Sunday, October 30, 2011

Dying So Bambi Might Live

"Driver swerves to avoid deer, dies in wreck."

A 19-year-old Kershaw man died after a crash Saturday morning on Taxahaw Road, five miles north of Jefferson in Lancaster County, according to the S.C. highway patrol.

The driver, whose name had not been released Saturday evening, was going east on North Taxahaw Road. He swerved the 1998 Honda four-door to avoid a deer and struck a utility pole, Trooper Scot Edgeworth said.

19 years old, and presumably he was never taught how to properly deal with Bambi, Thumper, and Rocky Raccoon and the rest of the critters waiting to scamper out into the road just as you're coming along at a high rate of speed.

A few years ago I was driving with my friend Sara here in rural North Carolina after dark, and the subject came up. "What do you do when a critter runs out in front of you?" I asked. "Well, I brake or swerve to avoid it," she answered. "No, wrong answer," I replied. "If you're going over 35 miles an hour, you won't have time to either brake or swerve away safely, because with typical car headlights you won't see the critter in time. And if you do swerve in a place like this (it was down by the coast, with drainage canals and swamp on either side) you'll go into the water and drown. What you do is, you let Bambi die. Your life is worth more than Bambi's, so take your foot off the gas if you can, but keep the wheels straight and hit that animal." We discussed it a little more, but the point was made.

And just in time, too; a while later, going back to our hotel along the same road, a raccoon scampered out in onto the road in front of the car ahead of us, which hit it; Rocky, screaming in agony, died as Sara followed my instructions to the letter and hit him herself rather than swerve off the road (I confess that I myself screamed like a girl when our tires went over Rocky).

If you value your own life, Bambi has to die. Or Thumper the rabbit, or Rocky Raccoon. If it's at night and you're traveling over 35mph and a critter is in the road, kill it. Don't let it kill you.


Jack Rackim said...

I agree with your friend Sara. I've lost count of how many "cute" little animals I've run over.

Mrs. Widget said...

Same here. I hit a deer (lots in my area.) My thought process was "do not swerve." Deers are a lot softer than a tree nor do I want to end up upside down in a ditch. Next week I hit a rabbit. My brother asked if I was going for the whole movie.

MauserMedic said...

Porcupines are crunchy. 'Nuff said.