MAX Update No. 30: When in Deer Country, Roll with It

Reader Contribution by Staff
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Man, I sure hope I don’t get kicked out of PETA for this.

I’m replacing MAX’s aluminum windshield frame with something more substantial — a steel tube the same size as the roll bar. It will support the roof (coming soon) and provide a smidgen of side impact protection (more of that coming soon, too).

The trouble is that I live in deer country, on Eight Dollar Mountain in rural southern Oregon. It’s bear country, too. I’ve seen bear in the Kinetic Vehicles driveway and our secretary, Jacky, shooed one away from her trash cans last winter, “Bad bear! Scat!” I suspect the bear ran away out of fear that Jacky was rabid.

It’s even cougar country — my friend Dave, who has appeared in this blog a couple times, dang near tripped over one in his mud room this April.

But mostly it’s deer country. Seeing a deer here is no more surprising than seeing a cow in Wisconsin.

I find deer charming. Every time I drive to my cabin and find them frisking about, converting my garden to venison, I can’t resist calling to them, “I’m home, deer!”

Besides, they help the economy. I have a friend who is saving for his daughter’s college tuition thanks to public interaction with deer: He drives a tow truck.

I hit a deer with a motorcycle once. We were both trying to dodge and we outsmarted each other. Although neither of us was killed, neither of us particularly enjoyed the experience. If I’d been driving MAX, the deer would’ve come over the hood and right into the cockpit with me, which wouldn’t have improved either of our moods.

So MAX is getting what I call an auxiliary roll bar. But if local accident statistics are any guide, deer strikes are a lot more common than rollovers. I’m not sure how to discuss this in the brochure …

How’s this? “The Kinetic Vehicles auxiliary roll bar helps keep wildlife in its natural environment.”

Photo by Jack McCornack

Browse previous MAX Updates.
Read the introductory MAX article, Here Comes the 100-mpg Car.
Visit the Kinetic Vehicles website for more technical details on MAX.
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