Monday, March 28, 2011
My friend FarmGirl had a close encounter of the less-than-desirable kind with a Colorado elk on Friday.
She's all right, but her new-to-her Ford Crown Victoria is totaled - and the elk is just a smear on the road! To add insult to injury, the title for the car arrived by post today. She seems to be OK, apart from a long list of bruises, bangs and scrapes. I'm very happy she's still around, to put it mildly!
This accident is the perfect illustration of my concerns with modern 'econocars'. They may be light and economical, but in an accident, they crumple up like tinfoil. Despite all the safety devices like airbags, crumple zones and the like, graphically illustrated in video clips of crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the occupants of these small vehicles are at significant risk of injury. A couple of weeks ago, Miss D. and I passed the scene of an accident on a local interstate. A Nissan Cube had been struck from behind by a heavy truck. The whole rear of the light car, from rear gate to halfway along the front doors, had crumpled into a flattened sheet of tinfoil and shattered glass. I don't know what the injuries might have been to anyone in the front seats, but I suspect anyone in the rear wouldn't have lived long enough to know what hit them.
That's one reason I drive a 2005 Ford F150 pickup. After my spinal injury in 2004, followed by two surgeries (including a spinal fusion), the neurosurgeon told me very, very seriously that if I ever injured my spine again, in the same location, I'd either be paraplegic, or dead. His advice was to drive something that offered adequate protection, in case of an accident . . . to use his words: "Something with enough metal beneath you and around you to take care of business".
FarmGirl just found out the hard way how good his advice was. I shudder to think of the condition my friend might be in right now if she'd been driving an econocar! Go read all about her adventures at her blog. There are lots more pictures, too, if you scroll down.
(P.S.: Ignore the 2007 date on the photograph - the date in her camera was off.)