Have you ever had a “near miss,” when you narrowly avoided a major collision in your car? Thousands of drivers have. A 2011 Reuters study found that 70 percent of teenage drivers had been involved in “near misses” with other cars, often blaming the situation on another driver or the weather.
It’s not always clear why such encounters happen, but drivers who survive them unscathed are lucky. We’ve rounded up some of the most hair-raising “near miss” videos available online — which may inspire you to pay close attention to the road the next time you take a spin.
Speeder’s lucky day
In this footage from Surrey, British Columbia, a car goes zooming directly through a red light without slowing down. Why the driver ignored the signal isn’t clear, but it’s obvious from the video that if he had been gone through the light a second later, he would have been involved in a severe, and likely fatal, T-bone collision.
Lucky snow day
Here’s a great reminder of why it’s important to slow down on snowy or icy roads. In this unnerving video from the Russia Today news channel, you’ll get a driver’s-eye view as the car loses traction on a snowy road, spins out of control and barely avoids smashing head-on into a huge truck.
This clip is a great reminder to make sure that your children are securely strapped into their car seats, and that your car doors are locked. In this frightening video, a 4-year-old girl falls out of a moving vehicle onto the asphalt road in Wenzhou City in China; the car behind it barely stops in time before the child’s father is able to retrieve her. According to Russia Today, the child suffered minor bruising, but remarkably had no other injuries.
From the foam
In January 2013, flooding in Queensland, Australia, turned a normally busy intersection into an eerie world of foam, as surf from the beach flooded the streets. Although drivers were urged to stay home, not all of them heeded the message. In this video, a car suddenly appears from the foam and narrowly avoids hitting two firefighters, who have to run quickly to avoid getting hit.
Lucky little girl
In Russia, driving conditions are so dangerous that many drivers have dashboard cameras to videotape accidents for insurance purposes. In December 2012, a driver caught this frightening incident on camera: A Mitsubishi spun out of control on an icy road in Moscow and smashed into a truck. The impact broke the car’s back window, throwing the 2-year-old girl inside onto the road, where she was almost hit by an oncoming truck. Fortunately, her parents were able to scoop her off the road; she didn’t suffer any major injuries. The Daily Mailshows some of the most shocking still images from the hair-raising video.
Fast reflexes save walker’s life
In Russia (yet again), a closed-circuit camera captured shocking footage of a pedestrian narrowly avoiding getting mowed down by an out-of-control car. Thanks to the man’s quick reflexes, he avoided any injuries, although he seemed a bit shaken as he walked away (understandably so).
Near-miss with a semi in Vegas
Dan Adkins, a former race car driver in Las Vegas, set up a dashboard cam for the sake of illustrating how bad traffic was in the area. Right after setting up the camera, he captured amazing footage of a close call with a huge semitruck. From the video, it appears that the semi slammed into the barrier just in front of Adkins’ car when the vehicle in front of it suddenly braked. The semi then spun across three lanes of traffic, hitting a pickup truck. Remarkably, none of the drivers or passengers was seriously injured in the accident, according to KLAS-TV.