Nearly getting hit by a car when you're landing off-DZ in a field typically isn't something you'd expect to happen, but that's exactly what happened here!
This skydiver knew they were not going to safely make it back to the dropzone so, being an experienced jumper with intimate knowledge of the off-landing sites in the area, they decided early to pick a safe place to land. They set themselves up for an up-wind landing down a stretch of access road cut between two plots of farmland. Then, as they were just 10 or 15 feet off the ground, a Jeep comes tearing past them! (Turns out it was another jumper who had been driving in the area looking for a canopy that had been cutaway.)
This jumper knew where they wanted to land, set themselves up very precisely, and were very focused on landing in that narrow strip of access road. Assuming there was no reason to look behind them, they failed to keep a 360-degree field of awareness and didn’t see a Jeep barreling down the access road.
When landing off – and especially on a road – it’s never outside the realm of speculation that a vehicle would be driving around.
In this incident, it could just as easily have been a farmer who would have no reason to think about the possibility of a jumper landing in front of their truck! As such, when landing off, jumpers need to maintain an even higher level of situational awareness than they would normally have, and they need to remember that they’re not in a controlled environment where everyone on the ground (should) know to think about the fact that there may be skydivers above.
The random farmer in our hypothetical scenario (above) would have no reason to think about looking up and checking for canopies before tearing through a private road he owns. However, skydivers who are in a known off-landing area… during a large event where they know folks have been forced to land off quite a bit… should know better! We’re not absolving the canopy pilot of their share of the responsibility, but we just wanted to put it out there that the driver probably could have given more thought about where they were.