In Reply to: Emergency lane change: A Story... posted by JA on September 22, 1999 at 10:25:21:
traveling in our E36 328i sport, I woke up my wife when a 2x4 or the like was sliding from the right lane into mine (middle lane). The board had just fallen from a truck and was luckily traveling forward as well as sideways, thus giving me more leighway to avoid it. I was doing about 70mph in heavy friday afternoon traffic on I-95. Going so fast, I was hesitant to make a sudden jerk of the wheel fearing that I'd end up looking at the guardrail, or worse the sky-ground-sky-ground-etc. Long story longer, I made a moderate swerve and avoided the board without any harm done, and without having to make a drastic manuever.
The second occasion, was driving down a VERY rural road in southern maryland at dusk. It was curvy and I was enjoying myself driving at about 40mph. No sooner did I think that I was going a bit fast for the visiblity conditions (getting dark, but lights didn't do much yet), but a cute deer marches across the road in front of me. Fortunately my wife made that kind of inhaling noise of fear, giving me an extra split second notice of the danger ahead. I hit the brakes which stopped the car like I had just threw an anchor out the trunk. Fortunately the ABS didn't even have to kick in, and I didn't have to swerve.
What I've concluded is that it was the performance of the car, that made it possible to avoid these hazardous situations without extreme manuevering or pushing the limits of the car's capabilities. It's comforting to know that in most situations I'm not riding the razors edge of the car's capabilities, and that if I need more, it's there for me. If I were in my old Escort, I would have been standing on the brake pedal with both feet, wondering if the car was going to stop. In the BMW we stopped with plenty of room to spare.
Just goes to prove that safety is more than just crumple zones and airbags.