It"s falsely believed that Jayne Mansfield died when she was beheaded in a fatal 1967 car accident, but the truth is even grislier — and much sadder.


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Ildar Sagdejev/Wikimedia CommonsThe back of modern semi-truck trailers include a low bar, known as a Mansfield Bar, to prevent cars from sliding under the trailer.

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When the Buick carrying Jayne Mansfield slid under the back of a semi-truck, the top of the car was torn off, but it didn’t have to happen this way. The gruesome deaths had been avoidable – and the federal government stepped in to make sure similar accidents didn’t take place in the future.

As a result, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ordered all semi-trucks to change their design. After Jayne Mansfield’s death, trailers require a steel bar to prevent cars from rolling underneath the semi-truck.

These bars, known as Mansfield bars, would ensure that no one else suffered the same tragedy as Jayne Mansfield and her family.

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Jayne Mansfield wasn’t the only Old Hollywood star to die tragically young. Next, read about Marilyn Monroe’s death, and then learn more about the mysterious circumstances surrounding James Dean’s death.