Over the course of 6 years, 3 different towns and two countries I’ve been hit four times.
The car I currently have is a replacement for the accident 6 years ago when someone decided I could avoid them if they pull out right in front of me while I’m moving at 45mph. They were wrong. The result was the side of my car being opened like a can of spam. Insurance calls it a total loss and I have to find a new car. My back hurt for months after.
A few years later I’m sitting at a light when out of nowhere comes a truck, going backwards, with no one driving. The end result is my car spending a week in the car-hospital getting a new passenger side.
One week ago the guy behind us at the light decided it was time to go. Traffic laws and logic do not agree as the light was still red. My car has a plastic rear bumper and I figured the slight imprint of his license plate on it wasn’t worth the fuss of having it replaced. Good thing I waited as that rear bumper is now a moot point.
Yesterday I’m sitting at a left turn waiting for a couple of oncoming cars to pass. I had just come from the grocery store and had spent a hour sitting in traffic because a garbage truck overturned on the on-ramp just down the street from me. It took me an hour to go about 2km.
As I’m waiting for the cars to pass I glance up at my rearview mirror as one does from time to time. I notice the car behind me is only a handful of meters away and getting closer FAST. I knew he’d have no time to stop. I took my foot off the brake (Newton’s Third Law of Motion and all), looked straight ahead, verified both hands were on the wheel with enough time left to say “shit”.
He hit me solid going about 40mph.
I let the car come to a stop about 60-70 feet away along the side of the road. I sit there for a time and give my brain a chance to absorb what just happened because it all happened so fast. Once it was done calculating the events, it reverted back to its first thought… this time it added an “ahhh” in front of “shit”.
Again, I look in my rear mirror. The car looks different then I remembered it from a moment ago. It’s in the middle of the road and a total mess. After seeing that, I didn’t want to get out and see my car. I like my little car. It’s kind of a dorky little car but I’ve some good memories with it over the past 6 years. I pictured the back of my car looking like the front of his. After about a minute from impact, I can feel the adrenalin fully kicking in so I get out of the car. Mine took the hit pretty well. It didn’t really look that bad. I can tell the trunk lid is well bent in and the aforementioned bumper is half off.
The other driver is dazed. I guess that happens to a person after getting slapped in the face by an airbag. His car is wasted (bummer for him because it looked fairly new). Plastic, glass and bits of car everywhere. The entire front end is smashed. Both front airbags deployed. I do not see any sign of an attempt to stop. No skid marks or scratched pavement. He hit my left rear side with his right front. This tells me he probably wasn’t going to gracefully make the easy right curve of the road. If I wasn’t there I suspect he would have nailed the oncoming car head on. (When I realize this, I feel a bit better that he hit me. Things would have been much worse for the person in the oncoming lane.)
He doesn’t want to call the police. He keeps saying “I call brother.” and “Brother come in few minute. He call police.” (English is not his first language.)
The witness tells me he was reading a map at the time of impact.
I write down some information of the driver and the witness. The witness give me a quick lesson on Canadian traffic accident process and leaves. I ask the driver again if he would please call the police. He said “wait for bother”. I do not have my mobile with me so I decide I need to see if my car will work well enough to get me the 1/2 kilometer home and I’ll make the call myself. I tell the driver I’m driving home, calling the police and I’ll return (I figure he’ll still be there… or at least his car will be). He didn’t like this idea but to hell with him. I have all his info.
My car doesn’t sound quite right for the drive home and at this point I’m starting to feel the impact on my back and neck. I return to the scene at the same time the PD and medical team arrive (they were quick). The driver’s family has arrived by then as well. I notice the drivers English gets much worse as the police start asking him questions.
The medical team ask me if I have any back or neck pain. 20 seconds after I say yes I’m in the back of their van on a backboard and neck brace. I spend the rest of the day at the hospital getting checked out. They release me that night with nothing broken but a fair amount of soft tissue damage to my back and neck.
When I return home I find the car was driven back to the house by my wife. The funny sounds I heard when I drove it has something to do with the back end mushed against the back tire (I still haven’t given it a good look). She couldn’t get the trunk open to retrieve the groceries even though the trunk space is pretty much the same shape it was pre-impact. She had to fold the back seat down to get the bags out. Later that night I find half the cans I bought are all dented from the impact. Not just kind of dented but really dented. One might say impressively dented.
I guess I’ll be needing a rental car.
I couldn’t sleep last night from the back pain. This morning is worse. My entire back, neck and back of my head feel like,. well,. like I’ve been hit with a car. I’ve a headache. I can tell where my seatbelt was across my chest. My forearms hurt for some reason. My legs as well. I can tell right now this is going to be something I feel for a while.
Overall I’m pleased with the results. I’m hurt but with enough time I should be right again. My dorky little car might be fixable. I’ve a good insurance company and the other driver has insurance as well. Best of all, no one died or lost a body part. I’m also pleased his new car is totally wasted. That should keep him off the road for a bit. I also like the idea of his insurance cashing out blue book on the car while his bank has the value at much higher. Nothing says “sucks to be you” like paying off a car loan for a car you no longer own.
I’m trying to keep a positive attitude about all this but I’m still mentally giving the other driver the finger. A really big finger. Made of steel and concrete. And I’m giving it to him upside the head.
Of course there is the other voice in my head shouting “FUCK! Will you people PLEASE pay attention while operating your automobiles! I’m fucking tired of this shit.”