I had every intention of attending the WWII shoot up in Kansas last Saturday — I was even bringing New Wife along to meet people — when somewhere along the interstate north I managed to drive over a discarded 18-wheeler’s tire tread, and I mean the entire tread, lying on its side and looking for all the world like a tire.  No time to avoid it — I was looking back for oncoming traffic as I came onto the highway* — and only saw the fucking thing when it was about twenty feet away.


Bloody thing did a number on the underside of the Tiguan (fortunately, not the engine, at least, I don’t think so as no warning lights came on), and tore off parts of both front-wheel wells.

So much for that car trip.  Ignoring the horrible scraping sound from underneath, I limped off the interstate and managed to get to a mechanic shop.  They cut off most of the draggy parts, but then recommended I not drive the thing.

And here I sit, waiting for the insurance guy to look at it and write me a check.

My apologies to all for my non-attendance, but there it is.

*Texas drivers will not yield to nor even slow down for cars entering the freeway in case they lose their God-given place in the traffic, so it’s vital to look back to see that someone isn’t coming up on you at speed.


    1. She tried to, but thanks to the government-mandated enormous A-pillars and headrests, the Tiguan has more blind spots than a home for the unsighted.

  1. Arizona drivers could give Texans (or most of the world) lessons on being highway *ssh*les. Sorry for your trouble, as I’ve been there (lost a wheel once to a highway alligator.)

    Your fun isn’t over yet, now you have to deal with the insurance company.

  2. Driving in Texas is most interesting, after years of living in Dallas I learned a few things that made driving on the tollway and workday commute out NW Highway to DFW that the size of the vehicle you are driving makes a difference and a V8 F-150 helps both from the size and the ability to see further both fore and aft. Nobody, even the huge tire, lifted diesel guys, wants to rear end a pickup truck with a trailer hitch sticking out. I don’t know why but they don’t follow as close when you have that large hitch on the back and it helps to have enough power to come up to speed as you slip into the right hand lane from an entrance ramp, kind of like what taking off from an aircraft carrier might be like.

    Having said that I just returned from a trip to Colorado and noticed more tire parts on the road than usual along with the deer splats we see this time of year during the rut which makes a journey become and adventure. One thing I don’t see as often on the road as I used to are dead armadillos which look a lot like shredded tire parts but probably not as bad on your underparts as tire scraps.

    I had to caution a friend who moved to Texas from a Pacific coast state when he got mad at a car that entered fast onto the road in front of him and he pulled up beside the car and yelled and made obscene gestures. I told him that we don’t see much of that in Texas because a lot of people carry guns and a lot of drivers are Mexicans who don’t have much of a car, no insurance and they often don’t give a shit since they don’t have much to lose. For decades driving in Texas I have made it a point to avoid interactions with the occupants of other cars, I just drive like hell and get on down the road or let up on the gas and let them move on because there is a lot of crazy out there.

    1. One more thing, Kim sorry about your experience because that crap can happen to any of us as we do the Texas NASCAR freeway entry thing.

  3. I’d trade Texas drivers for Maryland drivers any day. The closer you get to Baltimore, the worse it gets.
    Baltimore is a lawless city and unfortunately, I have to go to Johns Hopkins every 3rd month with my wife. We have to take our least car-jackable hoopty, remember not to make eye contact ever and NEVER stop for a body in the roadway (it’s a trap!).

  4. A couple of weeks ago I made the long drive from DC back to Idaho, and luckily didn’t really have any problems with merging in. It must be a thing, though, because in Missouri I saw a sign that made me laugh: “It’s a lane, not a birthright. Let them merge.”

  5. I once started reading a SciFi short (best as I can remember – it was many moons ago) about a guy with automatic rifles out of the grill and around the tail lights; got about two pages into it and moved on to the next story – so stupid! I thought.
    I’m going to try to find it again. I think the author’s name may have been Nostradamus

  6. I spent a lot of time in Texas back in the day, and the morning suicide run getting onto the freeway still gives me shivers.

    The damn entrance ramps are only about 20 yards long too, so you have about a microsecond to assess the traffic, find a slot and match velocities.

  7. It’s not just TX drivers. People here in the Midwest are not much different, they travel the right lane of a dual carriageway at 70 with eyes glazed and unresponsive to outside stimulus (yes, the state does allow weed sales legally, why do you ask?)

    This forces me to do 72 or 73 by the bottom of the on ramp, in order to thread into the slot. Of course, the secondary problem is the little old ladies (of both sexes) that piddle fart down the on ramp and put on brakes when they get to the merge stretch. That is more dangerous by far and most irritating.

    Good luck with the Tiggy. If you stripped the under cladding you might have had the tire hit the bottom of the wiper reservoir. If that drains you get a light. I just hope your oil pan is intact and not leaking.

    A suggestion going forward, do what I do to all my VW vehicles, and I am on # 6 and 7 currently, put a steel or aluminum skid plate under the engine/trans area. Will save your ass from most road debris short of boulders.

    FYI – here is a brand I trust, looked up one for the tiggy assuming it is a 2015, you can check for more details. Oh goodness, prices have gone way up, but still a bargain.


  8. Due to the insanity everywhere these days my driving, and exposure to other people, has dropped off drastically. Bet I didn’t drive 2000 miles in the past year, and haven’t been to a restaurant of any kind in almost 3 years. As I age my tolerance for idiocy wanes to minimal. Hell, junk mail has me reaching for the shotgun! I have no more fux to give.

  9. Many many moons ago a good friend was attending a software training seminar somewhere in Texas and relayed this story when he got home. At the beginning of the first day of class the instructor said that since many of the attendees were not from Texas he needed to give them some survival tips. Since most of the out-of-staters would have rental cars and that generally they’d be small rentals, they needed to understand how Texas highways work. When merging onto the highways, car size is key. Small cars yield to small pickups, small pickups yield to large cars, large cars yield to full size pickups, full size pickups yield to 18 wheelers, and 18 wheelers yield to gravel trucks. Gravel trucks yield only to God, and then grudgingly.

    1. It is as it is in Germany, then. Might makes Right-of-Way.
      When I drove there you either drove flat out in the Fast (sometimes) lane, or you toddled along at 99 Kph (60 MpH) behind the trucks while the enormous Mercedes and BMW touring cars and the occasional Super Car zoom by at speeds that preclude merging and returning to high speed travel.

  10. I hope your car is repaired quickly, properly and surprisingly less expensive than feared.

    Any update?

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