This is what’s left of the front end of our family’s SUV after a collision with a very large deer Thursday evening east of Gooderham. As tragic as it is, car-deer collisions are common this time of year – and when you have a large buck or doe appear suddenly right in front of you (and I mean suddenly) there is not alot you can do.
Thankfully, Sherrie and I are okay (we were the lone occupants). It could have been much worse, although I fear the animal could not have survived this impact. It took off into the trees and we never saw it again.
The fine folks at Russelle Toyota are working at putting our vehicle back together, but here’s the message I have for everyone beyond driving defensively with all eyes on the road at all times (which is a given…)
Please, please, PLEASE don’t tailgate.
We can’t count the number of times we’ve been on a winding rural road (such as the 507 between Flynn’s Corners and Gooderham) where vehicles behind not happy with us doing the speed limit are RIGHT on our tail. The 507 is a classic example of a long, winding road with dozens of tight corners and perhaps, only two safe places to pass. That’s it. You CAN’T be in a hurry on a road like that, lest you put your life, and the lives of other motorists in danger.
The primary reason, is that you never know what’s going to cause the car in front of you – yes, the one on who’s ass you are riding, dare I say it – will have to stop quickly for an animal, or suddenly collides with one. When you’re five feet from my rear bumper, that means you’re likely going to collide, too.
This wasn’t the case on Thursday night. Thank God there was no one behind us. But that wasn’t the case a few years ago when Sherrie and I were travelling along the 507 with a large, white SUV right behind us, separated by a few feet. Behind him was a motorcyclist, thankfully keeping a reasonable distance – but I still worried for him or her on that bike as well.
At the time, Sherrie and I were researching a story for The Kawarthan Magazine on summer driving. Our chief complaint is, and always has been tailgating on twisting, rural roads. Sure enough, on this day, we had a classic offender right behind us, riding our rear bumper. “What if there is an animal around that next bend,” we asked ourselves…
Those words were no sooner out of our mouths when, around the next bend, there was a group of wild turkeys lounging on the road. I instinctively braked, but then let off the brake knowing the tailgating driver behind us might not be paying attention…and he would not have seen what see saw, or why we were braking. So I braked lightly, putting the turkeys at risk.
Thankfully, the guy behind us was paying attention and braked when we did. And somehow, by some miracle the turkeys scattered in time. But it was very, very close.
Our point, proven…
Two weeks ago we had to brake for a moose on 507. Not an adult moose, but close enough. And thankfully, there was no one behind us that day. Otherwise, the day may have ended differently.
I’ve been told this spring has been a bad one for collisions with animals. “Happens all the time,” the OPP officer told us on Thursday – as sad as that is. Truth is, a collision with an animal can end badly for both the animal and the occupants of the car (deer have been known to go through windshields, impacting passengers, and so on.)
Please don’t make it worse by tailgating the guy in front of you.
There’s a reason to leave those SEVERAL car lengths in between. Dozens, even (which is what I prefer. I’m not happy unless the car in front is waaaaaaaaaaaayy off in the distance). That’s especially important on a winding, rural road.
Thank you. Peace out.