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Old 05-20-2008, 10:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I found another advantage to driving an ultra-low Cd car

At 4:30 this morning I was driving at about 40mpg down a narrow 2 lane rural road lived by forest when a large deer came running out of the woods at full speed just in time to collide with the front of my car. Then the strangest thing I ever saw happened. You've seen where a butterfly strikes the front of a normal Cd car and ricochets straight up, only to fall back to earth behind the car. Well the same thing happened with this deer. It struck the front of my car and was deflected straight upwards by the rounded front of my car. The last I saw of that deer it was going straight up at about 20 mph. If it was daylight, I would have seen that deer falling out of the sky in my rear view mirror. I wonder how high it went?

The amount of damage on my car was minimal considering that it was a 2000 lbs car hitting a full grown deer at 40mph. Since my aero modded car has no flat vertical surfaces in the front, the energies of collision were redirected upwards rather than being adsorbed into the car's frame, as it would be in a car with a conventional flat front end. I can see the imprint of the deer's legs in the nosepiece and a slight hollow in the front of the hood where the deer's body hit, and the lens of the left headlight was cracked. I ordered a new headlight assembly and will need to smooth out the metal on the hood and nose. I'll see about strengthening the parts of the front that dented, so then next time the front of my car acts as a deer scoop I'll have less damage. I didn't see the deer anywhere when I looked around after the collision, so the deer must have survived its brief flight to run off into the woods.

This is my 5th deer encounter in the close to 500,000 miles I have driven this car, so I am averaging about one deer strike every 100,000 miles. I had a lot more damage to the front of my car when I hit a deer 9 years ago at about the same speed before I modded the front end.

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Old 05-20-2008, 10:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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wow!! thats interesting, im happy for you that there was negligeable damage
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Old 05-20-2008, 10:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I hit a deer in my Metro the very same day I bought it! He ran into the side of me, so I lost a mirror and got a few dents, but it's back to normal now. "Deflecting" the deer with aerodynamics makes sense though! With the pointed nose, there is no real direct impact range to cause major damage.

So you gotta redo the front aero bodywork, or is it OK?
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Old 05-20-2008, 10:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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So the deer is O.K. ?
Cool. So now your car is even more Eco friendly.
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Old 05-20-2008, 11:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Old 05-21-2008, 03:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Not to burst anyones bubble but probably the deer has atleast one broken leg, which won't stop it from running off in the short term. Hopefully your area has some coyotes or bear to finish it off quickly.

A tip for those in deer country, if you see one cross the road in front of you, slow down even if its far away as many times there will be others following it across even if they hear your car coming.
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Old 05-21-2008, 03:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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We have way too many here in PA. When I go up to my buddy's house, I have to do 25mph in rural roads because they will jump out right in front of you. Keeping a pistol in the car isn't a bad idea in case you need to dispatch a downed animal.
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Old 05-21-2008, 04:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
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It will cut your Cd down just a little bit, but you could get those deer siren things, those really work. A friend of mine who live in VERY rural Alabama hasn't hit once since she got them. Before she got them she hit at least one a month.
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Old 05-21-2008, 04:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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You're handy, why not do some research and rig up some kind of ultrasonic transducer to keep them away? It will work at low speeds too.
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Old 05-21-2008, 05:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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It took about 2 hours of work to repair the damage to the car, other then replacing the headlight assembly whenever it arrives in the mail, so the deer encounter has only set me back about $40. The very similar collision I had 9 years ago required replacing the right front fender, right headlight and turn signal assemblies, and straightening out some distortion to the frame where the flat front of the bumper had adsorbed the collision energies from the deer. It cost about $600 to fix. So aeromodding my car is saving me more than just gas money and the lives of all of those birds and bugs that didn't go splat on the front of my car. Its making deer collisions much safer for both me and the deer.

Why would a deer be afraid of an ultrasonic noise coming from a vehicle any more then they would of the sound of the motor from a vehicle? I don't know how well those wind powered deer whistles work. A guy at work who used to work at a body shop says that he saw quite a few whistle equipped vehicles come in with deer collision damage. Another guy at work said that the only thing that works to keep deer away from vehicles is if people in the area have a habit of hunting deer from their trucks, so deer learn to associate motor vehicles with hunting. They then depart the scene whenever they hear a vehicle come near.

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