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A fortunate Chevy Corvette Z06 driver in California last week came away from a horrifying crash with only a few scrapes and a story he'll never forget after smashing into the rear of a semi trailer ? exactly the kind of crash that a new report says results in death too often, due to lax standards for the trailer guards that are supposed to protect drivers.

This accident, caught by the Los Angeles Fire Department on Interstate 405, wasn't fatal thanks to the Corvette driver ducking just as his car rammed into the rear of the moving van. As the pictures from the department's Flickr page show, the Vette was destroyed by the impact, as the car dove under the trailer nearly into its rear axle. In the photo above, you can see the trailer guard jutting from the wreckage of the Corvette, which it sliced like a mandoline.

Those underride guards are mandated by the United States and Canada on all semitrailers to help prevent such accidents, and according to new research from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, they usually do a better job of stopping cars. Such crashes claimed 280 lives in the United States in 2011, the most recent data available, and by the IIHS' reckoning, most were due to cars sliding under trailers.

But the IIHS says those guards perform far worse when a vehicle strikes them off-center. To demonstrate, it staged several crash tests using parked trailers from eight manufacturers and 2010 Chevy Malibus ramming them at 35 mph. All passed the full-on tests, and seven of eight successfully handled crashes where the car hit just one half of the trailer.

more & video

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Damn... he's lucky to be alive. I remember the guy in Ohio that he's survived the airborne crash into the bridge posts a few years back. You will be able to see it on YouTube.

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For those who don't click the link. You should watch this video. It's really interesting.

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Just how close was he following ...

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Guess he'll learn to stop tailgating and thinking he owns the road just cause he has a Corvette.

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There goes one of his lives. Only eight more to go now.

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It amuses me when I watch cop shows the amount of americans on there who don't know how to stop/slowdown is amazing

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Geez, that guys a moron~

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I'm curious to know how close this guy was following the trailer. If he was driving like he was supposed to, he shouldn't have ended up like that.

It amuses me when I watch cop shows the amount of americans on there who don't know how to stop/slowdown is amazing

And the amount of Americans that actually have been trained and abide by road laws is probably higher than a lot of other countries. So what's your point?

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