Lexus in lift shaft freefall
Someone should have said this to a parking garage attendant in New York who accidentally drove a Lexus five floors down a lift shaft.
Before you start thinking this is a bit of a light-hearted or macabre way to report a tragedy, I’d like to say that it wasn’t a disaster.
This is because the man in question somehow survived with only minor injuries.
“A guy drove into an empty elevator shaft. The elevator wasn’t there, he went all the way down,” said one observer, succinctly while at the same time sounding like he was leading into a punch-line.
It was a freak accident said another, perhaps putting it mildly.
Others in the area reported hearing an explosion-like sound while some were worried that a bomb had gone off.
I’ve often had nightmares about falling down a lift shaft, but never in a car, not until now anyway.
A near miss
This resolution follows the recent ordeal of a 28-year-old German mother who left the kids in her Peugeot as she loaded the shopping into the boot.
She said, "I put the key in the ignition to use the electronic button to open the boot and load up the shopping, and I left it there as the engine was not running.”
Well, so far, so good, but it is what happened next which caused alarm. As the mother moved round to the backseat to buckle up her toddler, her older son (not pictured) got behind the wheel and turned on the ignition.
Before she knew it the car was heading towards the sea – yes, the sea! – because the car was parked on Dusseldorf harbour.
In a sight which was reminiscent of the Italian Job, the car came to a standstill precariously perched between land and sea.
"If it had gone over the edge it could have been a disaster, instead my son had a very valuable lesson and the car was not damaged. But either way I will be more careful with the ignition keys in future,” said the mother.
Yes, and so will we all, including everyone at Duck2Water car insurance HQ.
Keeping fit without becoming broke
While plenty of people manage a great deal of exercise everyday, for others it’s not so easy – especially for those who work long hours and find it difficult to make the time to get their blood pumping.
However, getting fitter doesn’t necessarily have to be difficult and there are ways to squeeze some more exercise into your daily routine.
For example, a thirty-minute power walk could be made in a lunch hour, and you’ll even be left with half an hour to eat lunch and read a few pages of your favourite book.
Or, if you live within walking distance of your work, you could give your car a break and travel by foot. You’ll even save some money on petrol too!
There are plenty of ways of getting some more exercise into your day, and absolutely no need to break the bank by joining the gym!
Be careful where you park your lifeboat
So imagine the surprise of an emergency crew when they returned to their lifeboat to find a parking ticket attached to the covers.
The Atlantic 75 lifeboat, which was positioned on a trailer, had only been left unattended for a few minutes as crew members signed paperwork to have it decommissioned.
They were reportedly fuming when they discovered the fine, stating that it hadn’t even crossed their mind that they might get a ticket.
Fortunately the local council has now cancelled the fine and the crew can go back to saving lives without the fear of receiving a parking ticket for their efforts.
An electrifying way to lower our carbon footprint
Many scientists and manufacturers are scrambling over each other in an attempt to lower everyone’s carbon footprint.
One recent break-through is the work of a Japanese research team at The Toyohashi University of Technology. They have devised a way for electric cars of the future to charge as they drive – rendering the need for car charging points obsolete.
They are going to electrify the roads.
Yes – the surface pedestrians cross over regularly and drivers step onto to access their vehicles – they believe that pumping electricity through it is a good idea.
The team managed to send electrical current through six inches of concrete, through tyres, to a light bulb which lit up to show the experiment had been successful.
Apparently that experiment could be scaled up so the current would go through 12 inches of concrete and be viable as an actual way of powering electric cars, but the current’s strength would also have to be increased.
Forgive me if I’m not that taken with the idea. Don’t we already have enough road accidents annually? Let’s not add electrocution to those stats.
Crossing the line with a zebra and a parrot
As if to make the whole scene even more surreal, the two animals were actually front seat passengers. Yes, that’s right, front seat passengers.
The farmer made it all sound as if it was the most natural thing in the world. "I said, 'Let's go for a ride.' I ain't been away from the farm for almost two months because I've been planting corn and everything else. So I opened the door, the zebra jumps in, the macaw loves to go for a ride, so we went for a ride.” Right then…
The farmer said that he regretted drink driving and was about to let a passenger take over (it’s not known whether this would have been the zebra or the macaw) when he was stopped by traffic police.
I would venture that the farmer’s actions are definitely something you should not be looking to parrot, particularly if you want to earn your car insurance stripes.
Here at duck2water we’ve used our connections in the avian world to get an exclusive copy of one of the police mugshots.
Giant toys for giant boys
I’d hate to think what our little imaginary drivers had to pay for their car insurance. They certainly had to endure some hairy moments, not least when they were being propelled down concrete stairs or made to travel a collapsing loop-the-loop. Thankfully, nothing like that ever happens in real life...
But what’s this, I hear? What, a real 60ft high loop-the-loop track, complete with two death-defying drivers?
Yes, at the X Games in Los Angeles this month, two drivers broke the loop-the-loop world record when they successful negotiated the live-sized toy in a stunt that smashed the previous world record.
"I tell you what, I'm at a loss for words. That was absolutely the coolest thing I've ever done,” said one of the stuntmen.
Having been traumatized by having a baby brother who used to smash my sets up I’m half expecting there to be a 1000ft tall toddler somewhere nearby waiting to pick the cars up and hurl them before destroying the loops by landing on them with the nappy-crash wrestling move.
The racing driver who likes to take it slow
It is certainly a shock to fans of motor racing, many of whom imagine that their helmeted heroes spend their leisure driving at 100mph-plus expertly avoiding traffic police and speed cameras.
Hill couldn’t have done more to disillusion fans. “I’m not interested in cars,” he said, while also confessing that he drivers a decade-old VW Golf and never goes above 70mph because he finds it too stressful.
So, Hill might not be the most electric figure, but considering his safe and sensible driving message, he certainly is a good and slightly unconventional role model.
Also, if younger drivers were to follow his lead and slow down en masse, he just might help many find cheaper car insurance.
What next? Chefs who don’t like food? Lawyers who don’t like arguing? Swimmers who don’t like getting wet?
Watch out for Rupert the chartered surveyor!
Furthermore, which profession you’re in also has an impact on your need for speed.
Reportedly, if you are called Juliet, Susannah, Justine, Deirdre or Alexis, or Rupert, Julian, Piers, Giles or Justin, you’re much less likely to decide to stick to the speed limit, preferring rather to leave other motorists in a cloud of your dust.
On the other hand, anyone called Molly, Shannon, Bethany, Lily, Courtney or Caitlin, or Terrence, Jake, Jordan, Joshua, Jacob or Declan, tends to stay safe by obeying speed signs.
Apparently men employed as chartered surveyors, sales managers, surgeons, TV producers, company chairmen or barristers are the worst offenders when it comes to driving too fast, and for women the speediest professions are commissioned officers in the Armed Forces, chartered surveyors, GPs, business consultants, heads of personnel and vets.
Looks like chartered surveyors are the very worst on both sides then!
Is there any science behind these findings? Erm, I’m not sure. But it’s certainly interesting, I can’t deny!
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