Wednesday, August 12, 2009

It was a good-sized deer on the 30th coming home from Freehold around 8:50pm. Coming back from VBS actually. That'll learn me. Ordinarily, no, I would not be out so late with all the kids.

It's a busy intersection. I've seen deer run through there, by Gus's Diner. I saw a car hit a deer there one weekday morning almost three years ago. So, they are there. Jeff thinks if they ever build that plaza on the northwest corner, it will put an end to them.

I had merged from Business 33W to 33W by Peking Pavilion. I had followed a car driving about 40 in a 50, clearly lost or disoriented, so I was anxious to get around. But we all stopped at the light for 527.

When the light turned green, I presssed my cruise control's resume button and shifted into the right lane at the head of the pack. When my speedometer topped out at the previous setting of 50, I pressed the "+" button on my steering wheel with the intention of stepping up to 55. I never increase my speed this way but it allowed me to keep my eyes on the road and both hands on the wheel.

I had pressed the button only once when the deer showed up from the front left. I imagine the deer went flying but all I remember is braking and getting to the shoulder. I heard no crying so figured everyone was alright but I asked to make sure. A car had pulled over behind me and then one pulled in ahead. Neither stayed long.

I could not open my door, so I slid out the passenger side after ordering the kids to stay seated and buckled. They wanted nothing else. So I looked at the damage. I had some light on that side. That was a concern. I wouldn't consider continuing without light for visibility. The wheel well seemed intact but it looked like turning could be an issue. I saw the deer in the grassy median, just slightly back from where we stopped. Too bad but better him than me.

I called Jeff for his advice. He was still at work in Newark and suggested I try driving it home. I wasn't keen on not being able to open my door but I also didn't like the idea of a tow truck. So I went down the nearest side street which was Woodward and drove home on Baird. There are deer on that street too.

Once we got home, Kenny and Tim had a slightly gruesome interest in seeing the damage. Ella had no clue. Chris was the most upset, not even wanting to see it. His older brothers talked him into at least walking past it. So, given his level of discomfort with the whole thing, the plan was to find a repair shop and get the car to them asap.

The car went to Compact Kars the next afternoon but since the guy receiving it had a wedding to attend - not his own - I shouldn't expect a quote until after the weekend. That was alright: I wanted to keep the car local. They said they fix Volvos.

The quote came Monday, the parts were ordered and arrived. He promised it the following Friday or Monday at the latest. Instead, Compact Kars drove it to me this afternoon, a couple of days sooner than expected. And that's a big help because the car I rented, a Kia Sportage, doesn't have enough room for all the kids. Unless Kenny sits in the front seat. And, even at nine years old, Kenny isn't going to sit in the front seat.

There's an issue with the driver's window coming right back down after pressing the up button. I took it over to them towards the end of the day, but they couldn't figure out how to reprogram it. Then I got a message "anti-skid service required," so I told them about that. Then the cruise control wouldn't hold. Then the anti-skid went "temporarily off." Cruise control returned but I'd rather have both features, you know? Especially because I found the ABS very helpful when I hit the deer.

Well, I have to bring it by again tomorrow. The tech told me he purchased a hand-held interface for the Volvo computer just yesterday to clear the "SRS Airbag Service Urgent" message. No, the airbags did not deploy. I've wondered why, actually. But I just want to repeat my initial question, "Do you repair Volvos?"


Matt said...

I hate hitting deer. I always feel worse for hitting it rather than for my car or the bill that follows. Once I hit 3 at the same time in north jersey by some ski resort.

Moonshadow said...

Not me, not this time. Not with all the kids in the car.

"Brute" has a deeper meaning to me now. I would have rather taken my chances with another driver than with this savage.

And, I was certainly glad that it appeared to be running alone as far as I could tell. How often they run together!

I appreciate your comment, Matt.