Monday, September 01, 2008

Gawking at traffic accidents

192 car pile up in Los Angeles in 2003192 car pile up in Los Angeles in 2003.
Image via Wikipedia
We don't want to waste time--either our own or others'--while driving on the freeway. But there is something about a major traffic accident that seems to bring out the gawker, gawper, gaper or rubbernecker in all of us.

So why not get it out of our system in a safer environment?

Someone sent me this link a couple of days ago. It's titled "The most dangerous traffic light in the world (St. Petersburg, Russia)." It's a wonderful compilation of truly remarkable accidents caught on some kind of stable traffic cam (1:14).

From there, I was hooked and pursued a few more. (Please excuse some vulgar language in people's comments!):

A possibly doctored video (???--it appears completely impossible, but I've viewed it several times and I'm really not sure) of someone who apparently zipped through an intersection unharmed. Whether doctored or not, it's amazing just the same (0:10):

Don Renfrow's amazing escape from a drag racing mishap shown at regular speed forward, slow-mo in reverse, and, then, slow-mo, once more, forward (2:03):

[Limited in time? Let me encourage you to skip to the very last video . . . and/or, maybe, the one just before it. But if you have the time, you may enjoy these intervening ones.]

A not-so-scary (because it's a slide show) view of "the world's most dangerous roads" (2:18):

(Personally, I'd say the roads in this last video aren't necessarily as dangerous as they are simply scary . . . or . . . unattractive. (I'd certainly not want to have to drive on them.))

And then you can find all the crash scenes you want:

* Amazing "car crash pileup on icy Italian highway" (terrible image quality at many points throughout due to moisture on lens. Nothing seems to happen for the first 38 seconds, but notice the car in the right-hand lanes that does a complete 360 and keeps going, apparently without a hitch, at about 19 seconds into the sequence; 3:57):

. . . which reminds me of . . .

* One of the first "icy pile up" videos I ever saw on YouTube a couple of years ago. --You begin to think, "This is unbelievable!" (1:31; especially humorous with Frank Sinatra singing "Walking in a Winter Wonderland" as backup to the original news soundtrack.)

* And "automobile pinball" (that's my name for it). I don't know if I saw this one first (way back when) or the immediately preceding video. But you have to wonder how roads can get quite this slippery. I mean, everything happens in exceptionally slow-motion real-time. No question this video was not doctored. . . . Absolutely mind-blowing (2:22):

Enjoy the "rubbernecking"!
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