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Learned A Few Things This Morning


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1. Airbags are Loud. Especially when both the driver and passenger bags go off at once.

2. They stink a lot after going off.

3. The passenger airbag deployed with enough force to crack the windshield.

4. GMC 2500HD trucks are a lot tougher than I would have thought.

5. Deer are lightning fast.

6 You cannot shut off your emergency flashers after the airbag deploys.

 

Now the story.  

 

My girlfriend and I were on out way to my home clubs match this morning.  At about 0830 a deer moving like it was being chased by a demon, tried unsuccessfully to cross the road right in front of me. Cruise control was set to 70 mph (The speed limit) I saw the deer as it landed on the shoulder on the other side of the road. Before I could do anything other than say S**T! it disappeared in front of the truck. Next was the loud bang of the deer hitting the truck and the airbags deploying as one very loud sound. took my foot off the gas and lightly touched the brakes while simultaneously tightening my grip on the wheel anticipating what was going to happen next.

 

Amazingly the truck did not start to wobble or give any other signs of losing control. When I started moving the airbag so that I had better visibility the powder inside it started to fill the cab so I opened the drivers and passengers windows and continued to slow down as I pulled over on the shoulder to let the cars behind us pass.  Saw a driveway up ahead so I coasted down the shoulder and backed into the drive way to get off the road.

 

Then we both did a quick assessment of our physical health.  Other than an elevated heart beat and both of us feeling like we were slapped hard in the stomach we were fine. 

 

Next, I got out to assess the truck. I figured I hit the deer dead center of the grill but the deer was faster than I thought and its rear hip impacted just above the right tow hook, Crumpled the bumper and did some damage to the fender. Amazing there were no leaking fluids and the fender was not pushed back far enough to interfere with the right front tire. I had a dual band mag mount on the roof of the cab for my HAM radio that became dislodged and was laying on the bed cover. No clue what caused it to end up there.

 

For reference I was traveling south and the deer crossed the road traveling from east to west like it was shot out of a cannon.

 

Deer in Texas are small, but that deer was running in a low crouch to have impacted the truck where it did.

 

Took photos of the damage with my phone being sure to enable location information. Then I called my insurance company, They offered a tow but seeing as the truck was driveable. I opted to just drive it back home rather than wait a couple hours for a tow truck to arrive.

 

Stopped on the way back to make sure the deer was dead and to take a photo to document everything. Deer was definitely dead. The deer I hit was crossing the road from East to west and landed about 15 feet from the pavement on the other side of the ditch. There was another deer that had been hit earlier that morning right off the shoulder on the east side of the road in the same location.

 

Photos to follow.

 

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Glad you're both OK.  While the damage looks minimal,  it's going to be expensive. 

 

I thought that airbags being activated automatically disabled some of the systems and made it undrivable.   Learn something new every day. 

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Glad you folks are ok, well ya got some breakfast sausage now! You'll be amazed when you get a repair estimate at the body shop! Looks like 4-5K from my recent faux pa scraping a 6" Ballard with our GMC. Not to mention the cost of the air bags.

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8 minutes ago, Subdeacon Joe said:

Glad you're both OK.  While the damage looks minimal,  it's going to be expensive. 

 

I thought that airbags being activated automatically disabled some of the systems and made it undrivable.   Learn something new every day. 

 

Fearing that the truck wouldn't restart, I never shut it off till I got home. Once home and parked I shut it off. Hit the key and it restarted.  Remote door locks are disabled and even after disconnecting  and reconnecting the battery the flashers will not shut off.

On the drive home the AC was inoperative and the blower fan would not work. So we drove home with the windows cracked to get some fresh air.  After I restarted the truck I tried to blower and it resumed working. 


Other than the noise and airbags we didn't feel the impact. 

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5 minutes ago, Eyesa Horg said:

Glad you folks are ok, well ya got some breakfast sausage now! You'll be amazed when you get a repair estimate at the body shop! Looks like 4-5K from my recent faux pa scraping a 6" Ballard with our GMC. Not to mention the cost of the air bags.

 

 

That's what full coverage is for. $500.00 deductible is all I should be out..

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6 minutes ago, Eyesa Horg said:

Glad you folks are ok, well ya got some breakfast sausage now!

 

I left the deer right where it lay.  In Texas it is illegal to pick up road kill deer.

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11 minutes ago, Sedalia Dave said:

 

I left the deer right where it lay.  In Texas it is illegal to pick up road kill deer.

Here as well, but if the Game Warden comes out, he'll give you a tag and you take it home.

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Glad that the two of you are safe and sound.

 

Plastic and sheet metal are repairable/replaceable.

 

 

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My wife was driving our little bitty Nissan pickup, coming home from work, just after midnight on a county road.

A whitetail deer did much worse to that little Nissan that your Texas deer did to your much better built Jimmy.

I went to scene with a .22 pistol in case a coup de gras was needed; it wasn't.

State Trooper apologized for the delay in arriving; it seems four deer started at the northern edge of the county, headed south, running in a pack.

Every time they crossed a roadway, one of them got hit.

This was the fourth of four.

Oh, here's the fun part: when she hit the deer, it was just rolled over into ... April Fool's Day.

(The trooper was a hell of a nice fella. I was still six foot two and he was most of a full head taller than me, and when he climbed out of his cruiser I greeted him with, "Ain't this a terrible way for friends and neighbors to get together?" and got a chuckle out of the man, things were immediately relaxed and he was happy he didn't have to deal with upset folks yet again!)

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Sorry for your trouble, and  delighted you came through uninjured.  Living in a heavily deer populated area I have managed to avoid hitting one the last 16 years.  The trick that has worked for me is to scan the area ahead broadly, the road and a good distance out on both sides and slow down or stop when in doubt.  If the two of us are in the car, we both do it.  Best of luck with repairs.

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I recall hearing about a couple of carjackers being pursued by the police in San Francisco who pulled into the projects hitting an object as they did which deployed the airbags.  They then ran into to project complex still chased by officers who had no trouble identifying them since they were the only people around covered with that white talcum powder like dust you described.   By the way, this occurred a few years back when SFPD was still arresting criminals. :)
 

Seamus

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Glad you and your lady are okay. I have heard airbags deploy and you’re right, they are LOUD. 
Luckily I have never heard my own airbags. Knocking on wood right now. :D

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We set off about a dozen at the dealer once so we return them to GM. Loud like a 12ga and about the same diameter.

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Definitely glad to hear that you both are OK and doing well --- if your airbags used sodium azide as the propellant - make sure you get it off your skin and wash the clothes you were wearing separately w/ extra rinse to make sure that the powder is washed away... some people may develop a rash from the loose powder contact. Shop vac withe Hepa filter the interior of the truck & have the insurance company pay for interior cleaning by the body/detail shop plus blowing out the vents. 

Were they Takata manufactured airbags? Since those are subject to recall anyway...

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i lucked out , i got a glancing blow that did not set mine off a while back , glad your ok , and i guess they did what they were supposed to do , 

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5 hours ago, Dr. Zook said:

Were they Takata manufactured airbags? Since those are subject to recall anyway...

 

No clue. AFAIK there were no active recalls on this truck

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Funny how these things happen close to home. Two weeks ago we had to travel to northern Illinois for a family function. Nearly traversed the entire state of Illinois and Missouri during the 8 hour drive. Around midnight within two miles of our home, three deer zip across the road. I thought for sure I would hit the last one, but he made it by inches.

 

Glad you folks are fine.

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To add icing to the day. We went out for dinner and almost got hit by an inattentive driver that failed to see the red light. They were clueless until I laid on the horn. 

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Glad you're OK and uninjured.

Lucky that at least your deer are as small as they are.

Ours can be a lot bigger, but just as unknowing.

One of our cruisers had one come through the windshield after it was hit by a transport going the other way!

Messy.

 

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Dang, Dave... awful glad no one was hurt.  Many near-misses, but my one actual encounter was with a california black-tailed forked- horn buck vs my 1974 Fiat 124 Sport Spider.  I won.  Fiat suffered a cracked headlight; deer, a broken neck.  And he was quite tasty.

 

So I have a cousin who had an uncle (no direct relation to me) who had severely messed up two pickup trucks back in the 1970's with nighttime deer collisions coming out of Mariposa along the old Central Yosemite Highway.  Well, needless to say, he was disgusted.

 

When he healed up from the one that came through the windshield, he proclaimed that he was done with the deer.  After he repaired (or replaced - don't remember that detail) he set out to make good on that declaration.  He somehow managed to weld up some frame extensions forward of the front bumper.  To these he welded two upright pieces of pipe.  Then, he laced a bunch of spliced together bicycle tires into a "web" in front of the grille.  "Next #*$&^ sumbidgin' deer that jumps in front of me is gonna git his @$$ boinged right back into the #*$&%& woods!!" 

 

They musta got the word, as he never had another critter of any sort dash in front of him. 

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On 3/3/2024 at 4:00 AM, Chickasaw Bill SASS #70001 said:

wildlife , is more predictable , than most other drivers 

 

Wildlife can drive?

 

Ain't evolution wonderful!

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Glad you are both okay. Knock this kind of stuff off my friend.

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