A rally car driver in the Canary Islands gave a perfect illustration of the value of a well-built guardrail this week. As part of the Rally Islas Canaries, Tomas Kasperczyk was zooming along a high road above sheer cliffs when he went way too far outside on one turn and crashed into the guardrail at high speed, buckling it out over the cliff.
Fortunately, the guardrail managed to survive without breaking and to keep just enough of Kaperczyk’s car from going over the cliff as well, and he and his co-pilot were able to escape safely. Here’s the video:
That’s a crazy crash, and you can see from the slow-motion look (0:41) that this was extremely close to disaster. The car leaves the road entirely, and would have continued off the cliff if not for the rail. Here’s an overhead look at how much of a drop that would have been:
If Kaspercyzk had hit the rail or at a different angle, the rail might have collapsed, or the car might have rolled up and over it; the entire car’s resting on the rail at 0:45, and the right side rolls a long way up in the air before heading back down. From the rear look at 0:52, you can see how much of the car is off the cliff:
Yikes. It’s incredibly lucky that this didn’t turn out worse.