HOW A BUS FLY OFF THE ROAD TO A VALLEY OF 40 FEET WITHOUT SOMERSAULTING
An accident that looks magical, surprising, shocking and miraculous but yet true occurred along an expressway in the south-eastern road in Nigeria. I was traveling from Onitsha to Port Harcourt when we came across this miraculous accident along the road leading to Owerri city, the capital of Imo state.
It was not just a surprise but a lesson to learn from by other commercial drivers, a vehicle belonging to a very popular transport company (name withheld or look at the bus body) flew off the expressway at a very high speed to a depth of about 40 feet with all the passengers in it, yet the vehicle did not tumble or sustained any injury.
When I made enquiry to ascertain what actually led to such a suicide mission, I realized that the driver was driving at a very high speed and on reaching to this small bent corner he could not realize the little pothole which caused his hand to deviate in controlling the steering the moment he hit the stone, and being that the expressway was not barricaded with any concrete material the bus immediately fly off the road to a very deep value of which when I measured it with my eye view should be about forty feet deep.
According to one of the passengers who was still recovering from the shock, he said that the driver was having a conversation with one of the passengers and could not notice the sharp pothole in the bent cover, but the driver on the other hand who survived the accident denied the allegation and said that he was driving at the normal speed and was fully focused on the road when the accident occurred, he rather attributed it to spiritual forces that want to suck his blood and that of the passengers.
When everyone were checked to see if any casualty occurred it was discovered that none sustained any injury neither any life was lost, though no record in loss of life from the discovery but we noticed that one old woman fainted immediately bus flew off the road as a result of that she was quickly brought out and given first aid after which she recovered within few minutes, hence making everyone’s mind to calm down.
Considering this report for the Engineers in Gist time.com, I decided to look into the factors could have been controlled to avoid this type of situation or to be controlled to avoid the future occurrences;
THE DRIVER MAY BE ON HIGH SPEED
Though from the report the driver denied it but when reasoning from the engineering perspective, we all know that increase in velocity will increase the momentum of a body, and at higher momentum, the force required to control the body becomes higher according to the collision theory.
It might be that the driver drove at standard speed but while reaching that location the velocity of the bus was greatly increase such that the momentum of the bus was able to carry the whole mass of the bus off the road instantly.
THE DRIVER LOST CONTROL OF THE STEERING
Yes, this is completely true if the momentum was actually high because at that instant he needs extra force to control the steering due to the increased momentum.
THE BUS ACTUALLY CLIMBED THE GALLOP OR POTHOLE
In the real sense of engineering reasoning if the bus did not climb the gallop it could have tumbled on the road without flying off the road , newton’s first law of motion said that a body will continue in its state of motion unless acted upon by an external force, with the gallop as an external force the bus would have tended to stop itself from moving further thereby forcing the back tires to lift up from the ground quickly and when it lifts up such that it made an angle above 450 it will tumble with the beneath of the bus facing upwards, this will be greatly assisted by the high momentum the bus has acquired.
So the momentum was high enough to cause a drastic skipping of the tires off the gallop such that the resistant force of the gallop was quickly overcome by the tires, but because it is a bent corner and at high speed which disarmed the driver from controlling what he started the vehicle has no option than to fly off the main track.
EVERYTHING HAPPENED VERY QUICKLY AND MOST PASSENGERS MIGHT BE SLEEPING
Yes it is obvious that the whole incident happened quickly such that the passengers could not realize it on time, because it not so the speed would have been so obvious to call the attention of the driver, and the fact that most of them said it happened like a movie just before they could realize what happened was when the bus landed on the valley while few that was awake just shouted; JESUS!!! Before others woke up.