You wouldn't believe it by looking at the Corvette in these pictures, but the driver of the Chevrolet that slammed into the back of this moving truck survived with only non-life threatening injuries. The crash occurred near Los Angeles on the southbound 405 Freeway on Monday, March 4. Fire crews reportedly had to raise the moving truck in order to extricate the driver, who escaped perhaps the worst possible death imaginable – decapitation – by simply ducking prior to impact.

What's supposed to prevent a crash like this from becoming lethal is a Mansfield Bar, so named because the low-hanging bar affixed to the rear of semi truck trailers became mandated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration after the death of popular movie actress Jayne Mansfield in 1967 from a rear-end collision with a tractor trailer.

The Mansfield Bar is designed to prevent under-riding, and in 1998, the rules governing them were revised to lower the bar to 22 inches off the ground. Even at the height, some vehicles, including sports cars like the Corvette, have leading edges that are low enough to clear them. That's particularly true when the car in question is braking hard and its weight is pitched forward, lowering the nose even more).

As we reported earlier today, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has conducted tests on currently sold tractor trailors and found that while all of the examples tested prevented under-riding during a full-width crash, their effectiveness fell sharply when the overlap of vehicle and bar was reduced to 50 percent and 30 percent. In the latter case, only one trailer managed to prevent under-riding, despite all of the trailers passing current US and Canadian crash standards.

Fortunately for this man, the combination of the crash-worthiness of the Corvette, the Mansfield Bar on the truck – and the fact that he had enough wits about him to duck at the last minute – all combined to save his life.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 289 Comments
      Chris
      • 1 Year Ago
      Well, I'm glad the guy didn't lose his head, but am sad for the loss of a perfectly good Z06. As for how this accident occurred? It looks like a case of someone not paying attention while going a little too fast. That would be my guess. Now, I just can't help but wonder if the driver of the truck ran out and said to the guy "Hey!! You scratched my trailer"!!
      jalden4
      • 1 Year Ago
      If you think decapitation is the worst death imaginable, you have a severely limited imagination... Loosing one's head is likely one of the best/quickest ways to go comparatively.
      Peter DePriest
      • 1 Year Ago
      And thats how you make a Z06 convertible. On a serious note its amazing that guy is alive, go buy a lottery ticket lucky dude
        kng20
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Peter DePriest
        One lucky puppy - this guy. Many years ago I came upon a accident similar. Only this was a VW Karman Gia and the guy also ducked prior to impact. Except there was no bars on Semi trailer at that time. He was completly unhurt about half ways under the trailer. 2 of us forced the door open and he craled out of the magled little car. What a lucky day for him.
      posthuf
      • 1 Year Ago
      So how fast was the Vett going? What was the driver doing that he didn't see the truck soon enough to slow down easily?
      Alphonso Carioti
      • 1 Year Ago
      One car length for ever 10 miles per hour...remember?
      THOMAS AND JOYCE
      • 1 Year Ago
      Do not drink and drive. Do not sleep and drive. Do not text and drive. When you drive, just drive.
      James Austin
      • 1 Year Ago
      Or.. he could have avoided the accident, by driving responsibly, and paying attention..
      hiker287
      • 1 Year Ago
      His bowel movements will neer be the same
      rmt_1
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's just like the end of the car chase from the movie, "The Seven-Ups".
      jbaxx725
      • 1 Year Ago
      Man, he need's to go to church this sunday.
      Buckingham's
      • 1 Year Ago
      What a waste of a good sports car by an idiot that wasn't paying attention to the road.
      colin.shark
      • 1 Year Ago
      Bad driving... but the "mansfield bars" are totally inadequate. They keep you from getting your face smashed in from a simple 15 mph collision, but they still fold in easily. It's not like this bar would have worked if it was lower. They need to be stronger.
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