First, I should say that, incredibly, the driver of the truck is okay; we’re not a snuff site, after all. This is CCTV video from Hangzhou, in Zhejiang Province, in China, and the accident happened when the truck driver was forced to make an emergency stop, I suppose because he was coming in too hot for the intersection. Someone must have forgotten to tell the huge steel plate and its pal, inertia, about the plan, because they just kept going.
This story was originally published on December 17, 2020
This was posted on the Catastrophic Failure subbreddit (interestingly, that’s also the site I expect to run my obituary) where they also confirm the driver only suffered minor injuries.
Luckily for the driver, it appears the steel plate just shoved the cab clean off and didn’t actually bisect it, so the belted-in driver just tumbled down inside the cab.
Reading the comments on the subbreddit, though, is a bit alarming, as the number of people who’ve known people who were injured or even died from similar wrecks should make you want to go tie something down securely right now, whether its in a vehicle or not. I mean, the Earth is rotating at like 800 mph, right?
What’s incredible about all of this is how it really wouldn’t have taken much to prevent this from happening. If you have a dense steel plate with lots of room to slide in a big flatbed like that, you have to assume it will move, and if it gets going quickly enough, the thin sheet metal barrier at the front isn’t enough to stop it. Tie the damn thing down.
Like many cultures, China has a word for a concept of expedient, sometimes clever, sometimes half-ass corner-cutting called chabuduo, which means something like “good enough.”
This video may be an example of the limits of that concept.