Though exempt from formal crash test standards in most countries, vehicles like the electric, Indian-built Reva – sold in England as the G-Wiz – have occasionally been subjected to informal tests, and the results have raised eyebrows. Years ago, Top Gear subjected a G-Wiz to EuroNCAP crash tests to see how it would hold up. The vehicle struck a barrier at 40 miles per hour and, well, let's just say the G-Wiz nearly vanished.

That makes for interesting TV, but the safety issues are real. A leading British academic, Dr. Judit Nadal, 47, sadly lost her life shortly after her blue G-Wiz collided with a Skoda Octavia in November of 2010. The G-Wiz was reportedly torn in two on the A41 Hendon Way that links London to Birkenhead.

Now, circumstances leading up to the accident have been revealed and, even though it's still easy to question the G-Wiz's safety, the fatal crash was apparently caused by driver error. The London Evening Standard reports Dr. Nadal had been on the phone with her husband seconds before the impact. Just moments before the fatal crash, Dr. Nadal told her husband, "I think I have made a mistake," as she whizzed out in front of the Skoda.

Though the police investigation found the G-Wiz provided almost no protection in the accident, Dr. Nadal's decision not to fasten her seatbelt because she found it to be uncomfortable, means she'd likely of had only a slight chance of surviving the crash even if the G-Wiz had been developed to meet crash test standards. Dr. Nadal's husband told the London Evening Standard that his final words to his wife were, "Get off the phone and concentrate." Let this be a lesson to all.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 9 Comments
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 1 Month Ago
      not smart
      Marco Polo
      • 1 Month Ago
      Firstly, let me say how very sad it is to learn of the death of a person whose whole life was dedicated to improving the lives of her fellow humans. I have met Dr Nagy, on two occasions at Imperial College functions, and I was impressed by her deep concern for environmental issues. Over the years I have heard shrill cries from enthusiasts criticising the Australian Government for not allowing vehicles of this type to be introduced. I believe that vehicles of this nature have no place on the public highways. They are inherently dangerous. Top Gear's program was an excellent illustration of the unsuitability of these vehicle in traffic collisions.(Including kitchen tables!). If two-wheeled traffic had just been developed, it would not be allowed to be introduced on the public highway. The ratio of fatalities and injuries are very disproportionate for these sort of vehicles. (sorry 2WM!).
      Spec
      • 1 Month Ago
      This is beating a dead horse. The G-Whiz was never available in the USA and it was pulled from the UK market. Those who decided to drive them knew the risks they took just like motorcycle drivers do. I think there is a roll for NEVs & quadricycles to play but I am more interested in small full-speed crash-tested EVs.
      Nick
      • 1 Month Ago
      " she'd likely of had" --> What kind of language is this? The G-Wiz is a tiny, lightweight vehicle. It needs to be driven with extra care......RIP Ms. Nadal.
        Dayv
        • 1 Month Ago
        @Nick
        It's some seriously broken language. Using "of" instead of "have" is one of the most basic grammar mistakes, and embarrassing from someone who probably lists "journalist" on their résumé.
      amtoro
      • 1 Month Ago
      Most of us know that the G-Wiz is not a car, it is a quadricycle... How a leading British academic thought she could drive what essentially is an enclosed golf cart like an SUV and cut-off a car in traffic is a mystery only she could answer.
      • 1 Month Ago
      why even bother telling us that she said "I think I have made a mistake" into the phone with absolutely no context for what she was talking about? Did she know she was about to get into an accident somehow? (How in the hell would she?) Did she take someone else's groceries from the aisle at the supermarket? This is over-dramatic and poorly done.
      • 1 Month Ago
      Just a sad story.
      John R
      • 1 Month Ago
      Talking on the phone has the effect of taking your concentration off the road and thereby impairs your judgement. Much the same effect as DUI. Hopefully there are people here reading this that will take note, and maybe her death will not have been in vain....