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Old 04-18-2007, 08:22 AM   #1
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Tree 1 - Yaris 0

On Monday, while driving to the airport (during 50 mph winds) in rural North Carolina, my Yaris and I were almost crushed by a falling tree. It was surreal. I was driving at the posted speed limit of 55 MPH when I saw a tree begin to fall toward the road. It took a second for my mind to register what I was seeing, but I hit my breaks and skidded some 50 to 60 feet. Coming in the opposite direction was a gasoline tanker truck. In less than two seconds a lot was going through my mind: tree, truck, explosion, crash, bang. Just as the car came to a halt the tanker truck burst through what had been the top of the huge tree. It looked like an explosion of tree limbs with huge pieces of wood went flying in every direction. One huge piece hit the Yaris in the front left wheel and my driver’s side door with a solid thud. I got out of the car and cleared a 15 foot limb from the West bound lane and I began to direct traffic around my car and the tree. It took me a few minutes to realize that the Yaris was stopped just eight feet from the trunk of the fallen tree, one second more of forward motion and the Yaris and I would have been crushed. No one was hurt. Both the trucker and I dodged a bullet. His rig was pretty badly mangled, but was drivable. The Yaris wasn’t so lucky. Although it doesn’t look like much, it seems that when the limb hit the wheel it did some damage underneath to the drive line, perhaps the axel. When I attempted to drive the car it made a strange noise and it didn’t track properly. I had it towed to a body shop and I am awaiting the insurance adjuster’s estimates. I have attached a few photos (sorry for the quality, I took them with my cell phone). This was one of those, “There by the grace of God go I” scenarios for me.
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Old 04-18-2007, 08:35 AM   #2
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Whoa! Utterly freaky! Glad no one was squished! That's something you rarely ever expect to have to dodge on the road...!

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Old 04-18-2007, 08:36 AM   #3
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Well in that case,

YARIS - 1 TREE - 0
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Old 04-18-2007, 09:02 AM   #4
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freaky indeed, and damn lucky...

Or it could be like one of those Final Destination movies...
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Old 04-18-2007, 09:26 AM   #5
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freaky indeed, and damn lucky...

Or it could be like one of those Final Destination movies...
Oh, dude, you better hope not!

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Old 04-18-2007, 10:00 AM   #6
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Glad you're ok, man!!
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Old 04-18-2007, 10:18 AM   #7
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Thanks all for the kind thoughts. I miss my Yaris! I have a rental, a 2006 Saturn Ion. Frankly, it's a really awkward car. It seems and feels very cheap. Honestly, I can't believe that GM can sell Ions in the wake of Honda and Toyota. Although, it does have a big trunk. I guess it has that going for it.
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Old 04-18-2007, 01:53 PM   #8
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I'm really glad you are OK!
Saturn's are mega garbage... except for the VUE with the Honda Odyssey V6. Those rock!
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Old 04-18-2007, 08:22 PM   #9
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Well in that case,

YARIS - 1 TREE - 0
Yes, Chris07LB is right, and lucky you gabagooo for having escaped injury!
Sorry for your Yaris but thanks for the vivid description of what happened to you on Monday.
Did you find the car manageable enough in such an emergency?
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Old 04-21-2007, 10:24 AM   #10
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I was impressed. My car does not have ABS, and yet the stopping distance seemed very good.
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Old 04-21-2007, 01:13 PM   #11
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I was impressed. My car does not have ABS, and yet the stopping distance seemed very good.
Nice to know. Thanks!
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Old 04-21-2007, 03:23 PM   #12
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good to see that there wasn't any more damage that resulted after the incident.
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Old 04-21-2007, 06:37 PM   #13
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Yet another instance where NOT having ABS probably saved someones butt...

Remember: you will stop faster without it 99% of the time. ABS is designed to let you brake and steer easier simultaneously, NOT stop faster. If you can learn to drive (i.e. learn to pump your brakes and have the driving skill of a functionally retarded blind guy (at the minimum)), you can do JUST FINE without it .

Just remember if the insurance company asks if you have it to ALWAYS say yes! They never remember to ask if it's electronically controlled
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Old 04-22-2007, 03:19 AM   #14
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wow, dang! crazy. i saw a tree crush a GTI at my college before...
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Old 04-22-2007, 11:29 AM   #15
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one day I went to the garage, there was a liftback that smashed into a tree at 35mph (lost control on snow), the tree crushed through the bumper and the engine and stopped just close to the black plastic cover where the whippers are seat... the driver had some back and neck pain but otherwise was ok. the interior was quasi intact, the doors frame was intact too, the windshield wasn't cracked

it feels solid
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Old 04-22-2007, 10:59 PM   #16
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I love my Sedan, but from the size of these small cars now, I would not recommend a yaris to young or bad drivers. It pays to be extra careful in these small cars.
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Old 04-23-2007, 05:17 AM   #17
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I love my Sedan, but from the size of these small cars now, I would not recommend a yaris to young or bad drivers. It pays to be extra careful in these small cars.
BAH!

This is the mindset that parks a 16 year old girl in an escalade on top of me in my yaris.
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Old 04-24-2007, 08:02 PM   #18
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The insurance estimate is in and it will cost $1300 to repair the car. They are replacing the front fender and driver's side door. In other news, I just could not take the Ion and its dank stench of stale cigar smoke and I took it back to Enterprise. I now have a 2007 Sentra. I can't wait to get the Yaris back.
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