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Old 12-07-2014, 01:06 AM   #31
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Location: Sacramento Delta, CA
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Re: steel vs. aluminum bumpers

So the highschool I went to had driver's training. I drove last with two students in the back and the instructor on the passenger right with a second steering wheel. We were driving out in the Blossom Hill area (IIRC) and I thought I was the man, because I could talk while driving on a straight two lane farmland road when a huge German Shepard out of nowhere stepped right in front of the car. I hit the brakes, and swerved into the opposing lane facing what could have been oncoming traffic.

The dog disappeared as quickly as it appeared. When the instructor asked, "Did you check to see if there were cars coming before you hit the brakes?" I said no I didn't even think, I just hit the brakes. He said, "Next time, hit the dog!"

Fast foward to 2013 where I did a season of Sundays as a Mountain Host at a local ski resort with among other great skiers, a one-legged skier. When I asked how he lost his leg he told me he was driving home on the levee road at night when he saw a racoon in his headlights which he swerved to avoid, driving off the levee into a tree in the process. The next thing he remembered was when they were cutting the car off of him. His leg was later amputated at the hospital.

A leg for a racoon.

My wife and I now drive together that same levee road in the dark going to work and coming home.

I hope my wife and I will remember what I learned from the driving instructor and from my one-legged engineer skiing buddy.

Hit the dog/racoon/deer.
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Old 12-08-2014, 04:50 PM   #32
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Re: steel vs. aluminum bumpers

We have tons of deer here in Pennsylvania, including three in my backyard yesterday. We hit one a few years ago in our Honda minivan. No fun, but beats swerving into oncoming traffic. I've read that in some European countries (Austria comes to mind) it's actually illegal to swerve to avoid an animal in the road. Makes sense.
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