VEHICLE COVERED: 1967 Pontiac GTO
WHAT WENT WRONG: Out for a leisurely drive in their beloved GTO, a West Coast couple was traveling the speed limit in the HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lane when a male driver in a Dodge Durango sped past them, swerved into their lane and slammed on his brakes. The driver of the Goat lost control of his car while trying to avoid the Durango, hit the guard rail, flipped and skidded across four lanes of traffic upside down before coming to a stop. The couple was uninjured – and, surprisingly, the GTO didn’t hit any other cars – but the Pontiac that they restored themselves 10 years before could not be saved.
DAMAGE/LOSS: The car was a total loss. Hagerty paid the clients $35,000 – the Guaranteed Value of the vehicle.
LESSON: There are a lot of aggressive drivers on the road, and they often look at other cars simply as annoying roadblocks. If someone is following you too closely, do not flash your brake lights or purposely slow down. Simply pull over and let them pass. If you’re in an older car and are driving under the speed limit on a multi-lane highway, stay to the right. Even if you’re driving the speed limit, pull to the right if you’re being tailgated. And if someone ahead of you is swerving erratically or won’t allow you to pass, don’t take chances. Keep your distance. You can’t rely only on your driving skills; you have to be aware of the cars around you and drive defensively – especially while driving a classic vehicle.