Not everyone is as lucky as 007, who usually walks out of car wrecks shaken, but not often stirred.
The fact that Bond’s stunts are often performed by former Top Gear driver Ben Collins – aka The Stig – shows, however, the level of skill involved in making the character of James Bond look like hero behind the wheel.
In the latest Bond flick Skyfall – perhaps one of the most exciting when it comes to driving stunts – the cars were often driven by Collins from a specially constructed cage fitted to the roof of a vehicle, enabling complete control of steering and maneuvering.
The opening sequence of Skyfall featuring the spectacular chase scene in a Land Rover Defender through a marketplace in Istanbul owes its success to The Stig perched on the roof in a cage seat, steering for all he’s worth.
The cameraman was at times attached to the passenger wing of the vehicle, strapped into another caged seat – and the rest is Bond history.
The Land Rover Defenders used in the sequence had been specially modified by the technical team on the film, with improved suspension and the wheels given an extra 7 inches between them to enhance stability.
The Defenders’ gearboxes were also converted to auto from manual to make driving easier.
The film used 12 Defenders in total because the script demanded an SUV vehicle which Bond crashed – Jaguar Land Rover SUVs fitted the brief, although did not feature in Skyfall as a product placement, which is now common in many films.
Seeing thrilling scenes and car chases on the big screen can often bring out the daredevil in all of us – and the urge to “soup up” a vehicle’s engine to make it faster is not uncommon.
However, not everyone is a Stig – customising a car can be an absorbing hobby, but can also make a car unstable and unpredictable unless you really know what you are doing.
More young adult males are suffering serious injury – including traumatic brain injury – in road traffic accidents. Not all of them were driving like a secret service agent in a spot bother, but were on their to work, home from a night out or just simply driving to the local shop, which shows just how quickly a car accident can claim a victim through no fault of their own. Driving is dangerous when it is done properly, let alone when you have to dodge other road users who may be speeding, driving erratically or simply not concentrating on the road ahead.
The government is trying to reduce the number of road traffic accidents (RTAs) and injuries in RTAs – and has even offered an alternative to points on a licence for speeding by offering the chance for drivers to take a Driving At Speed Awareness course (www.uknetguide.co.uk/Motoring/Article/Speed_Awareness_Courses-100266.html) instead.
However, for speed merchants, the best way of living the dream is to take advanced driving courses – such as those run by IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists at www.iam.org.uk) – and learn how to handle a car at speed, or in different driving conditions, such as on black ice.
IAM also offers Young Motorist Assessment to find out how you shape up behind the wheel – and taking advanced driving courses can also help reduce car insurance, which is much more practical option for reducing premiums than strapping The Stig to your roof.
If you have suffered a Vehicle Accident Injury you could be entitled to claim compensation with the help of a exert solicitor.