Footage of a theatric highway accident in Slovakia that sent a car airborne has surfaced, and it’s a big one.
A security camera trained on a tunnel outside Poprad, Slovakia was recording as a driver only identified by authorities as a 44-year-old man driving a BMW approached the tunnel's entrance. Having drifted outside his lane, the man's BMW rides up on a barrier whose end is sloped into the ground, which gives the vehicle the vertical motion it needs to fly skyward.
Because he hit the barrier at high speed, the BMW launches with enough force to collide with the top of the tunnel's entry on its front passenger side, putting a spin on the car, causing it to roll when it hits the ground. An SUV immediately following the car stops to avoid colliding with the car, but also presumably to call medical responders.
The driver was unhurt according to RTE, making a testimony for the safety of modern vehicles. Police checked the man for signs of intoxication, but concluded that he had likely fallen asleep at the wheel.
Rather than poke fun at the driver by quoting Jackass, we can take this opportunity to remember that driving while tired can be just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. As many as 10.8 percent of crashes in the United States are caused by drowsy drivers that can't stay focused on the road, and AAA advises drivers to stay off the road if they have slept for fewer than five hours, which it says makes them tired enough to be as dangerous as a drunk driver.
If being in a viral video for the wrong reasons, or the sheer danger of driving while sleepy doesn't dissuade you from doing so, then consider what other problems you might cause if you climb behind the wheel when you need a snooze. One overworked Taiwanese delivery driver found out the hard way, and may owe as much as 28 years of his wages to fix four Ferraris he hit while driving on no sleep.
Drive safe out there—both during this holiday season and beyond.