Car crashes you won't believe people survived

Car crashes are never a fun event, often combining the risk of serious injury with the destruction of a prized vehicular possession. Cars are usually designed with a few general crash scenarios in mind, and while that means they perform pretty well in those common situations, when something out-of-the-ordinary occurs, the chance of injuries goes up. However, there are always exceptions. Once in awhile, whether it's because death was on recess, or because the driver found a little extra luck in the dog bed with their car keys that morning, a person defies expectations, and survives an accident that seemed anything but survivable.

Subaru sandwich

Sometimes it doesn't matter how many crash tests a car manufacturer does, or how many "stars" a vehicle is awarded, because when physics gets serious, there's nothing your car can do to protect you. This was almost the case for Alan Pyrcz, who became the surprise filling in a Semi sandwich on Interstate 83 in Pennsylvania. Finding himself behind a semi in traffic, he looked in his rearview mirror to see another semi bearing down on him too fast to stop, and before he knew it, he was wearing his car like a suit.

The impact was so powerful that his car almost completely disappeared between the two trucks but, miraculously, Alan escaped almost uninjured. This despite his car looking like it went through the crusher. He probably won't be watching Transformers again any time soon, though.

Red Bull gives you wings

Sometimes all it takes are a couple of unlikely events coinciding to set up a bad smash. In a Formula Three event at the Red Bull Ring in Austria, what started out as a fairly average slide turned into an unbelievable accident. American Ryan Tveeter had made a mistake and slid off the track and across the gravel, but instead of stopping there safely, his car continued back onto the track, coming to rest on the apex of the corner. Normally, other drivers would have plenty of time to see him there and this wouldn't be a problem, but having just crossed the gravel, he stirred up a cloud of dust that completely hid him from the cars of Peter Li Zhi Cong and Pedro Piquet, who were rapidly approaching from behind. The impact launched Li into the air and left his car tumbling, while Piquet escaped unhurt from a less severe swipe of what was left of Tveeter's car.

Tveeter got away with a bruised knee, while Li briefly lost consciousness, broke his heel, and cracked several vertebrae. The track marshall who assisted Tveeter got a front row seat, and an impressive story that probably made him the center of attention for a few days at least.

Overpass nose dive

Excessive speed, rain, and an inconveniently placed overpass almost spelled the end of one driver in Russia. Take away any one of those three conditions, and the driver likely would have made it all the way home without changing vehicles, but he was probably just grateful he got home at all. After hitting the edge of the overpass, the SUV appears to rise into the air. In the next shot, the vehicle appears from above and slams into the ground in a cloud of debris, and when it finally comes to a halt, a single wheel rolls slowly away from the crash, like it was being shot on a Hollywood back lot.

Amazingly, when an occupant of another vehicle rushes over and opens what remains of the door, the driver steps out and walks off like he does it everyday. A lot of cars are advertised using flying metaphors, but sailing off an overpass in a rainstorm probably is rarely one of them.

Canadian speed bumps

Formula One cars are capable of creating some incredible downforce, which holds the car down on the track and provides insane levels of grip … or it would, if the car was on the ground. Unfortunately for Polish driver Robert Kubica, after clipping another car during the Canadian Grand Prix in 2007, he hit a bump that lifted him into the air and left him with no way to slow down. Eventually. he found himself propelled into a solid concrete barrier at over 180 miles per hour. After ricocheting across the track in a shower of parts, his car eventually came to rest on its side, a shadow of its former self.

Kubica somehow walked away with nothing more serious than a sprained ankle, and the following year, he returned to the track and won the race. This would become something of a habit for Kubica, who in 2011 was seriously injured in another crash, this time driving a rally car. Despite almost losing his right forearm, he recovered, returned to rallying the following year, and won another race, followed by a championship the year after that. If there was any justice in the world, you would find a photo of Robert Kubica in the dictionary, next to the entry for "legend."

Flying Firebird

If you've ever wished ill of a crazy driver on the freeway, then this one's for you. 19-year-old Brennan S. Eden was busy breaking as many laws as possible as he weaved through traffic on the I-675 at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour. Unfortunately for him, it all ended suddenly when he decided to pass a police car by driving in the median, losing control in the process. His bad judgement didn't just extend to the speed he was travelling at, or the car he was trying to pass, but also where he passed, because right where he lost control were the support pillars for a bridge over the highway. After clipping the guardrail while still going at high speed, his Pontiac Firebird was flung into the air, where it spun and impacted the bridge supports, leaving a large smear of oil as it broke into several large parts and scattered across both sides of the roadway.

Eden was flung clear of the vehicle and ended up in the road, badly injured but alive, and alive he remained. When interviewed later, after several surgeries and learning to walk again, he claimed to have no knowledge of the circumstances of the crash, but he said whatever he was doing, "looking back I wouldn't do them again." Sometimes you don't need to know what the question is to know the right answer.