Saturday, 21 May 2016

Volvo 1; pheasant 0

a different pheasant, but just as suicidal
While I was driving home down the A1 yesterday evening, a pheasant walked right out in front of me, and so I hit it.  I know enough not to swerve in these circumstances (there were other cars around me, so swerving could have caused a nasty accident), but it wasn’t a fun thing to happen at 70mph, for me, or for the pheasant.

There was no big cloud of feathers visible in my rear view mirror, unlike the last time this happened.  I continued for about a mile to the next service station, and pulled into their car park, to assess the damage.  I looked at the radiator grille, and saw a pheasant’s head behind it, and a large tail feather sticking out. Great.

I tried to open the bonnet, but failed.  It seemed stuck.  I couldn’t tell if the car was safe to drive, or if the rest of the pheasant was doing something nasty in there.  So I phoned RAC Accident (mobile phones make life so much easier), and said I’d hit a pheasant, and didn’t know if the car was safe to drive.  They put me through to RAC Breakdown.  I explained again.  They said I needed to speak to RAC Accident.  I said I’d come from there.  They checked: yes, it counted as an accident, not a breakdown.  I was told that my “RAC accident and breakdown” cover only covers breakdowns; although the cover says “We’ll rescue you if you’re involved in an accident”, I was told this rescue would cost me a £165 callout charge.  Hmm.  I said I’d try another option first.

So I phoned Volvo Assistance, which I get as a complimentary deal because I pay a lot for the car to be serviced at an official Volvo dealer, which helps maintain its resale value.  They were much more helpful.  Although the assistance usually only covers a maximum 50 mile trip to home or a dealership (I was 75 miles from home at the time), because it was a Friday evening, they said they would take me home if necessary.  A breakdown truck would be with me within the hour.

The breakdown truck arrived within 15 minutes, actually; he’d been nearby on the road when the call came in.  He got out of his truck and looked at the head-and-feather combo in my radiator grille.  He tried to open the bonnet, struggled a while (somewhat to my relief, as I didn’t feel so stupid at not managing it myself), but eventually managed.  My sort of Volvo has a large gap between the radiator grille and the radiator itself; this was currently full of very dead pheasant.

The pheasant had smashed straight through the grille, breaking it and the surrounding fascia (which had buckled up, making it harder to open the bonnet), but was stopped by the rather more substantial radiator itself.  The breakdown guy removed the pheasant, in a cloud of feathers, to the amazement/amusement of a couple of other people in the car park.  He inspected the radiator, and said it was a bit dented (and covered in feathers), but still whole. He had me start up the car, and poked around to check there were no problems: the radiator didn’t start leaking or anything, and there appeared to be no other damage to working parts. He declared the car safe to drive.

I offered him the pheasant, but he declined.  He completed some paperwork, I signed a form, and off he went.  I continued on my way too (also declining to take the pheasant), and arrive home safely, although somewhat later than planned.

After I had been on the road again for about ten minutes, I realised that I am definitely not a digital native.  I took no photos of the pheasant, either inside the engine, or after it had been removed; it never occurred to me, despite me having my phone in my pocket.  I did take a photo of the grille this morning, though:

broken fascia, smashed grille, and internal feathers: there goes my no claims bonus.

So, Volvo (nearly) 1; pheasant 0.  Also, Volvo 1; RAC 0.

No comments:

Post a Comment