Handbrake Omission Doesn't End Well for This Chinese Driver

There are a few things that should become second nature for a driver in the shortest possible time. You know, things like putting on the seat belt the moment you climb aboard and unbuckling it before you get off.
Handbrake fail in China 1 photo
Photo: Screenshot from LiveLeak
Another such mannerism should be pulling the handbrake or leaving the car in gear (for manuals) or Park (for automatics) whenever you park it. You don’t have to live in San Francisco or Istanbul to develop this reflex: it’s just safer this way, because you never know what’s going to happen.

Alternatively, there’s even a simple trick when parking next to the curb on a sloped street - you simply steer the front wheels towards the curb, thus forcing the vehicle to slide into it, keeping it still. Of course, there’s absolutely no need to do that if you pull the handbrake (which these days usually means pushing or pulling a button) or engage the gearbox as we’ve said before.

Fail to do these things and you could find out that what looked like a flat terrain actually has this minute slope that’s enough to get your car rolling towards total destruction. Or, as it happened in my case, towards a newspaper stand (I got off easy with a small scratch and a dent on the tailgate).

This Chinese driver in the clip below, however, has no excuse. The slope there is obvious - he is in the mountains, after all - and the only explanation he could possibly come up with is a momentary lapse of concentration. Which isn’t really an excuse, as you’re not allowed to have one of those when you’re driving.

And when he committed the mistake, he was still technically driving. In fact, it was the very last action he was supposed to perform as a driver that let him down.

His reactions after the van started to roll away weren’t great either. Trying to stop a moving vehicle with nothing but your strength is rarely a good idea. It works fine if you’re the world’s strongest man or if “your vehicle” is a bicycle, but in any other case, other plans of action are required.

The best thing he could’ve done was try to climb back in and apply the brakes. The footage doesn’t make it very clear whether that’s what he attempts to do at first, but putting yourself in the direction the vehicle is rolling away to is never a wise option. We don’t know what happened to the man, but if he got caught between the van and the tree that eventually stopped its little escapade, we fear the worst.

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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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