Mythbuster Used A Homemade Siren To Avoid Accident After Losing Steering On Interstate

Adam Savage, of Mythbusters fame, told a story in his weekly podcast about how he used a siren retrofitted to his 1984 Toyota Land Cruiser to avoid an accident on Interstate 280 after his steering linkage shattered going over 50 miles per hour.


On his weekly podcast with titled Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project, which they also publish to their YouTube channel, Adam Savage announced this year’s season of Mythbusters on the Discovery Channel would be the last one, gave his reaction to the Star Wars: The Force Awakens final trailer, and told the story about how he saved himself and his son from certain death (okay, not that dramatic) when the steering linkage on his 1984 Toyota Land Cruiser shattered going 50 mph on the Interstate.

You can check out his story in the embedded video, starting at around 12:30 (the video should auto-play at that point), or read the full excerpt below.

A couple of days ago, I am driving back... my son and I were in my Land Cruiser and we’re on 280 heading North, right around the Ocean Avenue exit - when my steering wheel stopped working.

To be clear, your two front wheels are linked together by an arm, and that arm has a joint on it that attaches to your power steering module that is where your steering wheel connects to your car...

The knuckle that attaches my steering wheel to the yoke that holds the two front wheels together SHEARED.

Effectively I was without a steering wheel... I was going 50 miles an hour and all of a sudden my steering wheel broke... nothing’s happening, and I started swerving across all four lanes in full traffic.

Savage says this happened on the Sunday previous the record date, so October 22nd. While being famous for his myth-busting, he also works with showing off his collection of movie props, and sometimes making his own.

Basically the guy loves tinkering with gadgets - he has his very own “maker shop” full of complex machining tools - and probably doesn’t own anything he hasn’t modified himself, which explains the next part of his story.

Now, I always wanted a “PA” [Public Address] system in my car. So I bought one - the thing is you can’t just buy a “PA” system; if you buy a “PA” system for your car it always comes with a siren. Now you’re not allowed to activate that siren... BUT I DID.

This is the one case I figured, “no one is going to fault me for this.” I had that sucker on within one half of one second. When we’re done my son was like, “that was fast.”

*Savage goes on to makes siren noises*

As we’re swerving across all four lanes I managed to get into the shoulder with most of me out of the actual lane without being able to aim... So, well, we just sort of got over, and then I stopped literally two inches away from the guard rail.

And we sat there and the cars that are going by are buffeting us... TERRIFYING!

...I don’t think my heart rate went up more than a couple of beats during that because I have dealt with tons of that stuff on [Mythbusters], just never in real life!

...The tow service was there within 18 minutes. They got me up on the flat bed, they took me to... the Mythbusters shop... and my son was like, “I can’t tell if that was cool, or really freaky.”

I was like “it is a combination of mostly freaky with a soupçon of cool.”

Also, he calls his children “Thing 1” and “Thing 2.” “Thing 1” was in the Land Cruiser with him.

That’s messed up. That’s the scariest thing that has ever happened to me in a car - full stop. And I’m including all the things I’ve done on Mythbusters. Upside down in a car in the water? That wasn’t as scary as this. I had my son in the car!

He also says he plans to keep the car, but the wife mandated the entire front end be replaced to avoid a story like this in the future. And really, who can blame her? Redo the whole thing! Or buy a new one!

Glad to hear everyone is okay, Adam. I look forward to what you plan to do with now that you’re going to have all this free time.


Contact the author at


Here’s the land cruiser he’s taking about.