We’ve all seen this before: the movie scene where the heroes struggle to escape a car teetering precariously over the edge of a cliff.
From Jurassic Park to any number of other films, celebrities have been hopping out of cars hanging over cliffs just a split second before it falls. But if you’ve ever wondered how they did it (aside from the Hollywood magic they used), then you’re in luck! This guide will show you the ropes in an easy-to-follow, step-by-step format.
This Isn’t Just Fantasy
Believe it or not, cars really do get stuck hanging over cliffs in real life. In fact, back in 2015, there was a major case in Idaho where a man drove his car onto the edge of a cliff overlooking a canyon only to be saved by a good Samaritan passerby.
Had this passerby not been passing by, the driver most likely would have died. However, by following the steps listed below, you can ensure your safety even when nobody is around to save you.
A Life and Death Seesaw
Just like when we were kids, playing on the seesaw at the playground, a car teetering on the edge of a cliff can be moved with the slightest shifting of your weight, albeit with far more disastrous consequences.
Step 1: Check the Front Doors
If the front doors are above solid ground, open the door and step out. Problem solved! Just be sure not to shift the weight of the vehicle. If the front doors are over the cliff, however, the trouble has only just begun.
Step 2: Hit the Emergency Brake
The emergency brake of most vehicles clamps down on the back tires. When teetering over a cliff, this prevents them from rolling you right off the edge.
Step 3: Shift Any and All Weight to the Back Seat
Since the car’s weight is dangerously close to pushing it over the edge, any additional weight in the front seat could send you careening toward the earth below. Instead, move all items and people from the front seat to the back seat to move the vehicle’s center of mass closer toward the solid ground beneath the rear wheels.
Step 4: Recline the Front Seats All the Way Back
This will further move the center of mass toward the back of the car as well as enabling you to easily climb into the back seat without shifting the vehicle’s center of gravity.
Step 5: Get Out
If the back windshield is already broken, climb out through there. That tends to be the safest course of action. If not, break the glass and then climb out. If the glass can’t be broken without shifting the vehicle’s center of gravity, slowly open the doors and climb out.
These five steps aren’t certain to work in every situation, but they are certain to improve your chances of survival when your car is hanging over a cliff. Treat them as a general rule of thumb, making your own minor tweaks and changes as necessary.