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Old 12-06-2003, 12:31 PM   #1
Snitt
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Default Gotta love the WRX suspension. Gotta hate SUV's. (Pics inside)

Where to begin...

We were driving home from seeing Timeline up at Valley View on the 28th. My friend Jim was driving my car at my request. 77S was snow-covered, and we were doing about 45mph in the right lane. I was in the back seat, and my friend Mike was riding shotgun.

On our rear, a GMC Envoy starts flying up on our ass. Instead of slowing down, he pulled to the left to pass us. As soon as I saw the headlights move, I heard Jim get off the gas and get ready. The GMC blew by us like we were standing still. As soon as I saw the back bumper of the car, I heard Jim say "Oh ****" and we started to veer to the left. He got the car around, but we pointed to the right side of the road and slid perpendicular to the road for about 20 feet. I saw the plastic marker things getting closer and feared for my paint job.

But we didn't stop. We slid over and down an 10-foot embankment and slammed into a little creek at the bottom. We cleared that and ended up facing uphill with our rear end to the highway. I figured my front end was shot. Jim called AAA and they called a tow truck, which was going to be a 1 hour wait.

So I got out of the car and immediately came upon my passenger side foglight housing. Not looking good so far...Surprisingly, the front end looked fine, so Jim checked under the hood for leaks. Nothing but a freaking huge chunk of mud covering the area under the license plate bracket. We got back in the car to wait.

The tow truck guy got there within an hour, but because we were so far off the road, he didn't think he'd have enough cable to pull us out. After he and Jim wrestled with the cable for about 20 minutes, they finally pulled us out. Zillo and I were singing Madonna songs to pass the time.

We got back to Jims, and I pulled a giant pile of mud out of my front fender. It's still in his driveway. His hose wasn't working, so I took it home. On the way home, I stopped at a DIY power wash and hosed it off. Surprisingly, NONE of the metal appeared to be dented/scratched. Here's the battle damage from what I could tell:

Passenger side foglight: F-ed up from hitting the mud in the creek. The blue housing will need to be replaced (or covered, as I was planning on doing anyway)

Front bumper: Badly cracked. I'll need to replace it.

Bumper area under license plate bracket: Bent up from the mud. I think I can pop it back into place. It's not cracked from what I can tell.

Hood (Driver's side): Is obviously arched by the headlight. It wobbles when I shake it. I'm going to check it more tomorrow, but it'll need to be fixed.


Overall, we were blessed. I think God was watching over us, because I looked out the back window and saw that we missed the start of the metal guard rail by about 15 feet. If we had hit that, the driver's side would have been crunched. I think that Jim did just what I would have done in the same circumstances, and I think that the accident would have happened no matter what. Freaking SUV's doing 70 in the snow should be shot.
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Old 12-06-2003, 12:32 PM   #2
Snitt
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Pics:




Here's looking down on the radiator. Notice the upper left corner. You can see the passenger side of the radiator pushed back about an inch from the mud. You can also see the bumper creased and the line of light brown mud.




Passenger foglight. I can't get the cover on because the housing is pushed up. You can see the nice crack in the upper left corner of the foglight.
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Old 12-06-2003, 12:32 PM   #3
Snitt
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Better shot of the crack.


Driver's side crack under the foglight.



The hood doesn't close right. Not too bad, though.





Black plastic area fubarness.

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Old 12-06-2003, 12:39 PM   #4
bull3964
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I'm a little confused on how an SUV passing you caused you to go into a ditch.
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Old 12-06-2003, 12:40 PM   #5
Snitt
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It blew by us so fast and so close that the wind from it buffeted us. It was also a little windy that night.
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Old 12-06-2003, 12:45 PM   #6
bull3964
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I think the real cause of the accident was the throttle lift off. That's death on an AWD car like the WRX and will cause the back end to swing around like no one's business.
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Old 12-06-2003, 12:47 PM   #7
Snitt
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That's what somebody else told me. So if it happens again, I should stay on the throttle?
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Old 12-06-2003, 12:59 PM   #8
bull3964
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The biggest thing you need to remember when driving this car in low traction situations is no sudden transitions (especially with the stock tires). Everything should be in slow motion. If you need to slow down, start doing it LONG before you need to so you do it gradually.

The lift off is what initated the yaw, I've had it happen to myself on mud before. If your friend wouldn't have tried to slow down at all as the SUV passed, you probably would have been fine.

Last edited by bull3964; 12-06-2003 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 12-06-2003, 01:02 PM   #9
A_Train
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NEVER do a quick lift throttle in the snow
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Old 12-06-2003, 01:07 PM   #10
Snitt
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Cool, I'll try that next time. I made it home OK last night in the storm that dropped 6" of snow on Canton. I was doing 25 the whole way, though.

I must admit, the scooby is a far cry from my 2001 Firebird Formula. I would have been so dead last night! I'm just glad that this wreck didn't break any of my suspension pieces. Plastic panels are easy to replace (body kit excuse!!) and bumpers can be pulled out.
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Old 12-07-2003, 02:29 PM   #11
Impresario
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Unless the SUV was traveling at Mach 1, I'm inclined to believe that the cause of the spin was the lift off of the throttle as well.
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Old 12-07-2003, 03:00 PM   #12
sonicsuby
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Quote:
Originally posted by bull3964
I think the real cause of the accident was the throttle lift off. That's death on an AWD car like the WRX and will cause the back end to swing around like no one's business.
werd.
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Old 12-07-2003, 03:13 PM   #13
nddl05
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so how are you supposed to slow down in the snow if you can't lift off the throttle?
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Old 12-07-2003, 03:14 PM   #14
T-WRX
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Quote:
Originally posted by Snitt
That's what somebody else told me. So if it happens again, I should stay on the throttle?
Yepper. Never lift.

When in limited traction, I am much more careful decellerating or braking than I am getting on the gas.

Thank God you are all okay.
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Old 12-07-2003, 05:55 PM   #15
kami333
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That's exactly what I did, lifted off the throttle and ended up sliding sideways into a guard rail.
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Old 12-07-2003, 06:56 PM   #16
Zornorph
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That's a bummer - glad you're all ok. Insurance will take care of the car.

Better luck.
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Old 12-07-2003, 08:14 PM   #17
foreSTir
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You could release the clutch to coast; if you lift throttle while in gear, the engine braking will transfer weight off the rear. By declutching, you should remain neutral.

Disclaimer: I don't have an STI so do not know if this is the best way to drive it. This works for front drive.
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Old 12-07-2003, 11:17 PM   #18
Slowpoke
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Quote:
Originally posted by nddl05
so how are you supposed to slow down in the snow if you can't lift off the throttle?
Roll off the gas. Don't snap off.
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Old 12-08-2003, 12:42 AM   #19
TheMirror
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Quote:
Originally posted by Slowpoke
Roll off the gas. Don't snap off.
Exactly. Saying don't lift at all is wrong. You just have to be very measured with rolling off the gas.
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Old 12-08-2003, 02:55 AM   #20
quentinberg007
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It does suck when you see someone driving pretty crazy in bad conditions though. It unnerves me because they could fly out of control at any time. Sucks about the damage, though.

~~Quentin
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Old 12-08-2003, 03:35 AM   #21
totoherbs
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Quote:
Originally posted by nddl05
so how are you supposed to slow down in the snow if you can't lift off the throttle?
You dont.... you pray....

Quote:
Originally posted by quentinberg007
It does suck when you see someone driving pretty crazy in bad conditions though. It unnerves me because they could fly out of control at any time. Sucks about the damage, though.

~~Quentin

I saw people flying up and down my street all day... we have 27 inches on the ground.
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Old 12-08-2003, 06:05 AM   #22
charles s
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Yeah, I had a Mitsubishi Montero pass me doing 50 or 60 over the double yellow one time on a snowy moutain pass in Oregon. I hate that. There was no way he could keep that up forever without hurting himself or somebody else.

Sorry to hear that it happened, did the passer stop to help or did he keep going?
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Old 12-08-2003, 09:08 AM   #23
briank
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Quote:
Originally posted by Snitt
It blew by us so fast and so close that the wind from it buffeted us. It was also a little windy that night.
sonic BOOM!

Seriously, I'm sorry about the accident for you. That sucks. People are right though about the throttle lift.

-BrianK
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Old 12-08-2003, 09:24 AM   #24
nitrohuffer
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You have more damage than you think. The bottom radiator strut is bent up forcing the verticle support to bend the upper radiator strut. That's why the hood wont close all the way. Sorry to here what happend.
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Old 12-08-2003, 01:21 PM   #25
dcp673
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Sorry man, that really sucks.
Is it me or does it look like there is a face in the upper right #2pic. It could be God watching over you.
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