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WATCH: Distracted Driver Hits Sinkhole, Fails To Mind The Gap

You probably know the feeling: Sometimes while you're riding through empty city streets at night, wind whipping past as the lamps thread your path forward, it can feel as if the very road is opening up before you.

Here's a feeling you probably don't know: the road literally opening up before you.

For one unfortunate scooter rider in the southwestern Chinese city of Beihai, that feeling is now all too real. Shortly before he arrived, the street's crosswalk collapsed dramatically into a hole dozens of feet wide — and, still more unfortunate for him, when he did arrive at the fresh abyss, he appears to have been staring at his cellphone.

Which, as you can imagine, would make for a rather unpleasant shock.

The Chinese broadcaster CGTN caught the moment on surveillance footage last week and posted it Sunday on YouTube, where the British newspaper The Guardian also took notice. CGTN says authorities haven't figured out yet what caused the road's collapse.

One thing is certain: The driver is safe. Shortly after his plunge, he climbed back to the surface under his own power, apparently unharmed.

But let that be a lesson to us all, folks: Don't gawk at your phone and drive — because, you know, a gaping black chasm could always be around the next bend.

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Colin Dwyer covers breaking news for NPR. He reports on a wide array of subjects — from politics in Latin America and the Middle East, to the latest developments in sports and scientific research.