When BMW introduced the new i8, their engineering team didn’t just speak at length about the lightweight savings of the carbon fiber structure, but also about the safety associated with the use of the expensive and cutting-edge technology.
Fast forward two years and today we see an i8 saving lives. According to a Bimmerfest forum member – and the EMS team – this i8 saved the life of a teenager. The father tells an emotional story that no BMW safety advertising campaign can ever match.
I’ve had a few pm’s regarding the demise of my i8, so I thought I’d post a quick synopsis of what happened now that the dust has settled. Yes, the driver was my teenaged son. No, neither drugs nor alcohol were involved. What was involved was an unfamiliar dark country road, an unmarked gate across the road, and the combination of gravel and antilock brakes. Yes, he was inexperienced enough to rely on the GPS showing the road continuing straight onward, and yes, he was probably driving too fast (no posted speed limit on the road, so knowing kids, yeah). They hit the gate, the airbags immediately deployed, blocked their field of vision so they did not see the immediate turn in the road and embankment. Car hit the embankment and flipped.
Here’s where BMW gets my loyalty. BMW assist was talking to him immediately after the airbags deployed. They alerted EMS exactly to where the car was, in a very rural, unmarked area, they alerted my husband and me, and within minutes the stabilization of the car and the passengers had begun. EMS personnel were talking among themselves when I arrived – they were amazed that the passenger had gotten out by himself and walked away (no injuries, did not require treatment), and that the driver was alert and talking (concussion, two compression fractures). With the severity of the impact they had expected no survivors. In the days that followed, the insurance investigator and the EMS scene supervisor both called multiple times to say they had never seen anything like the stress-absorbing features of the carbon fiber structure and that the stabilization of the battery and human compartments on impact was amazing. They made it clear that it was the engineering of the vehicle that was responsible for my son’s life. And yes, the kid learned his lesson. He now drives an old Subaru with a speed tracking device on it (MotoSafety, if you have kids, it’s great), and the replacement money from the insurance company went straight into a hospital project in Cambodia. Here’s the photos, there are more on the album in my profile.
More photos below.