Near-fatal crash as car narrowly avoids train

A carload of people are counting their lucky stars after avoiding certain death by a whisker.

In incredible footage posted by Poland's national railway company, PKP, a Volkswagen can be seen driving through a road barrier in the country's north.

What the driver didn't seem to be aware of was that the barricade had been preventing their car, which inhabited four people, from crossing a set of railway tracks as a train was coming through.

As it happened, they drove under the barrier at speed before incomprehensibly slowing down just as they crossed the railway line.

That ought to have been a fatal mistake - but luckily they snuck over the tricks milliseconds before the train came hurtling past, the vehicle only clipping their boot on the way through.

Police have since identified the driver as a 48-year-old local woman, reportedly giving her a 500 zlotys ($188) fine for the act of stupidity.