There’s a whole lot of information I carry around in the back of my brain: stuff like how to turn a rolled up newspaper into a weapon, how to convert kilograms to pounds and how to ask “How much for the women” in several languages. Add to that the proper way to jump from a moving car (or train). Will I ever need any of these skills? I hope not, but it’s always better to have them and not need them than vice versa.
So your car has become possessed by cosmic rays, tin whiskers or the ghost of James Dean. It’s heading for that bridge abutment no matter what you do, so your choices appear to be jump and live or stay inside and die. Quite frankly, neither is too appealing, but sometimes you’ve just got to pick the better of two very bad choices (like in a presidential election, for example).
First, make sure that you have no other options. If you’re traveling at any speed above 20 miles per hour or so, hitting the pavement is going to hurt big time. The best you can hope for is a lot of road rash and maybe just a few broken bones; if things don’t go so well, you’re looking at a serious head injury or death. I shouldn’t have to say this, but I will anyway – don’t try this at home. Remember, we’re trained stunt writers here at RideLust.
Double check that your seat belt is released, then open the door as far as you can. To avoid being run over by the car, jump away from the moving vehicle as hard as you can. If possible, aim for anything soft – gravel is a better choice than asphalt, but sand and dirt is a better choice than gravel. Try to time your jump to avoid solid obstacles, like telephone poles, guard rails or Jersey barriers.
Ready to jump? Just do it, but tuck yourself into a ball as quickly as you can. Bring your chin to your chest and tuck your legs, then cover your head with your hands and arms. When you hit the ground, try to do it on your shoulder; chances are very good that you’ll break your collarbone, but that’s the least of your worries right now.
Stay tucked and roll to lessen the impact. You’ll be rolling and sliding for longer than you think, so don’t try to stand up until you’ve stopped. Anyone that’s ever crashed a motorcycle (including yours truly) can tell you about the fun of trying to stand up while you’re still sliding on your ass at thirty miles per hour. It’s a great way to break more bones.
If you’re jumping into traffic (a really, really bad idea) do what you can to avoid being run over. Good luck with this, because it’s not like you’re going to have any directional control until you stop sliding and bouncing down the pavement.
When you do come to a stop, take a second to assess the situation. If you’re in a traffic lane, roll out of it as quickly as possible; otherwise, take an inventory. Can you move both legs? Cool, now how about your arms? Next, can you lift your head? If everything seems to be in working order, try to sit up and re-assess the situation. Get up slowly and double check if your legs will hold weight. If you’ve broken anything (and odds are that you have), you won’t feel the pain just yet. You’re amped up on pure adrenaline, so enjoy the last few moments of pain-free life that you’re going to have for a while.
So there you have it. Let’s hope you never need to do this, but if you do remember who hooked you up. You won’t find this kind of stuff on Jalopnik.
Reference: The Art Of Manliness