Losses and Lessons: 1936 Ford bears the brunt of swerving Scion

VEHICLE INVOLVED: 1936 Ford coupe

WHAT WENT WRONG: Ah, the innocent teddy bear. The soft and cuddly children’s toy is as intimidating as a new puppy. Until one gets lost on a busy highway, of course.

The owner of a 1936 Ford coupe was cruising on U.S. Route 101 in California when the vehicles on his right began to slow in order to straddle a teddy bear in the road. The driver of a 2007 Scion Model TC, distracted by the radio, saw the bear at the last moment and swerved to miss it, colliding with the Ford.

DAMAGE/LOSS: No one was hurt—including the teddy bear—but damage to the Ford was extensive. The passenger door took the brunt of the impact. Repair costs totaled more than $10,000, which Hagerty paid.

LESSON: When it comes to your own driving, keep your eyes moving. Watch the car in front of you, and maintain a reasonable distance. Also take an occasional glance at the cars farther ahead; watch for brake lights and sudden movements. Avoid distractions, particularly in heavy traffic.

Don’t text and drive. Need something in the back seat? Drop something? Wait to grab it, or pull over so you can pick it up when the car is stopped. Watch for animals or objects in the road, and do not swerve to miss anything unless it’s a person or something so large that it might kill you if you hit it. Bottom line: no car is worth a life.

With that said, think back to your early driving days. One of the first lessons we’re taught is that even the best drivers in the world can’t control what other drivers do. So expect the unexpected. Even the smallest, most harmless-seeming objects or distractions can wreak havoc on the highway.

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