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Dodging Road Debris - Such a Challange

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by wiztecy, May 22, 2012.

  1. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    #1 wiztecy, May 22, 2012
    Last edited: May 22, 2012
    So its been a few weeks since I took ownership of my roadster and I've been finding it really challenging at times dodging random road debris. I think being so low to the ground that its difficult getting a good vantage point on the stuff. I've so far hit two pieces of road debris that hasn't really hurt the roadster so far. I'm curious if anyone has encountered this stuff and if there's any tips to avoid besides slowing down, following further back from cars, and planning a line when in turns.

    The first encounter was an aluminum 6'x4" crumpled up something that was laying flat on the road. The highway is four lanes, 2 in each direction. I was in the fast lane making a line and merging gracefully over to the slow lane when at the last moment I saw this piece of junk laying right on the lane dividing line marker is as well as inline with my right in my left wheel track. Then I took a gulp and thump-thump and over I went. The crappy piece of tin then exited out from the rear tire's line. There wasn't any time to react and I feel any quick jerk of the wheel wouldn't have bought me all that much but rather could have led to a worse fate. When I reached my destination I surveyed around and under the car and not even a scratch could be found. The tires were good and there were no slices. Fvew!

    Then a day later another object comes flying! This time it was a tumbling 3" x 3" hard plastic piece of something not good. This thing came tumbling out from a car that kicked it up way ahead of me, it resembled a throwing star the way it was hurling at me with some good momentum. Again another helpless situation to dodge the thing and time really seemed to have s l o w e d d o w n when it was coming. It hit right below the front Tesla emblem and above the license plate holder. I had just removed that front license plate too... and that piece of junk when down under the car and out behind me. Went home and assessed the roadster. I could see a marking from the think that rubbed on the roadster paint right below the emblem (which buffed out with my hand), then right below that a minor scratch in the paint. Happy it was a simple damage that can easily be touched up. I really don't want to be seeing this stuff again, but I know I will and every time it makes me cringe my teeth. Both cases I was driving the posted speed limit, 50mph, and had a had a very large safety gap that I've learned to have between the car in front of me. The gap will save you and the roadster from rear-ending someone. I do believe its tight suspension and the majority of weight being favored more in the rear tends to give it not the best braking capabilities for that the weight and inertia is focused forward not down and over the front wheels as compared to an ICE vehicle with a frontly mounted engine and soft suspension (which focuses the braking force down over the front wheels where it needs it) and offer some successful chance in dodging the stuff.
     
  2. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    Florida vultures do not (repeat DO NOT) move for EV's when there's roadkill about. On more than one occasion I've had to swerve around them in my Roadster; when I drive my wife's Mountaineer they all fly out the way in plenty of time before I get to them.

    medium.jpg
     
  3. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    In two years I've only had one memorable incident. This is before I got the HID headlights, which would probably have saved me.

    I was zipping down a country road in the evening, when I noticed some farm vehicles had just crossed the road. The only thing I thought was, "wow they're working late." I should have been thinking, "I wonder if that big machine could have left a foot-high wall of mud across the road?"

    Suddenly this wall of mud looms in the headlights. Yikes! I hit the brakes but it was far too late. ka-SPLAT!

    The mud went ballistic from the impact. It hit not just the bumper, but also the windshield, and even the trunk... basically mud rained down on the Roadster front to back.

    No great harm done, except that I had just washed the car. :cursing:
     
  4. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    Thanks for sharing the stories and glad you guys and the roadsters made it through ok! Interesting about the Buzzards, really makes sense and a good thing to keep in mind when on the road. The mud fling was real funny which reminds me of a time when my dad and I went on a ski trip in his 1984 Pontiac Fiero during a snow storm. We were heading down off the Pennsylvania turnpike on-ramp, with our ski's strapped outside of the passenger window, when we saw this barricade of snow plowed across our path. PennDOT had plowed the snow off the turnpike and into the offramp. There was nothing we could do except prepare, hold on, and hit it dead on. When we hit the entire 4 wheels were off the road and we were sledding across the road and hit the guardrail that's on the fast lane side of the turnpike with the nose of the car and we bounced off that and slid back into the slow lane. Luckily it was 6am in the morning and no one else was on the road. No damage on the car at all so we just kept on going and we enjoyed our ski trip to Blue Mountain.

    By the way, that scratch I noticed on the front of the Tesla wasn't from the road debris, it was there from the previous owner I discovered. When I removed my front plate it exposed the scratch more hence why I noticed it when I was focusing right on it from the debris hit. I could see that someone had backed into the roadster's nose. That't the other thing to keep aware of.... where and how to park the roadsters so that you don't come back with any unpleasant surprises.
     
  5. Botbldr45

    Botbldr45 Member

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    Gotta watch out for raccoons .... They just sit in the middle of the road and look at you! Guess they respond to sound and not the headlights!,
    Quick blast on he horn and they run off...... I sware one incident had the raccoon look back over his shoulder as he ran off with a nasty look on his face ..... Maybe it was my perception after a 90 min IPA.........
     
  6. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Ya gotta be aware and quick!
     
  7. PV4EV

    PV4EV Member

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    How about exploding suitcases on cars in front ?!

    Many years ago I was a passenger in a Merc A-class, being driven by my then girlfriend along a dual carriageway / 2 lane road at around 70-80mph.

    No sooner had I commented on how unstable looking the huge suitcase was strapped to the roof of the car in front … than it basically exploded open and all manner of clothes / hairdryers / aerosol cans / books etc etc came zooming towards us.

    Some went over us, some under, but a lot hit the front of the car and windscreen and got tangled up with the wipers. Enough got caught up to almost completely obscure forward view. Not good at 70mph.

    So what does my partner do ? … puts the windscreen wipers on !

    … and within 2 seconds the wipers are bent out of shape and grind to a halt, all twisted up with ripped bits of underwear stretched out in front of us.

    (The wipers were the unusual type that sweep across in opposite directions and always look like they are going to hit each other anyway.)

    Oddly, the offending car continued without bothering to stop, whereas we were left with quite a bit of damage, and a 100yard stretch of road with stuff all over it. A police car pulled up behind us 2 minutes later and initially assumed it was our fault till I showed him what had happened to the wiper arms. He recovered the suitcase, complete with name tags on it, and joked that it would be an open-and-shut-case to track down the offender. <groan>.


    Over the years, I've unfortunately hit various animals from deer to cats, usually at night, and in each case it was because they ran right across the road 20ft in front leaving no reaction time.
     
  8. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    I've had everything from kitchen tables to pallet tubes fall from vehicles in front of me. The only way to prevent this is to allow a long distance between you and the next vehicle. Minimum four seconds. Animals tend to run out unexpectedly, slowing down is the only way to give yourself a chance of not hitting them--and sometimes that doesn't even work--especially with the larger critters like deer and cows.
     
  9. jordanthompson

    jordanthompson 2010 2.0 Sport, VIN 0683

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    Well, my Roadster is in the shop as I write this... I must have hit a pebble and put a chip into the windshield. Luckily Florida has a law that says the insurance company must repair/replace the windshield (up to once per year) with no deductible or hit on your premium. I called the "preferred" windshield replacement company and they asked what kind of Ferrari a Tesla was! I saw where that was going so I contacted the dealer in Dania Beach who is now handling it. It seems they need to remove the fenders(!) to replace the windshield. But to my amazement, it was (only!) $1,500. That may seem like a crazy amount, but I was talking to a friend who just had a quote of $1,200 to replace a rear window on a Plymouth Voyager!.
     
  10. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    My windshield has a tiny chip in it. Don't ever remember anything hitting it. It's right in my line of sight but very small. I have no idea if my insurance covers this but my deductible is $1,000. Most likely I'm better off not making a claim at all.
     
  11. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    One word: moose.

    "On average, an adult moose stands 1.4–2.1 m (4.6–6.9 ft) high at the shoulder .... Males (or "bulls") weigh 380–700 kg (840–1,500 lb) and females (or "cows") typically weigh 200–360 kg (440–790 lb)."

    Moose are basically custom-designed as car killers: "A moose's body structure, with a large heavy body suspended on long spindly legs, makes these animals particularly dangerous when hit by passenger cars with low ground clearances. Generally, when colliding with a moose at high speed, the car's bumper and front grille will break the moose's legs, causing the body of the moose to fall onto the car's hood and delivering the bulk of the animal's weight into the windshield, crushing the front roof support beams and anyone in the front seats.[SUP][74][/SUP] Collisions of this type are frequently lethal; seatbelts offer no protection, and airbags may not deploy or be of much use if they do.[SUP][75][/SUP] Although vehicles with higher clearances (such as trucks) are typically immune from this effect, the force of striking any 270+ kg (600+ pound) object at high speed should not be underestimated. These risks led to the development of a vehicle test referred to as the "moose test" (Swedish: Älgtest, German: Elchtest)."
     
  12. W.Petefish

    W.Petefish Active Member

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    Its like $55 to get those things filled, assuming you don't mind slight visibility of the chip. Had one filled not too long ago at a Lotus dealer. In and out in about an hour.
     
  13. jordanthompson

    jordanthompson 2010 2.0 Sport, VIN 0683

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    I had exactly the same situation (small, in my line of site, and appearing out of nowhere). I contacted my insurance company and they immediately (sight-unseen!) agreed to take care of it with no deductible. Originally, they wanted me to pay Tesla and they would reimburse me when the work was done (not a problem for me), but somehow Tesla worked it out with them and I don't even have to get involved. I suggest you check with your insurance company before writing it off. I can't believe that Florida is the only state with this provision.

    The only problem so far is a curious one. Originally Tesla told me they had a 2010 windshield in stock. When the received the car, they told me that it was a previous model windshield and the VIN "window" would not line up over the VIN. It was in fact a 2009 window(!) Mine is an earlier model 2010, but you'd think that the windshields would be the same (at least they'ed keep the VINs in the same place!!!) from year to year. To make a long story longer (as my kids say) they are scheduled to get my new windshield in on Tuesday, and the car back to me on Thursday.
     
  14. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    This is a big danger for those who draft behind large trucks.

    I was following a big rig last summer at freeway speeds...I changed lanes (to the right) as the next exit was the one I needed...because I was following so close to the truck, I had a very small field of vision into the lane I was entering...I changed lanes and promptly ran over a piece of debris (I think a piece of metal rebar) that was on the road in that lane... I ran over the metal piece with my driver's side front tire...the piece flew up and smacked my Roadster's body just under the driver's side door cutting the CF like it had been struck by an axe... had I not been following so close, I might have been able to see the debris in the adjacent lane and avoided it...it was a $15,000 lesson learned...:crying:
     
  15. PV4EV

    PV4EV Member

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    Ouch.

    But $15K ? what exactly did that cover ?!!

    Do you have a pic of the damage prior to repair ?
     
  16. augkuo

    augkuo Member

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    And deer too! I have a deer whistle and play my stereo loud when I'm driving through the woods to get home.
     
  17. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Years ago I was driving down Ontario Highway 15 at night, and off in the distance I saw four little glowing dots. As I got closer I could tell that there were two pairs, and they were bobbing up and down. I asked my wife what she thought they were and she suggested maybe eyes??? As we got close the headlights finally lit up the critters.

    What we saw was two racoons. They were galloping side-by-side down the highway, one on either side of the yellow line. WTF??? I dodged at the last minute and they whizzed by. I looked in my rear view mirror at the car about 30 seconds behind me to see what would happen. Sure enough, he also suddenly dodged to the right. It seems the critters just kept right on galloping down the road. Strange critters.
     
  18. strider

    strider Active Member

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    As others have said, many states view this as a safety issue and require insurance companies to repair/replaced windshields. The fill-in repairs are quite good if the shop knows what they're doing and it will keep the problem from spreading.
     
  19. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    I used to have pics, but they were lost with my old phone.

    The 15k cost covered replacing the CF panel below the driver's side door ($2,800 raw cost for the part), painting & installation.

     
  20. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    This makes me feel better about the recent announcement of less CF on the exterior of the Perf S.
     

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