Car Makers, Take Note: “Steel Beam Through the Windscreen Airbag” Should Come as Standard

A study conducted a few months ago on British drivers revealed that the one thing the majority of them found the most annoying was tailgating. We have no idea whether steel beams were among the respondents, but this one here clearly seems to share the British drivers’ views, even though they live across the globe in California.
BMW X5 pierced by a steel beam 1 photo
Photo: SanJose Firefighters on Twitter
Driving a car on public roads is a big responsibility in itself, but when you’re also transporting something, that increases tenfold. Now it’s not just the vehicle itself you need to worry about but also whatever it is you’re carrying, stuff that sticks out of the car’s usual dimensions or is likely to fall off if not properly fastened.

Whoever loaded the steel beams on the truck that this one fell out off clearly didn’t do a very good job. He may have done everything right for the rest of the one hundred beams on board, but all it took was for one to go rogue, and a calamity could have followed.

The San Jose Fire Fighters responded to the incident that happened just north of Saratoga, but there was no fire to be put out. In fact, there was not much else they could do but wonder at how the driver managed to get away with just a minor scratch. A scratch. Can you imagine that? It’s like jumping fully-clothed into a pool of ketchup and coming out with a stain.

But things could have been much worse. Judging from the angle of the impact, the driver was very close to the truck. Otherwise, the beam would have hit his hood or even the front of his car, as big steel beams tend to drop to the ground rather fast. But the BMW X5 was close enough to grant this impromptu spear a clean entry through the windscreen. Which brings us to tailgating.

To be perfectly honest, driving really close to the vehicle in front of you in the city doesn’t count as tailgating. But doing so while trailing a truck carrying huge steel beams can’t be the secret to a good, long life either. It’s about conservation instinct. This incident proves that no matter how good your reflexes are, there’s a huge difference between what you can do over ten or 20 feet.

But the real headline here has got to be the lucky driver. This is one situation where all the safety features in the world won’t save you unless you do your part. This driver most likely didn’t, but he got lucky.

Of course, the fact that it was a BMW that got stabbed by a beam couldn’t have gone unnoticed, so insert here your favorite beam/Bimmer joke.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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