a bruise from the accident.


My right hand had a tiny amount of blood from superficial skin cuts.


My left arm had a big bruise/surface scratch.  I think this was from the airbag.  Not pictured here but where the seatbelt crosses over my collar bone was swollen and hurt a bit, and developed a rash by the next day.


A selfie to prove it's me and my wreck.  :-)


The front left car wheel damage.


Below is a closer picture of the front end damage.  I don't think the windshield was even cracked.  No windows were broken!


Front left wheel damage.


The debris field behind me NONE of which is from my car.


Some debris not from my car.


A picture of the inside of the car with airbags deployed.  The paper towel roll is there because I pulled it out of the back to wipe blood off my knuckles.


Another picture of the airbag.  I think it's fuzzy because the adrenaline was making my hands shake, plus it was raining which might have gotten the iPhone lens blurry.


The police officer parked there to slow people down and protect me until the tow truck came.  The police officer said he was in this exact spot about 20 minutes earlier with ANOTHER car that had an accident like mine.  (sigh)  It would be nice if the highway could be improved to not have huge rivers of water running over it.  You know, maybe put a drain at that spot so nobody dies and no more cars are destroyed?


The tow truck arrives.


The tow truck drags my car up onto the ramp.


Smartcars have a "tow hook eye bolts" (found under the passenger side carpet, install by hand).  In the picture below, the tow truck didn't think to use these, and I was too frazzled to remember they existed (I remembered later).


The tow truck operator was "Chris" and was a nice guy.  One of my coworkers said that most tow truck operators seem to be genuinely nice people.  Their whole job is helping people out of difficult situations.


Chris explained that the tow truck is supposed to get the car off the highway as soon as possible, but then he pulls off at the next exit to secure the car better for the journey to the shop.


The rear left of the car sustained some damage.  I'm not exactly sure when this occurred, I might have spun around by 360 degrees.


The rear left wheel damage.


This is the front left wheel damage, just rotated so you can see the damage as we drop the car off at the body shop.


The RIGHT side of the Smartcar looks utterly un-touched.  The doors open just fine, and not a single window was broken in the car.


A quick picture of the tow company "International" truck.  They are "Broadway Auto Service" out of Redwood City, California.


That's it!

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