Wednesday, September 26, 2012

If you can't be a good example, be a horrible warning. Vol. 1.






I met the nicest man last week. When I drove my car into his car.

I was stopped at a four-way stop, and was trying to read the street sign as I was unfamiliar with the area I was driving through. I stopped and then I drove forward while looking sideways at the street sign and right into the side of the man who was turning left. He was incredibly nice about it considering it was all my fault and to top it off, it was his 60th birthday and he was on his way home to his wife for dinner. Do I know how to make a day special or what? Sigh.

Crap. One minute of inattention at the wheel = lots of headaches. Not actual headaches, we're all fine, but dealing with insurance and worrying that my car will be a write off, not because the accident was bad, both cars were traveling at about 10 km/hr, but because my car is 13 years old, and oh the painful irony of spending $700 in front-end repairs a week before wrecking the front end of the car.  *face palm* 

I'm still waiting to hear from the insurance company and the body shop. In the meantime, I'm tooling around in a sleek silver Malibu rental that Rachel has christened "Renty", as in "Can we go out shopping in Renty?"

So today I am presenting myself as a horrible warning for what happens when you don't pay attention while driving. 

Pay attention, dammit!!

You're welcome.

18 comments:

  1. I'm just happy you and the girls were okay and that no one was hurt.

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    1. You're right. We're all fine. And so was the man whose car I hit. That's the important part. But I'm still mad at myself for not paying attention.

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  2. I'm glad nobody was hurt. The bloke who's car you hit seemed remarkably well controlled. I know if it was me, I would't be screaming or shouting, but would still make my feelings clear.

    Oh well, I suppose you can consider it a useful, if a bit expensive, learning experience.

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    1. He was a very, very nice man. Kept saying that it was only a minor fender bender and no one was hurt. And he was probably put off a bit by the fact that Rachel was in hysterics, screaming non-stop for the first ten minutes after the accident. We had to wait an hour and a half for the police to come and give us an accident report. His wife joined us on the side of the road with some missing documents and we stood around chatting as if it were a surreal cocktail party and we were having a very nice time. He regaled me with stories of his own sons' car crashes and made me feel not as stupid as I actually was. When we finally got to leave with the police report, his wife hugged me and Rachel is determined to invite him skating on the Canal with us this winter. Not your average car accident.

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  3. You live and learn. Or in my case, live and learn and promptly forget... The important thing is everyone is OK.

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    1. I don't know that I will be forgetting any time soon. In fact, I have to drive into Kanata again tonight and I'm planning a route that avoids that intersection. :)

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  4. Well, at least you hit a *nice* man :-)

    I had an accident caused by a similar moment of inattention a couple of years ago, where I was making a right turn behind another car making the same right turn. She drove forward and I assumed she'd turned. I was looking left to see if it was clear and didn't notice that she was still debating the turn, although from slightly farther out into the intersection. I felt terrible because it was my fault, and she was ancient. It was just a little bump, but I think it really scared her.

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    1. You *do* feel terrible, don't you? It's so easy to get distracted and/or assume the other driver is going to do something that they may not do.

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  5. An older woman backed into my car in the parking lot of kindermusik a few years ago. I was nice too - shit happens, and everyone screws up sometimes. It's nice if you're lucky enough that only a car gets hurt, and you meet some nice people in the bargain.

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    1. I really don't think anything gets accomplished by yelling at someone in this kind of case. I am sure that Pat (the man I hit, who was a gentleman in every sense of the word) would not have yelled anyway, but my having to spend a good 10 minutes calming Rachel down and stopping her from screaming/crying probably garnered me some slack.

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  6. I recently had an altercation with a woman and her car door in a WalMart parking lot. The insurance said it was HER fault but she yelled at me and we both lost our tempers. It wasn't pretty but no one was hurt and I wish I'd handled it as well as your fellow. Nice story.

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    1. Parking lots are the *worst*. Sometimes I think that some people yell even more when it's their fault, like they can scare you into thinking that they are in the right. Did you ever see that scene in Fried Green Tomatoes when Kathy Bates gets into a car accident with a teenage girl in a mall parking lot? Classic.

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    1. Sadly, OH Yesssssss! An expensive lesson on paying attention, but it could have been so much worse. No one was hurt, and cars are just metal that can be fixed.

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  8. I'm sorry for your accident and glad no none was hurt, and it was a nice post to read. A reminder that in fact "shit happens" and staying calm and nice in these situations is a far better way to handle it. It is easy to get distracted, and you weren't even trying to read or write a text;)

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    1. You're right. Shit does happen, and how you deal with it says a lot about you as a person. He was definitely a nice, kind person. Consider my faith in humanity renewed. :)

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  9. Thanks for your reminder, Alison. I hope your post could be a guide to other drivers as well. There’s a lot of things that can happen on the road in a blink of an eye. So it's really best to be alert and be a responsible driver all the time. Drive safe!

    Faith Brady

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  10. I agree with you. Everything can happen in just a blink of an eye -- what more if the drivers lose their focus on the road for a long while? It’s imperative to get rid of any kind of distractions while driving. Many people have fallen victim to reckless driving, so we should do our part and avoid such practices.

    Jerry Brady @ Lambert and Williams Law

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