2. Don't fall asleep even though the road is dead straight, and there is nothing along side the road, not even a solitary tree.
3. Don't try to watch a movie, even though your little girls are watching one in the backseat.
4. Don't talk on your cell phone.
5. Don't hit a deer, even a small female mule deer, or your car might look like this!
Sadness! By the way, I was not doing any of the other things listed above, and no person was injured. I'm sure the deer was a different story.
We were on our way home from our visit to Yellowstone. We had eaten dinner about one hour before this happened, but I was not sleepy. It was nine o'clock and had just gotten dark. Hubby was sleeping because he was sick, so I had the privilege of driving this boring stretch of Wyoming interstate. I did see the deer perched along side of the road looking like she might just wait for me to pass. Unfortunately, she decided to spring forward. I did have enough time to hit my brakes and slow down, but it didn't really seem to help much.
After the collision, I wasn't really sure what to do. I kept driving, but at a slower speed. I asked Hubby what to do, and he said just to keep an eye on my gauges and drive to the next exit. It was completely dark and we wouldn't be able to see much if we did stop, plus, what if we couldn't get the car running again?! Thankfully the next exit was only a few miles away. I think a piece or two of the car (or deer? uggh) may have fallen off on those few miles, and there was a lot of noise and whistling.
Once we got to the exit, we realized that the passenger side door would not open. We got out to survey the damage and I was quite shocked. The gas station attendant called state patrol and gave us some garbage bags and duct tape. Since the nearest state trooper was about an hour's drive away, we asked if we could just meet him there rather than wait. He agreed, so Hubby cut a few pieces off the car, taped up a few other bits, and we were back on the road. We were not sure that the state trooper was going to allow us to drive the remaining four or five hours home considering the state of our vehicle, but we thought that we really might need the accident report for our insurance to cover the damage. The trooper did let us go, and he assured me that I had done the right thing in just hitting my brakes, worse accidents happen when people try to swerve and avoid hitting a deer.
So, praise the Lord that we were all safe! Thanks to our insurance, my car looks good again. I still don't recommend hitting a deer though. The insurance deductible took a good chunk of our summer budget, and going without a car while it is in the shop can be challenging too.