Be warned; the deer are out to get you.
I know how cute they are; after all, they call them “Doe Eyes” for a reason. Those fuzzy, innocent looking critters grazing passively on hillsides and road shoulders, or frolicking majestically through fields look like they could not be any less sinister. And, in a triumph of the animal ability to adapt, we have a ton of deer in this area. But, behind the frolicking and the doe eyes lurks a deep antipathy towards mankind and our vehicles.
Or maybe they’re just dumb. That’s more likely. I don’t know.
One way or another, we ended up having a close encounter with the deer kind while driving on a back road near our home. The road passed through a tunnel of cornfields, and the deer popped out into the road less than ten feet ahead of us.
I didn’t have time to brake. I barely had time to register the fact that the deer was there. I did have time to cuss.
We hit the deer solidly, right in the middle of the grill. The deer flew to the left, and we continued about 100 meters further. I was positive the deer was down for good, but as I stopped the car and climbed out to inspect the damage, I watched as she popped up and disappeared back into the cornfield. Mel is pretty sure the deer in question eventually succumbed to her injuries. I have my doubts…
First impression: not great, but it could have been way worse. The hood was crumpled, the grill was pressed in, I could see that the radiator was deformed, and I could smell coolant. On the other hand, the van was still running, no warning or indicator lights were on, and all the gauges were good. I was able to limp most of the way back home before the engine overheated due to the slow radiator leak.
They build these Honda Odysseys like tanks. In the front seat, we barely felt the impact, and the damage did not extend behind the radiator and hood. The kids barely realized anything had happened. I’m amazed that the van continued to run, and didn’t drive or handle any differently after impact. We did eventually need the van towed, but we were able to go pretty far before we got to that point.
It could have been far worse, and I’m grateful God protected us. The deer didn’t fly up and destroy the rest of the hood or smash the windshield, or go down under the vehicle and damage the axles, suspension, and wheels. Additionally, Geico has taken very good care of us. The assessor came out and checked the vehicle; it will be towed to a body shop on Monday and repaired. We were given a check with enough money to replace all three kid’s seats. And Geico paid for a rental vehicle for us until the van is repaired (silver lining; the only vehicle available for us to rent was a Dodge Ram 1500, so I’m rolling around in a huge truck currently. I feel so manly).
So, the moral of the story: God is good, deer are not, Honda Odysseys are worth the money, and Geico came through in a big way.
Until next week…Ethan