Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Deer Xing

We live in a little community just north of town. We're separated by about a mile of Hwy 1 where it resumes it's course through the rolling hills of the Central Coast.

About halfway between the Village and town, where you crest one of these hills before sliding to the bottom of a ravine only to do it all over again, there is a sign posted. The infamous "jumping deer."

A 2003 study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety notes that nearly 150 people die each year in auto accidents involving one vehicle and an animal on the road-way. Of the total number of animal-related accidents, fully three-quarters involve deer.

That point was driven home the other night when my in-laws struck a deer about 1/2-mile north of us on Hwy 1 as they were on their way home from Santa Maria. Thankfully there were no serious injuries to report, save for the deer of course. Though probably un-wise for the vehicle, they decided to push on and arrived at our door just as the vehicle neared the point of no-return.

It still sits in front of the house-- distinct deer-shaped indentations still in-tact--where they left it, waiting to be towed to the repair shop of choice. A vivid reminder that while we consider the area fairly well-developed, fact is it is still semi-rural and there is a lot of open space between us and town and between us and the neighboring cities.

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