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Spelunking for Danger!
February 10, 2006 10:16 AM   Subscribe

I never thought a string of videos of car accidents taken from automatic tunnel cameras in metropolitan tunnels would make for compelling viewing. But it turns out you learn something new every day. warning - embedded video on page contains horrible dance music
posted by jonson (59 comments total)

 
In the sequence with the two trucks about 3/4 of the way through, I've watched it a few times and I still can't figure out where the second truck comes from.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 10:22 AM on February 10, 2006


flash for linux has failed me..
posted by kuatto at 10:26 AM on February 10, 2006


I like how the one car turns on his hazard lights like a second after smashing into the wall and blowing debris all over the inside of the tunnel.

And wtf was going on with that bus?
posted by delmoi at 10:27 AM on February 10, 2006


In terms of sheer person-terror per second, I don't think that bus accident can be beaten.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 10:27 AM on February 10, 2006


I love all the porn ads. Sex = Car Crashes. If the Internet had existed back in the 60s, J.G. Ballard wouldn't have had to write Crash and Warm Leatherette would have been redundant.
posted by Nelson at 10:28 AM on February 10, 2006


You almost get the impression that the road surface is more slick than usual. Maybe condensation plus speed cause the spinouts? In one case, though, it looked like a driver wasn't paying attention and his car crossed the line before it was smacked.

I've watched it a few times and I still can't figure out where the second truck comes from.

It looks like the truck in front had already spun out before it came into the frame and the 2nd truck was pushing it along against the wall.
posted by SteveInMaine at 10:32 AM on February 10, 2006


the bus one was awesome. seemed like he was the only driver who could get out of a skid.
posted by jmackin at 10:35 AM on February 10, 2006


God, just keep it between the lines, how hard can it be?

Oh, and that truck thing Mr. Shanks?

The second truck is already on the outside (yet behind) the first truck you see.

It's my guess that the second truck took avoiding maneuvers to the right, and into the shoulder lane, clipped the first truck, spun the first truck around, and the following accident ensued.
posted by Relay at 10:38 AM on February 10, 2006


yikes the bus. it looks like many of these involve taking a curve too fast--like the camera is mounted just after the curve.
posted by whatnot at 10:39 AM on February 10, 2006


Oh, good god, that bus! That bus! Anyone in the back half would have been turned into freakin' mush from being slammed from side to side to side.

I got the impression there's a sharp corner on the right that takes a number of drivers by complete surprise.

There are a few accidents where I can't for the life of me understand why the driver suddenly went out of control. They're travelling in a straight line just fine and then shazam! they're slamming into the wall and rolling onto the roof. WTF, Jack, why'd you go do that?
posted by five fresh fish at 10:42 AM on February 10, 2006


Why do I feel like I just watched a Goddard film?
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:46 AM on February 10, 2006


youtube link, no techno.
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 10:46 AM on February 10, 2006


Perhaps blown tires? That's the only explanation I can give for a couple of these.
posted by mrbill at 10:46 AM on February 10, 2006


The two-truck crash: My bet is that just to the right of the camera, in addition to the corner, is a lane-merge. I frame-by-frame'd that accident and there is no small truck in the picture until the big truck flips out. The small truck came in from the right side, and the only way it could have got there is by getting squeezed between the big truck and the wall due to a lane-merge.

I am also very impressed with how quickly and in-control so many of the cars stop when an accident starts to take place.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:47 AM on February 10, 2006


There are a few accidents where I can't for the life of me understand why the driver suddenly went out of control.

Heart attack?
posted by you just lost the game at 10:50 AM on February 10, 2006


Where's the tunnel? Some of those cars look European but there's English (or similar) letters on the Big Flipping Truck.
posted by sacre_bleu at 10:51 AM on February 10, 2006


I take a tunnel every day back & forth to work. I think I'll probably quit taking it for granted! Actually, there aren't many accidents involving loss of control in our tunnel, which is through a mountain. The majority of accidents here are explosions from leaky propain tanks or other such faulty containers.
posted by Modem Ovary at 10:53 AM on February 10, 2006


I think the most amusing part of the two-truck bit is the way you can see one car changing lanes already to try and get thru the accident, that from the camera's perspective, looks to have covered the whole width of the tunnel.
posted by nomisxid at 10:58 AM on February 10, 2006


From now on, I'm totally Rosa Parksing on split busses.
posted by found missing at 10:59 AM on February 10, 2006


great link, thanks. I need to cooldown now from my vicarious adrenaline dump.
posted by exlotuseater at 11:00 AM on February 10, 2006


Anyone know what the music is?
posted by Mars Saxman at 11:06 AM on February 10, 2006


!
posted by pembleton at 11:12 AM on February 10, 2006


The tunnel is in Russia. Several of the accidents appear to be because of AutoBahn-like speeds with the speeder coming up on the other driver much too fast. I am guessing there is a rolling curve just before the camera...
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 11:12 AM on February 10, 2006




It indeed looks like they are coming out of a sharp turn - there is one sequence where a car changes to the fast (fast as in "left", British friends) lane apparently without seeing another car coming fast in, then tries to go back but it is too late. Nice sequences (well, nice if you're not a passenger in that bus).
posted by nkyad at 11:18 AM on February 10, 2006


nomisxid, I noticed the same thing. He was either desnsitized or in a big hurry. Either way, I'm adding "driving in Russia" to my list of don'ts.

The song is "Avalon" by Juliet

Video Here (warning: breathless commentary and a popup)

The Jacques Lu Cont remix is the best version of it.
posted by eisbaer at 11:22 AM on February 10, 2006


More reasons to buy sticky performance tires rather than cheap ultra-long-life tires.
posted by b1tr0t at 11:22 AM on February 10, 2006


Mars:

Juliet - Avalon (Low end Specialists remix)

http://www.chemical-records.co.uk/sc/servlet/sr?C=ASW70937&S=D
posted by empath at 11:26 AM on February 10, 2006


Oh, that is clever: the Avalon video is set entirely in a tunnel.
posted by smackfu at 12:15 PM on February 10, 2006


If it's in Russia I'm going to go with ice causing some of those accidents.

The bus one looks like something out of The Simpsons.
posted by fshgrl at 12:15 PM on February 10, 2006


I like how the edges where the walls meet the road seem to be canted just enough to flip a car over if hit just right. Now that's engineering!
posted by Thorzdad at 12:16 PM on February 10, 2006


compassion snark/
People suffering set to music makes me a sad panda.
/compassion snark
posted by CynicalKnight at 12:33 PM on February 10, 2006


And BoingBoing picks it up from here!

Is it possible for google's spiders to get stuck on "via" links, endlessly cycling back and forth betwixt MeFi and BB?
posted by GuyZero at 12:37 PM on February 10, 2006


Crazy, that bus. As far as those people who "suddenly went out of control", I can give you two theories:

First, when you have a small front-wheel-drive car (most of the mass in front) and you do the steer one way - tap brake - steer other way thing, you're pretty much in for a spin. I've seen it happen with a Mitsubishi Eclipse on an expressway in dry weather, and to a Honda Civic in slightly moist weather, both right in front of me. In both cases, the person was going much too fast and weaving through traffic, only to suddenly discover that there's nowhere to go -- so they steer one way, realize there's no opening, hit the brake and steer the other way. Instant spin every time.

Second, improper drainage and freezing temperatures means ice. It's not inconceivable that the tunnel is not properly drained.
posted by davejay at 12:51 PM on February 10, 2006


This just scares the sh*t out of me. We were going thru a similar tunnel in Portland recently when one of these types o' accidents happened just around a blind corner from us -- the very next car in front of us. Somehow we braked in time, and others behind us did too, but this...this was way too reminiscent of that.

I can imagine fewer scarier ways to go other than an airplane crash.
posted by diastematic at 1:34 PM on February 10, 2006


That video is insane.

As for the music video eisbaer linked to; what tunnel (or spacestation?) is that?
posted by odinsdream at 1:48 PM on February 10, 2006


Bloody hell. Never mind driving in Russia, this is enough to put me off driving, full stop.
posted by jack_mo at 1:49 PM on February 10, 2006


Oh, that is clever: the Avalon video is set entirely in a tunnel.

Aha. I was wondering if there was some connection like that.
posted by Mars Saxman at 1:57 PM on February 10, 2006


I am also very impressed with how quickly and in-control so many of the cars stop when an accident starts to take place.
Ex-Soviet driving looks absolutely freakin' nuts by US standards, but they don't seem to have half so many accidents. Grandma can step into a highway-type road 100 meters in front of an oncoming Lada, and the driver will coolly change lanes around her, but in America the accepted response is to lean on the horn while mowing her over. I suspect it's related to mindset: The American is thinking I've got my rights, darn your presbyopic eyes! whereas the ex-Soviet is going hmm, nope, not worth dealing with the government over...
posted by eritain at 2:37 PM on February 10, 2006


Funny that's in Russia because the first thing that came to mind was The Bourne Supremacy.
posted by dgaicun at 2:56 PM on February 10, 2006


They should have set it to Airbag by Radiohead.
posted by jonson at 3:08 PM on February 10, 2006


What's that spooge coming out of the last car? O_O'
posted by tkcom at 3:11 PM on February 10, 2006


It's the rear window, sliding off the back end of the car.
posted by crunchland at 3:30 PM on February 10, 2006


Looks like the tunnel in the Avalon video is one of the foot tunnels under the Thames. Greenwich, or Woolwich, not sure. Fond memories of taking one to all-night parties, and the other to the park when I was a kid.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 4:11 PM on February 10, 2006


Thanks, cruchland, I was wondering about that, too. It looked liquid, but, now that I know what to look for, it's clear that it's the window.
posted by MrMoonPie at 4:13 PM on February 10, 2006


FUCK A LOCAL GIRL
Find THOUSANDS of Local
Girls just SEEKING SEX !!

HELP GETTING LAID???
Read what Actually Works!


Gee, nice ads.
posted by beth at 4:20 PM on February 10, 2006


That's why there's adblocking.
posted by smackfu at 4:47 PM on February 10, 2006


I guess the relatively high speed, the sharp corrections and very poor aderence conditions are the primary co-causes of these accidents.

Primary one being the driver , as at least in the first accidents he/she probably violently steered and didn't know how to compensate for that occasion (actually few know unless they were taught and tried some times)

Also in similar multi lane tunnel I too tend to oversteer away from walls..probably a natural reaction to a sense of confinement that I really don't like while driving

The bus is fucking scary ! I suspect it was rather empty at the moment, but whoever was there is never going to take anything with wheels again.
posted by elpapacito at 4:53 PM on February 10, 2006


as far as the side barriers flipping the cars over, that's what they're designed to do (or at least what jersey barriers are designed to do). This doesn't make much sense in a tunnel, but in a highly with seperated traffic in opposite directions it's much better off flipping the car and keeping it on one side then letting it come flying onto the other side of traffic (the next time you drive by an accident on the other side of the highway appreciate the fact that the car was flipped or otherwise kept off your side (and if your on the accident side...enjoy the rubbernecking)

i also am never sitting at the back of the bus again
posted by NGnerd at 7:37 PM on February 10, 2006


hmmm...lets say "highway" instead of "highly"...d'oh!
posted by NGnerd at 7:38 PM on February 10, 2006


Thanks for the YouTube link. It played nicely for me, while the video at the original link crushed my CPU. (Whyzzat?)
posted by Tubes at 8:45 PM on February 10, 2006


After 9/11, I sort of lost my taste for all the police-chase reality tv stuff. I just didn't have the stomach for it. But watching this, I realize that it's sort of been rekindled.

You know, I almost think they could make a cable channel of nothing but hour after hour of traffic cam crashes like this, punctuated with commercials for power drinks and girls-gone-wild, and people would watch it. I know I would.
posted by crunchland at 8:48 PM on February 10, 2006


Music videos in tunnels made me think of Rabbit in Your Headlights [via].
posted by dhartung at 10:29 PM on February 10, 2006


That's the greatest music video. And crunchland, you may be even smarter than I already thought you were... this channel you speak of - if we took the concept further and had just an hour of actual girls-gone-wild, followed by an hour of the crashcam, followed by an hour of the puppy bowl from last week's Animal Planet, etc, repeating every 24 hours, I can't imagine it wouldn't be profitable. Why isn't this already a channel? Some sort of lowest common denominator channel, with nudity & gratuitous violence, but for like six bucks a month per household. I'm serious, what would it take to make this a reality?
posted by jonson at 10:34 PM on February 10, 2006


Someone wanted to make a Puppy-Bowl-esque full-time channel. The idea was that you'd just watch it in the couple of minutes before your sitcom or the news or whatever came on.

...I would.
posted by booksandlibretti at 12:11 AM on February 11, 2006


I like how the one car turns on his hazard lights like a second after smashing into the wall and blowing debris all over the inside of the tunnel.

Most likely automatically. Many new cars turn on their hazard lights when the airbags deploy or even after a sudden hard braking.
posted by insomnus at 12:55 AM on February 11, 2006


My god, the bendy bus is terrifying. Reminds me of that old joke: "my uncle died peacefully in his sleep - unlike the passengers on his bus".
posted by greycap at 1:28 AM on February 11, 2006


Is there some way to view this on another page? From the comments here, the ads sound NSFW.
posted by onegreeneye at 12:11 PM on February 11, 2006


Further up thread, BrodieShadeTree suggested a youtube link for pretty much the same video, but without the music, and without the last crash.
posted by crunchland at 1:18 PM on February 11, 2006


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