Is it possible to beat a police spike strip during a pursuit like in 'Baby Driver'?

Kylie Mar
Host & Producer, Yahoo Entertainment

This week on MythBusters, the team wanted to prove it was possible to beat a police spike strip during a pursuit, as seen in the hit movie Baby Driver.

“All you need is a high-powered car [and] a skilled driver with nerves of steel, and you can drift those spikes clean off the road. Then, escape to freedom,” the show explained. To test this theory, the mythbusters threw host Brian Louden — aka their stunt driver, “Brian Baby” — behind the wheel. He got a little help from a law enforcement pursuit and evasion driving instructor, who explained, “First thing is a precision move. You have to get the back end to rotate in an oversteer skid. The problem is if you don’t rotate enough, you get a spike. If you rotate too much, the car is going to be facing in the wrong direction.”

It took a few attempts with some soft targets, but after Brian Baby nailed a few practice runs, it was time for the real thing.

On the first run, the tires survived. However, the spike strip became wrapped around both the back wheels. Not exactly ideal for a clean getaway — the car was totally immobilized. The team deduced that while Brian had nailed the maneuver, he needed to hit the strip closer to the end. Unfortunately, on the second try, despite the fact that Brian did exactly what he needed to do, the spike strip still destroyed his tires. “It’s weird. It’s like these spike strips were designed to stop cars no matter what they did,” said host Jon Lung. Louden agreed, saying, “As though years of engineering and rehearsal and trial and error have caused this to work so well.”

In the end, Lung concluded, “Beating a spike strip with a power slide — I mean, it seems pretty easy in the movies.” Louden added, “Yeah, but even with Brian Baby behind the wheel, nearly impossible in real life.” Wait — you mean what happens in movies isn’t always accurate?

MythBusters airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on Discovery.

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