Tuesday, June 19, 2012

In-Car Cam Captures Deer Crashing into a 'Vette at the Track

I have over 100 track days and have never spun or put four wheels off. And I'm no slouch. As much as I want to believe I'm a reasonably fast and safe driver, I have to admit that luck does play a big role in it. Just take a look at this video of a deer crashing into a 'Vette's windshield (fair WARNING: it's semi-graphic!) and judge for yourself:



The first time I watched the video, I did not see the deer until the very moment it smashed into the 'Vette's windshield. It's one of those cases when you get hit and you don't even know what hit you. 

There are two things that most terrify me about driving at the track: the first one is someone dropping coolant right in front me (happened here - skip to 15:16); the second one is animal encounters, and I don't mean cute little stories involving furry animals. The real scary stuff is what happened to this very unfortunate 'Vette driver. I've seen deer at Tremblant on two separate occasions and they move really FAST. They are trapped on the track and scared to death by these loud things blowing by at insane speeds, so they are prone to doing anything. When you are going triple digits, it will take a long time for your car to come to a full stop. And swerving to avoid the deer is not a very good option either, trust me, as they can change direction even faster than you. 

Driving at the track has its risks. We accept them. And we have to respect them. We have to stay vigilant to help influence the odds in our favor: watch for the cars most likely to drop coolant, watch the track surface for signs of changes, keep scanning around you, and be careful on desolate tracks (especially with only a few cars lapping.) Accept that shit can and probably will happen at some point. There, I said it. This is one more reason to greatly appreciate and be thankful for a day at the track when you are OK and you bring your car home in one piece.


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7 comments:

  1. The lessons here are: Tech inspection should require deer whistles and that we should probably be racing big pickup trucks... Forget about the damage to the car, that driver was very, very lucky not to be seriously hurt.

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  2. Deer whistles? It sounds like a logical idea; wondering why I've never seen anyone do that at any of the events I've been to... I'd think the safety stewards should be doing it, though, not the club running the tech inspection.

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  3. There is a debate as to whether they work or not. The whistle is mounted at the front of the vehicle (grill area) and as you gain speed, the air rushing through the whistle makes a noise audible to deer that hopefully scares them away.

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  4. The question also is, where would they go? If they are stuck inside the track, they'd have to cross the track back out at some point.

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  5. They would go where you aren't because of the whistle. As to your last statement: They don't really understand the concept of being stuck inside vs. outside. It is kind of like the glass is half empty or is it half full, depends upon your perspective.

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  6. one lesson from this - keep the visors donw

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  7. :o)

    Just noticed how long the driver kept his hand in front of his face with the car rolling at low speed. I can't imagine the shock he was going through in the first few seconds...

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