QOTD: Death by Natural Causes?
It was a wild weather day in parts of the Midwest yesterday, something that’s to be expected when temps soar and humidity turns your drapes into a damp dishcloth. When violent weather threatens, the first concern is protecting life and limb.
Second on that list? House and home.
Then comes the car.
Of course, depending on how you live your life and where your priorities lie, the car’s health might top all else. A great deal of harm can befall a vehicle when Mother Nature blows her top.
Falling trees, flooding, fist-sized hailstones, flying debris, and tornadic winds can spell the premature end of a beautiful human-machine relationship. Such a tragedy has never occurred to yours truly, but not everyone is so lucky. Sometimes, we just find ourselves in the wrong place at the wrong time — with nature’s crosshairs placed unwaveringly over a prized piece of rolling stock.
And yes, sometimes it’s a rental. Hope you took out insurance.
Has the natural realm ever taken its fatal vengeance out on your ride? Keep in mind we’re not just talking damage here. We’re talking a death blow — and rust doesn’t count.
[Image: Murilee Martin/TTAC]
Well yes and no. I did have a large limb fall on my old van with the high top conversion. It shattered the fiberglass in the front corner, cracked the windshield and messed up the hood. It still ran and drove and I did tape up the holes in the roof and continue to use it if needed until I found the replacement. A friend had bought a new Escort GT shortly after she graduated college and got a real job. She had it about a year and went to visit her mother who was in the hosipital. That hospital's campus is covered in large old trees. Of course this was during one of our late fall early winter wind storms. She parked the car, made it into the building and up to her mother's room. When she got to her room her mother asked her to look out the window because she had just heard a crash. My friend looked out to see a ~3' diameter tree and fallen right down the middle of her car. It crushed the roof down to the hood level and the seats were both splayed out as the roof coming down pushed them to the sides. Had she been in the car chances are slim that she would have survived.
We had an "almost". A bad ice storm crept up and was leaving a coating on everything. I did a fast cleaning and got the cars worth tens of thousands of dollars inside and the junk worth at most tens of dollars outside. Sure enough, a large limb decided it had enough ice on it, coming down and starting a cascade of events that left the driveway littered with trees and branches, all large enough to have caused considerable damage. One hit the corner of the house and did significant damage to the roof. The junk worth at most tens of dollars got tossed out with the rest of the damaged roofing material. The trees and linbs burned nice in the woodstove the following year.
After I bought my house the city planted oak trees on my parkway, didn't tell me I could have opted out and now they're "protected" and cannot be trimmed . California has very few tornadoes (interestingly they always find trailer parks) but we do get 100 MPH wind storms every fall and the damage done by oak trees is considerable . -Nate
Had a near miss a year ago. I had told the next neighbor, months before, that one of their 40 ft + pine trees was leaning further into my yard. They said they would have a crew trim it. For reasons that I have not been able to figure, I moved my classic/cult van about 30 ft from where it was parked. A few days later the tree broke near the ground and fell. It would have smashed the van to half height. Instead it wrecked my friend's classic/cult Saab. There were further discussions with the neighbor about other trees that were leaning. Nothing was done except what I had a crew do. They trimmed off all the limbs that were leaning over the fence. Not cheap as they needed their bucket truck to work 30+ ft up. Another tree broke and fell about a month ago. This one hit other trees and a fence. Next one to fall will likely hit their house, which I pointed out to them. When they had a crew remove the downed tree a few weeks ago nothing was done with the other trees. So far the neighbor has weaseled out of paying for the Saab. Insurance company said it was an "act of God/nature".