My Car Just Saved Me

I’ve been meaning to do a piece on my experiences owning an electric car. But something happen tonight that just has to be shared now.

While driving home late tonight a deer jumped out in front of me.

American “white tail” deer are quite common in my rural community, and tend to be most active in the evening or early morning. For the most part these animals have learned to coexist with humans, and it’s not uncommon to see a herd of them grazing by the side of the interstate completely unfazed by the 70 mph traffic whizzing by only a few yards away. But I believe at certain times of the year these animals tend to be less cautious and can often be startled by a oncoming car, frozen in its headlights, and at the very last second succumbing to its flight instinct, causing it to jump into the path of the vehicle.

Thinking back in my driving career, I believe I have had six or seven collisions with deer, with damages ranging from none, to the complete destruction of the front end of my car. The deer themselves have ranged from unharmed, to being dead, a lodged in the space formally occupied by my windshield.

Well, tonight, might have been another chapter in the McKinley “deer slayer” saga if not for my 2018 Honda Clarity.

On my drive home a deer jumped out in front of me. It wasn’t all that close, and easily missed my car. But while my eyes where tracking it moving right to left, I completely missed its buddy deer who jump directly into my vehicles path, and froze in my headlights.

My car’s forward collision radar picked up the animal, and hit the brakes, hard. So from my perspective, while my eyes are still on the first deer, I was pitched forward, braced by the seatbelt, and alarms and lights started going off. My car came to an abrupt stop and deer number two jumped away.

If not for that safety system, it would have been a 50 to 45 mph collision. And that would have been enough to do serious damage.

People sometimes like to lament modern technology. They pine for days when cars where “simpler”, such that a boy could drop out of high school and make a merger living working on cars with carburetor engines that got 10 miles to the gallon. They bemoan safety regulations that turned seats belts from a high end novelty to a mandatory use item. They don’t understand why a car has to have an onboard “computer”.

But owning a vehicle they just saved itself from damage, and perhaps me from being injured, I can imagine why I would ever go back to the “old days”. Maybe technically makes things more complicated, and it takes more to know how the modern world works, however in the end, we are better for it.

Drive Safe…

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