How Adam Savage's Mythbusters Training And An Illegal Car Mod Helped Prevent A Major Accident

Discovery Channel’s hit show Mythbusters has been out of production since 2015, when the series finished by plowing through iconic episode props in a massive semi truck. But co-host Adam Savage is still working, now with his own website and YouTube channel, Tested.com. In a recent Q&A session, he shared a story about how the stunt driving instruction he received in the course of making Mythbusters has come in handy when steering his way out of some incidents that could have been gnarly real-life crashes.

The first near-miss he tells about is when he hit a spot of black ice on an East Coast highway years ago and lost traction. He says his training with stunt driving professionals on the show had taught him how to countersteer, and he was ultimately able to regain control of the car through his inputs.

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The second, bigger near-miss came not long after the show wrapped filming. The knuckle on Savage’s Land Cruiser’s steering shaft shattered while he was barreling down the highway near San Francisco. He says he was driving down the road with one of his sons in the passenger seat when he suddenly realized he had no steering, and his inputs weren’t doing anything to stop the truck from drifting.

Thinking quickly, Savage says he controlled his braking as the car drifted to the left, essentially playing a life-or-death game of frogger with his Land Cruiser in traffic. However, the cars around Savage’s truck were still close and moving at highway speeds.

That’s when Savage turned on the air horn siren he’d installed on the Land Cruiser, which doubles as a loudspeaker. Once he flipped on the siren, cars immediately moved away and he was able to stop in the median, only scratching the front fender of the truck. It’s illegal to use such a siren or loudspeaker in the city, and Savage claims he never does, but for this emergency situation it was critical in clearing a safe path.

Critically, Savage goes on to say that he and his son weren’t out of danger just because the car was stopped on the shoulder. Being stationary in flowing traffic is incredibly dangerous and opens you up to a high-speed rear-end impact. Savage directed his son to stay belted and seated in the car, as he did himself, and AAA arrived on the scene just a few minutes after they called for help.

So, if you’ve been wondering what Adam Savage has been up to since Mythbusters, and how the show may have made an impact on his life: He’s basically just a normal dude, still making videos, who has received specialized training in bombmaking, moviemaking, engineering, chemistry and driving, all of which can sometimes come in handy.

Reviews Editor, Jalopnik

DISCUSSION

hammerheadfistpunch
HammerheadFistpunch

Sector shaft/ pitman arm failure isn’t uncommon on old cruisers, especially if they have bigger tires or are abused. Either the splines in the arm strip out or lose knuckle bolts fail and the arm comes off. “Check yet nuts” is the rally cry for old cruisers.

You can even buy a nice reminder patch