Question - "Supposedly, if you are trapped in a free-falling elevator and jump at the last moment, you can save your own life."
Experiment - Find one 8 story abandoned bulding, install a quick release, cut the cables and remove all the safety devices on it's elevator, rig an electronically activated spring-loaded chair, and sit "Buster" the crash test dummy on it. Set up a couple high speed cameras to catch the fun.
Pull the release.
Answer: Instead of impacting at 45 miles an hour, the dummy impacted at 42 miles per hour. After first bouncing off the elevator roof. Broken back, broken hips, took a while to find his leg...