Twin Falls is about 2 hours away from Boise with the cruise set just under 80mph. (The speed limit is 75mph) When you get to the Hwy 93 exit you head south for about 7 – 10 miles and you’ll hit this bridge. It’s called the Perrine Bridge after one of the founders of Twin Falls back in the day. It’s about 1500 ft long and almost 500 ft above the Snake River. It’s the 500 ft off the river part, that there’s a 50% chance you’ll see some psycho with a helmet cam jumping off the freaking thing.
There’s a place to pull off both North & South bound and take a short walk under the bridge for the views of the Snake River Canyon. My phone has a pretty sweet panoramic feature & sometimes the pics are just awesome! This bridge is the main connector to the freeway and is four lanes wide. Even though I’m over this bridge sometimes three times a week, occasionally I’ll stop for a few minutes and enjoy the view and the wind under the bridge.
So, this particular trip I had to come to town to see a car that hit a deer. Sadly, this happens quite a bit. I also see a lot of Elk & Cow collisions which are always way worse. So this one isn’t too bad. Hitting a deer in Idaho is one of those things that always “happens to someone else”. Until of coarse one jumps out in front of you on the road. I’ve almost hit several deer (don’t tell Josie) the closest being about ten feet from the front bumper. The worst times of day are always dawn & dusk for the obvious reasons but especially at night.
Deer panic like the worst schizoids you’ll ever meet & there’s no reasoning behind what they’ll do when you come around a corner and surprise one of them. They may already be on the side of the road, but when that panic kicks in, they’ll jump right into the road, right in front of you without even realizing what they’re doing. Ever heard that saying “Like a deer in the headlights”?
So here’s the car, an ’05 Subaru Forester with 250k on the odometer. A shame because the owners had really taken good care of it. Like my TSX, you’d never know it had so many miles on it. I was told by the driver that the deer was about 40lbs – 60lbs and he was driving about 45 mph during impact. It totaled the car.
You can tell the cooling assembly got pushed right back into the motor. Most people find it hard to believe that only doing 45mph and hitting something relatively small would do so much damage. I can’t tell you how many times I’m standing there looking at someones car and they’re telling me that they hit what ever it was doing 80 – 90 mph. If that were true, I’d be feeding them apple sauce thru a straw in the hospital.
Or another favorite of mine is when the older guys tell me that today’s cars are “cheap plastic crap” because “I hit something way harder in my ’62 Impala back in the day and there was hardly any damage compared to this!” The part they’re forgetting is that they were likely sore as hell the next day, & they obviously never heard of crumple zones. Cars today fold up to absorb the impact so that we don’t have to.
Speaking of which, did you know that there is a new crash test called the “Small Overlap Front Crash Test”? It’s basically a driver headlamp to driver headlamp collision. Which is actually way more common then a “full head on” collision. They just recently started these new tests, I think just this year, & sadly, most cars are failing miserably. The Toyota Rav4 failed so badly, that Toyota engineers are scrambling to fix the problem for the next year or so models. But did you also know that the new Acura TL was one of the Top Scorers in this test, if not THE best scorer in it’s class? Check it out –
One of the things that insurance companies want me to verify is that it was indeed an animal hit. Deer hair still on the air cleaner box, Um…check. They want to make sure the driver didn’t hit something else and trying to say it was deer that jumped out in front of them. A lot of times a drivers insurance rates wont go up if you hit a deer & the deductible is cheaper as it falls under the “comprehensive” category.
Moral of the story? When driving in Idaho, or any rural area for that matter, watch for animals. You actually have a higher risk of hitting a cow in Twin Falls than a deer. And even that is a slim risk. And do yourself a favor and take the 10 minutes to stop and check out the Snake River Canyon. Totally worth it!