Extraordinary safety features of 'flying car' saved occupants' lives
Safety features in the car involved in last Sunday’s horrific smash in Epsom almost certainly saved its occupants lives.
The extraordinary incident, described by one of the occupants of the silver Lexus as being “like something out of a disaster movie” happened at 3am, on September 16, in Bridge Road, Epsom, after the driver missed his turning off Alexandra Road into Upper High Street.
The car demolished a post box, crashed through a fence, hit an Audi TT and then a Honda Jazz before going airborne and smashing a huge hole in the first floor of the house.
But despite that, all three occupants were able to walk away with minor injuries.
The Lexus IS they were driving costs up to £58,000, weighs 2,045kg, and prides itself on its advanced safety features.
These include eight airbags, including knee bags for the two front seats, and the front passenger’s airbag was the first in the world to use a twin- chamber construction.
A Lexus spokesman said: “The IS 250 SE-L is available with the option of adaptive cruise control which maintains a safe, pre-set distance from the vehicle ahead, and Lexus’ pre-crash safety system, which determines when a frontal collision is unavoidable and tensions the front seatbelts and prepares to engage emergency braking to help minimise impact.
"The highly rigid body shell features numerous structural reinforcements to enhance its performance in a collision.
“An octagonal section front side member crash box improves energy absorption within a shorter front overhang.
"The inner door reinforcements have been strengthened and the gap between the inner door panel and the B-pillar has been reduced.
"This directs the impact load to the door belt line reinforcement more effectively, reducing the load on the pillar in the event of an offset frontal collision.”
Neighbour Phillipe Sibelly, who inspected the wreckage, said: “The Lexus is a very, very solid car – it was actually in quite a good state considering it smashed into the wall.”
Rob Garrett, of Alexandra Road, saw the crash site when he popped out for some milk that morning.
He said: “It was unbelievable really. I was in shock as the car had travelled such a distance.
"The driver said he had just lost control and the passenger said to me that it looked like something out of a disaster movie.
“I can’t imagine how fast he was going.”
A Surrey Police spokeswoman said the driver was not under arrest and investigation was continuing.