Yesterday afternoon, my 16 yo daughter drove off a country road and
rolled the Honda Accord 3 times in the irrigation ditch along side the
There were two other kids in the car. She and the front passenger
walked away with no more than chaffing from the seat belt. The girl
in the back seat had some major road rash and a badly bruised arm and
wrist. No broken bones, no stitches. Had there been a kid in the
left rear seat, they would have died.
Other people on the road stopped and helped. The hurt girl was
bleeding badly, and one man stuck his arms through the broken window
to apply pressure to stop the bleeding. She came home from the
emergency room last night.
The Great Woodworker was looking after my family yesterday.
Glad is was not any worse. Seatbelts sure help.
Here is CT they are looking into taking drastic measures to minimize teen
driving accidents. Quite a few deaths in the past year that could have been
easily prevented just by following the laws. .
Every parent's nightmare. I'm still shuddering thinking about the OP's
While I adamantly agree, it's tragic that sometimes it's just the opposite.
My youngest went to a funeral for one of her sorority sisters last Friday
morning. The young lady, who they'd just pledged the very afternoon of the
accident, was burned to death because she could not get out of the seat belt
after the car rolled and caught fire. The driver boyfriend, not wearing a
seatbelt, was thrown out and survived, although it appears he will be
paralyzed for life.
A car, to most of the young folks driving today, is a god given
right/accessory, not considered any more dangerous than a cell phone or
iPod. Just watching them drive on the freeways around here, you come to the
inescapable conclusion that most have no concept whatsoever that a moments
inattention, in a machine that can kill you, often will ... or someone else.
The carnage that I witnessed on almost every trip as a kid, on our mostly
two lane highways back then, still has me driving cautiously. And if that
wasn't enough, in Driver's Ed in those days they also showed horror flicks
of terrible wrecks, complete with blood and gore, at every opportunity
during the course.
... what do you wanna bet that no longer is the case because it would
damage the self esteem of the coddled little yuppie puppies of today?
Where I grew up, there was tourists each summer with a lot of deer. The
damn tourists would crash into rock walls or drive over cliffs trying to
avoid hitting the deer. They almost always hit the deer and killed their
families in the process.
I learned early, if a deer jumps in front of the car, hang on tight to the
steering wheel. Slow down and take a big thump on the front of the vehicle.
And DO NOT swerve and kill everybody in the car.
You would think that they would cover this in drivers ed. But it is
probably politically incorrect to kill Bambi.
I will always remember that awful visual of the guy thrown from a high speed
wreck and hitting a chain link fence. A considerable amount of his flesh
and soft tissue was forced through the chain link fence. All the bones
stayed on the other side of the fence. At least a quarter or third of him
was strained through that wire mesh. I can still see it to this day.
And yes, I am very careful while driving. I lost a number of friends over
the years who never did grasp the idea of driver safety.
They covered it when I took drivers' ed and I cannot count the number
of times I have read or heard the advice "Do not swerve to avoid
A deer, horse, cow or other large, heavy and TALL animal, however,
can crash through the windshield and kill the occupants. So those
cases are a tough decision that has to be made without any time
The best strategy is probably as you suggest. Braking may give
the animal time to get out of the way, and if not, will reduce the
of the impact.
I remember an incident in my youth involving a deer. My next door
neighbor had just taken possession of a new 1964 (I think) Ford with the
HP 390 and a four speed stick. He got it as an insurance settlement for
his other car that he had loaned to a friend, and this friend was killed
in it when he left the road at an estimated 120 mph.
Anyway, we were driving home one night from a work site that was a
couple of hundred miles from where we lived. We had to drive through
some forested land we came to a "straight" section of the road. Just
about the time he topped 100 mph, we saw a deer standing in the middle
of the highway. He (my friend, not the deer) stood on the brakes and
the car started leaving two loooooong strips of black rubber on the
road. These two strips started separating into four strips as the car
started to turn sideways. I can remember seeing the deer passing in
front of the windshield in slow motion as the car skidded past it. It
seems as though we were so close that there must have been some deer
hair stuck on the front of the car somewhere but we didn't see any.
Fortunately for us, we were on the straightest part of the road for
miles around and the car finally came to a stop. Nothing or no one
hurt. The rest of the trip home was quite a bit slower. And with two
pairs of VERY soiled shorts it was also a LOT smellier. But ever since
then I am much more watchful and careful in forested areas.
A friend of my father used to work down the hall from a lab with
a dynanometer where they would test tires. Just for kicks, onse
they had completed all of their test work on a particular tire the
guys would run the machine up to 100 mph. A typical consumer
tire would delaminate within two minutes.
I don't think the contact area is significantly less than on a
else there would be little point to testing on the machine in the
Cooling is another matter, I wonder if they force air over the tire
Two fatalities from deer in the face in my experience. Too many wrecks
attributed to "swerving to avoid a ... to count. It's almost like having
that third beer. Hardly ever booked a drunk who has more than a "coupla
Brake and center is the way. We have brush guards on our vehicles, and I
have taken on one directly and still made it to the cardiac. Have also had
one that nearly caused a cardiac in my partner when the deer ran into the
side door of the rig.
Evidently it is not uncommon for the force of an accident to
damage the seat belt buckle so that it will not release.
There are emergency extraction tools sold that include a
seat belt cutter. I have one small enough to go on a
keychain. I keep it tied to the parking brake release
There are large variations designed as a hammerlike
multitool, but those could not as easily be secured
close at hand
A client of mine gently rolled his Volvo into a field. I say gently,
because the road was elevated with rather steep banks. It was a gravel
road, and he swerved a bit and slammed on his brakes and drifted to
the side of the road where the car just barely rolled onto the roof.
Surprisingly little damage, just some cosmetic sheet metal. All the
glass even survived.
So I asked him about that rather nasty bump on his bald head. He told
me that happened after the accident. When he undid his seatbelt.
Way funnier if you knew the man, a psychiatrist of about 5 foot tall,
with a huge proboscis and then with a egg-sized bump on his head.
Guess you had to be there.
Wanna talk about the yuppies' little crotchfruit on skateboards...at
dusk, dressed in dark clothes and no lights?
How about their little Snowflake on a bicycle flying out of side
streets and then giving ME a dirty look because I gave them a little
Italian Airhorn?? Two very brave(stupid) ones, on skate boards, gave
me finger once and were soooo surprised to find me parked in front of
the house where one of them lived. They left little tornadoes, (a la
cartoon style departure), on take-off. Very funny to watch. I could
almost hear that Yogy Bear gunshot take-off sound.
I've cut three dead from seatbelts. AFTER prying apart the metal with jaws
to get to them. All but one of the free-fallers have perished. Wear 'em,
and buckle those kids in the back seat in a proper carseat as well. Can
remember few finer feelings after digging a snow tunnel and looking inside a
car than seeing two kids and momma calming each other upside down in their
Saved my daughter last spring.
On Mon, 18 Feb 2008 10:29:02 -0600, Swingman wrote:
My twin 15 year old daughters just finished drivers ed and they do still
show "Highways of Death" or as we called it in the day "Hair teeth and
eyeballs on the freeway". My daughter gave me a scene by scene
description. Yucky, but effective.
I don't think the movie would have done much to improve my 29 yr. old
daughters "scary to me" driving.... in one of her "helpful moments" she
helped search the freeway shoulder for a guys leg after a nasty motorcycle
accident......nothing phases her.....My youngest nurse daughter would have
happily helped sew the thing back on.......Dinner conversation with them
either or both of them is not always a good thing. Rod
Lower velocity crashes like boy meets birch (OBWW) with aid of snowmobile
make it clear why they call them "brain buckets."
Now it's DNA, but they still take your footprints in UFT to make things
easier. I told my wife early on that regardless the size of the box they
produced for burial, she shouldn't think there was much of me in it.
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