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Old 07-08-2018, 12:27 PM   #1
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We hit a deer...

.. . carcass while driving thru Nebraska. We were about 10 car lengths behind a semi about twilight. It popped out from under the big rig and I had two choices 1 swerve and try to miss it, or 2 hold my line and hit it straight on and hope it didn't do too much damage. Since I thought a quick move might upset the trailer so I opted to hold my line.

The hitch took the brunt of the impact. It lifted the back end of the truck and trailer off the highway. For the most part, the bottom of the trailer had minimal damage. It did pull the wire of the drivers side brakes off the clip and away from the frame, but they are attached and still operating. Lost a screw off a clamp for a propane line, but the line itself is still firmly attached.

All in all, we were very lucky.
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Old 07-08-2018, 12:43 PM   #2
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We hit a deer...

Sometimes taking the hit and staying upright beats a hard swerve and rolling the rig. Glad you came out ok.
Stuff can be replaced or repaired. Lives are much more fragile.
Might want to closely examine ALL truck, trailer, and other hitch parts for cracks, bends, or other damage as soon as you can...it probably took stresses in directions it might not be designed to.
Those kind of instant decisions can sure raise your blood pressure and adrenaline levels for a while...
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Old 07-08-2018, 12:43 PM   #3
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That can be scary. Good reflexes, holding the line can be a difficult thing when reaction takes over. Congrats on coming away fairly unscathed.
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Old 07-08-2018, 01:00 PM   #4
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. . .
Since I thought a quick move might upset the trailer so I opted to hold my line.
. . .
Great reflexes!

Glad you are all OK.

Peter
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Old 07-08-2018, 02:49 PM   #5
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Great reflexes!

Glad you are all OK.

Peter
When I was taking ROTC in military school they talked about pre-visualization of stressful situations like this. So I had actually thought about what I'd do in this type of situation before it happened. Now every situation is different, but this was one where the mental analysis was shortened because of this pre-visualization. I knew I didn't want to hit it with just two wheels or to jerk the trailer suddenly. I simply said to my wife, "Brace yourself."

We still have a bunch of deer hair under there and are in the process of making jerky on the bar where the spare tire goes. It.did move the spare over off the cradle. I just had to kick it back to center. One of the straps that holds the black tank to the frame has a bit of a dent, but nothing serious.
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Old 07-08-2018, 03:11 PM   #6
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Good training. Our Dad did the same for us.

Another possible event to visual ahead of time? You have spun out and can choose between hitting a telephone pole, or a healthy medium-sized tree trunk, head-on.

Aim for the pole IMO, because they usually snap like a large toothpick. Even a medium tree trunk is much stronger, because the living fibers have incredible tensile strength. Restated -- would your rather split green or aged wood for firewood?

A no-brainer . . .

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Old 07-08-2018, 06:44 PM   #7
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My buddy Jack hit a deer carcus on I-24 in Kentucky. It got all over the underside of his F150. He went to a car wash, to a mechanic, and attempted to remove flesh/hair from everything under there.

Once back home, my dog Yani, wouldn't go near the truck. He'd get all nervous and walk way around the truck to get to the house.
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Old 07-08-2018, 07:40 PM   #8
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I live in Wisconsin. In one year we hit 9 deer. I hate driving at the early morning or early evening hours. I told each of my kids; NEVER SWERVE TO MISS A DEER!! DON’T SLAM ON THE BRAKES!! JUST SLOW DOWN STEER STRAIGHT!!

One does have to practice it in your head though. I’ve seen kids especially swerve to miss a small animal only to roll their car and nearly get killed.

Thankfully the OP was OK. It does get your adrenaline going; big time. And it’s not pretty to total a car or a trailer. BUT metal can be repaired and it’s just metal.
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Old 07-09-2018, 01:16 PM   #9
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Amazing! Giving me the chills right now. I drive to Vegas then to Salt Lake, finally to Yellowstone . A very real scenario for me that I hope never happens.

Good job
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Old 07-09-2018, 01:55 PM   #10
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Amazing! Giving me the chills right now. I drive to Vegas then to Salt Lake, finally to Yellowstone . A very real scenario for me that I hope never happens.

Good job
Drove from Salt Lake to Yellowstone back in May, didn't see a single live animal on the road or roadside during our entire trip from the Texas coast.

Did see a few hogs laying dead on the side of the road, but no deer. We never really drove in early morning or evening so that may be the reason.
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Old 07-09-2018, 02:07 PM   #11
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Glad you are all ok. I always try to watch for that because they are everywhere. I hit one several years ago in a residential neighborhood. And if you see one, there is probably 1 or 2 following behind so watch for the followers too.
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Old 07-09-2018, 02:07 PM   #12
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Worse time to drive to hit dear is hour either side of sun up and sun down. That is when they move to eat. Take it from a long time bow hunter to avoid driving at those hours.
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Old 07-09-2018, 02:31 PM   #13
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Defensive Driving

Taught AAA's Driver Improvement Program & we did hands-on accident avoidance (without a toad obviously).

I really like the idea of pre-visualization to prepare for that type of emergency. Now I'm concerned that my reaction in my 345 will be the same as in a sedan.

Regardless, thanks for that info.
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Old 07-09-2018, 03:03 PM   #14
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ShullsinUtah... you did what the majority would not... great judgment.

Driving in Las Vegas on Highway 93 and 95 you find a number of large items that fall out of vehicles. Ladders are common. Couches and Sofas. Bed mattresses. Palm leaves. Five gallon plastic buckets. Road gators from tires that come apart. Bicycles. Cushions. Water safety jackets. Inner tubes for floating at Lake Mead. Those plastic 'kiddie pools'... Boxes of clothing scattered along the highway.

Wyoming... Livestock that get out of a pasture hit in the road. Sheep. Red Tail hawks that are flying in to scoop the squashed jack rabbit in the road.

How about the one truck hauling a $1,000,000 of DIMES out of Las Vegas to the Federal Reserve Bank, while driving out of Nevada... haven't heard that one???

A person's driving 'tactics' is a learn through trial and error. Yours was not going to be preventable. Others can be by watching tail lights up ahead and being observant.

Most of the ladders are unusable, by the way. Those who catch it on the fall out of the pickup end up saving everyone else.

Last week in Henderson, Nevada a pickup must have dropped his battery operated tools and supplies at an intersection. I saw the green drill in the road and parts scattered about, but you would be run over by traffic to retrieve it. On the way back, the owner was collecting it all and dodging traffic. He should have carried a plastic bucket to put it in, but had it piled up over one arm and dropping stuff as traffic began to show up.
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