If you’ve ever thought “stop, drop, and roll” is just a nifty saying in the face of a fire, think again.

A Tennessee man has that age-old instruction to thank after a freak gas-station accident could have claimed his life.

A Clarksville Exxon station’s surveillance video shows Chris Porter walking by a pump when an out-of-control car barrels through the lot…

Stop, Drop & Roll Saves Mans Life in Fiery Gas Station Crash

(Credit: WPIX-TV)

Stop, Drop & Roll Saves Mans Life in Fiery Gas Station Crash

(Credit: WPIX-TV)

…smashes into the pump, and sends flames (and Porter) flying.

Stop, Drop & Roll Saves Mans Life in Fiery Gas Station Crash

(Credit: WPIX-TV)

But authorities say Porter’s quick thinking and lack of panic saved his life: He immediately began rolling on the ground to douse the flames on his legs.

“He did everything properly,” said Assistant Fire Marshal Maggie Lawrence to WSMV-TV of the July 4 incident. “I was very pleased to see he did not panic and run, because if he had panicked and ran it would’ve fed the fire. He would’ve been burned; I’m sure, a whole lot worse than what he was.”

“And you can see him rolling back and forth, which is not only what we teach children to do, but adults to do as well,” Lawrence added. “Not only do you stop drop and roll, but you should cover your face, and that helps to…keep your face from getting burned.”

In critical but stable condition, Porter suffered burns to more than 40% of his body and underwent surgery Tuesday at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, a hospital official told the New York Daily News. His family tells WSMV-TV he’s likely to stay at the hospital for another month or two.

The driver, John Ward, was not seriously injured and says he blacked out behind the wheel, but blood tests won’t come back for a month, Sgt. Charles Gill of the Clarksville Police Dept. told The Daily News, adding that investigators are expected to take the case to the grand jury to see if there’s probable cause for an arrest.

Concluded Lawrence: “Stop drop and roll is a matter of life and death.”

Here’s the station surveillance video with voices describing the scene:

Here’s a report from WSMV-TV: