Ok, many of us have done it....

and now I wanna hear about it.

How did you total your car?


I was driving 1989 Honda Civic Wagon - a rare car at best. Let me Illustrate. It is powered (a word to be used liberally for sure) by a 4-cylinder 1.5 liter engine, running on 13 in wheels. Here’s a picture for those of you that wanna see. http://www.geocities.com/MotorCity/Downs/8997/car_n_me.jpg That’s not me or my car, but you get the idea. Rice Rocket to the extreme.

I was on my way to track practice (in high school). I had just pulled out of my neighborhood and gotten up to speed when I decided that I needed a little traveling music. I looked down at my radio, found a good station and looked back up at the road.

Yea, I looked up just in time to see myself slamming into the rear-end of a 1969 SS Camaro - fully restored. He was turning into his driveway. I hit him so hard that I picked his car up and put it on the roof of my car (it left indentations). His car then proceded to fly off of my car and turn all the way around so that he was facing me when his car stopped moving. It was not a pretty site. But I learned something about radios and I guess it all turned out alright in the end.

So how about you?

I didn’t total it… it wasn’t even my car…
I hit a parked car with my Dad’s truck. Whoops.

I only had my license for about a week. Needless to say I took the bus to school for a while. :frowning:

Remind yourselves all not to let me borrow your car.

Tyklfe, how the heck did that turn out alright? I mean, I don’t imagine owners of fully restored 60s Camaros generally being the most understanding people when said fancy car is picked up and unceremoniousy dumped, especially while they’re in it! :eek:

Details, we need details!

As for me, well, I hate those short walls that fail to show up on my rearview mirrors. Some nasty scratches but nothing else to report.

Damn, my first totaled post. Does that count for anything?


well, I look at it this way, it was a nasty accident that no one got hurt in or died. I also became a better driver so I have to say that while it cost me in money for car replacement and insurance hikes overall it could have been worse.

truer words were never spoken. He wanted to kick my ass and almost did. Thankfully some people were around that kept him from doing so. That and my insurance paid for all the damage to his car.

Totaling a car is easier than you might imagine. “Totaled” doesn’t necessarily mean the car is smashed all to kingdom come. It just means that the insurance company will not pay to repair it and offers you a lump sum to be finished with the car, take it or leave it. In the case of front-end damage, insurers tend to total it very readily, even though the rest of the car is fine.

It was 1981. St. Louis. I was driving my trusty 1975 Duster that had gotten me all through college. Exited Highway 44 at Vandeventer. It had been raining. Going down the offramp suddenly the pavement was too slick brakes had no effect I slid all the way down powerless to do anything at the bottom there was a wedge traffic island dividing right turns from left turns I hit it straight on smashed the sign hit the fire hydrant and stopped.

Guy in the house at the bottom of the hill said: there was an oil slick on the offramp. Mixed with rain, super slick. He’d watched several cars crash already that day.

Front end was sort of bashed in a little.


My family and I were on the way back from a lovely weekend at my grandparents in South GA. It was late summer, and we
had a fresh crop of peanuts in the back of the station wagon. (This was in 1973, so you can imagine the size of this station wagon.)

I was working on getting my license, and therefore was at the wheel of the family car. What could happen? There were miles of nothing but cotton fields, with the occasional tractor. Our travels took us thru many a small town. Mom was in the front with me, Dad was in the back seat with my little brother, and my little sister was in the very back, with the peanuts.

We approached yet another small town, and there were the RR tracks. The lights were flashing, but cars were heedlessly traveling back and forth across them. I stopped. “Can you see anything” “No, it looks okay on this side” “go on up a little” I must state that there were two tracks, and one train had simply unhitched some cars and left them on the tracks, obscuring my vision. I ease up. I don’t see anything. Mom doesn’t see anything. I ease up some more. By this time I am well past the first set of tracks and heading for the second. I ease up. I look. There, heading straight for my mother is a train. I started moaning, my mother is shouting “GO, GO!” I don’t know whether to go forward or go back! I am paralyzed! All I can see is this fricking train about to come through our car. The train is blowing it’s horn - it’s so damn LOUD! Dad - “Go across, go across!” I floored it, and the train hit the right rear quarter panel of the car and spun us parallel to the tracks. We come to an abrupt stop, Dad jumps out of the car and runs to the back, where my little sister had been. She was still there, and fortunately had no more than a circular shaped cut on her leg. Peanuts were everywhere. Glass was everywhere.

I don’t remember a whole lot after that. I do remember that all the rubberneckers were eating OUR peanuts as they watched. The train eventually came to a stop (it had been going 35mph). The train company accepted full responsiblity, we called my uncle to come get us, the car was totalled, I flayed myself daily for the accident, and at 17 had another accident when I tried to get across some empty tracks, but was going too fast and rear ended some lady. I had freaked at the thought of being so close to another train.

And that, gentle readers, is the account of Lyllyan and the train.

Well . . . there was that one time I went and flipped (I say flipped because it was actually kind of a mix of both rolling and going end over end) my car five times down an embankment while I was probably going, at the very least, 45 mph.

Other than that I’ve had a pretty good driving record.

I will ease you into my auto adventures:

14 years old, learning how to drive - I hit a parked car. No major damage, just an “oops” occurance.

Take the driver’s test at 15. Fail. Twice.

Finally get my license. Upon leaving my neighborhood on one of those residential roads I pass my parents. We both do the back-up maneuver to meet each other’s window to talk. I manage to back into my next door neighbor’s Lincoln as she was driving down the road. Left enough damage to warrant a new bumper.

Driving like a madman down a dirt road in my Jeep Cherokee making unadvised weaves and turns. I lost control and flew off the road into a tree. Left surprisingly little damage and got a trucker to pull me out and we knocked the dent out with a hammer. When my parents heard about the wreck a deer had magically appeared in the story.

Again - driving eratically down a small town street with enough people in the Jeep to qualify as a clown car. The road makes a sharp left turn. The Jeep doesn’t. We fly off the road and land in a gravel parking lot. Car is fine - got the new nickname “Jerry” from the Primus song “Jerry Was a Race Car Driver” and people are starting to evade me as the night draws to a close to avoid my offering a ride home.

I am sure I am blocking a few minor scrapes here.

The big one. Believe it or not, this one is actually not my fault. Having jacked my insurance up to the “ridiculous” rate I have learned to drive much more safely, and, to the pleasure of everyone in town, much less. I am driving down a highway and put on my blinker to move into the left turn lane to get onto the interstate. I pass a cement truck. (Cue the ominous music here.) I move into the left turn lane and am there for approximately 10 seconds before I feel a huge bang on the back of my car. I have been rear-ended by a cement truck going approximately 35 mph. I was travelling approx. 30 mph but the impact has me flying out of control at a higher speed where I crash land into the back of a white four door and continue to spin out of control and land on the shoulder of the on-ramp - the one I was trying to get to, ironically. Being a too shy teenager I didn’t speak up when the cops came and let the cement truck driver basically talk over me while he lied about the speed of my vehicle and whether or not I used turned signals and how far I was from his truck, etc… The wreck was ruled my fault. This was in 1994 and my insurance is now back to a normal rate. I am still driving the same car but now the trunk leaks. The insurance company wouldn’t total it because it was brand-freakin’-new when I wrecked and we owed too much to just pay the damn thing off and get a new one.

Okay, whew. I promise I drive much better now. I haven’t even had a ticket since that wreck (knock on wood) and drive the speed limit now. Wait … where are you going? Why are you backing away from me? [yelling] Do you need a ride? [/yelling]

December 3, 1991, I was leaving school to drive to an ortho appt. It was snowing hard in the first blizzard of the year in Montreal. I slowly accelerate in the on-ramp to the highway, and my '79 Cordoba spins left

into an 18-wheeler.
After lots of spinning, and drifting across the highway, I calmly turn off the radio, get out, and walk to the truck driver. Cops come, tow truck driver asks me to start the car (but you see this big empty space? That’s where the battery was!), and after being asked 7 or 8 times “Are you okay?” I eventually GET ABANDONED ON THE MEDIAN OF THE HIGHWAY! AND I HAVE TO HITCH A LIFT HOME!

I still have the hood ornament from that car. Turned it into a keychain.

And then a few years later, my sister is travelling on the highway during the ice storm when an 18-wheeler jacknifes in front of her…


I’m 17 years old and have taken it upon myself to go test drive some automobiles (which, I have since learned is generally frowned upon - most dealerships will only let “adults” test drive cars. Sue me - I could grow a beard at 10). I motor on down to the local Ford dealership, pick out a nice, new Mustang and the salesman and I go tooling around. He’s talking me up pretty hard as we come back up Route 1. I’m going about 50 mph.

Off in the distance I notice one of those huge family wagon-type cars preparing to pull out of a store’s parking lot. Surely the driver sees me. I’m the only person on the road at this moment. Surely the driver sees me…Why is the driver pulling out into my path?

CRUNCH! I hit the wagon right in the left, front tire. The front end of the Mustang is accordioned. The Vista Cruiser (or whatever she was driving) is walloped pretty good but nothing too horrendous. I come to find out that the driver is the wife of the most successful personal injury attorney in Fredericksburg, and that she did the exact same thing (pulled out in front of someone) the week before.

Long story short - I got to total a car that a dealership owned.

I bought a Nissan instead.

Okay, my turn.

End of March, 1991. I had pulled a late shift at work, and was driving north on Interstate 5 on my way home. It was about 8:30p.m., and the rain was coming down hard. Being a young idiot, I decided to drive in the leftmost lane, since it had the fewest cars and would get me home faster.

You can probably guess the rest: heavy rain, freeway driving, 60+ MPH – I hit a puddle and my car starts hydroplaning. It shimmies left and right for a few seconds, and just before I can try to get it under control, it suddenly veers into a SHARP RIGHT TURN.

I plow across four lanes of freeway traffic and hit the wall at 45-50 MPH. My seat drops down, so I can’t see the rest, but apparently my car then bounces back to the center divider, hits that, then bounces forward again towards the wall, and finally comes to a stop.

Miraculously, no one else was injured or involved in this one-man mess. I walked away from the accident (thank goodness for seat belts!), sporting two dozen aching joints and a massive black-and-blue spot across my chest for two weeks.

Needless to say, the car was totalled – it was literally two feet shorter than before, and all of the tires had blown out from the impact(s). All I could do was recover my spare change and file the insurance claim. In retrospect, I wish I had taken a camera with me to the junkyard, just to snap a few photos of how the car looked afterwards…

1973 - I was coming back from the first concert I had ever attended by myself (Frank Zappa and the Mothers; the tour which featured Jean Luc Ponty.) There was a parking lot I had to make a left hand turn into to get home. When I went to make the turn, another car two cars behind me tried to pass me and hit me broadside. Kablammo. I wasn’t wearing my safety belt, which is probably a good thing since it threw me to the other side of the car. If I had been wearing it, I’d probably have lost my legs. As it was, I just got a head injury (10 stitches) and spent the rest of the summer picking glass out of my ears.

Went back to see the car a few days after and I was suprised to see how much rust it had actually been made of.

Eutychus - ouch!

I was turning left across a higway (eastbound lane to a gas station on the far side of the westbound lane) and the transmission popped out of gear. Ford Ranger hit me just in front of the right front tire. At 70 mph. Unlike rjung, I took pictures. It’s still sitting in my yard, and I plan to rebuild it as soon as I get enough money (It’s perfect from the firewall back–I’ll probably get a parts truck and swap the body onto another frame).


Wow, and it really looked like you babied that thing too.

that hurts

Mine “died” in a flash flood. It came suddenly while I was around the corner from my house, but in a low point in the subdivision. The car stalled in the rising water which quickly rose to the level of my seat cushions.

Doesn’t sound like much, but the car wouln’t run and within about 8 hours it stank like a sewer. In two days it was covered in mold. So I took the insurance money, which covered about half my loss.

I was in 5 car wrecks the first year and a half I had my drivers license. None of the wrecks were technically my fault. Although, if had been a better driver I might have been able to avoid a couple of them.

I was 16 and on the way to my first day at my first real job. It was raining. The driver in front of me slammed on his breaks to make a last minute left turn. I had to hit my breaks pretty hard. A split second after he turned left I was rear-ended by a Yellow Cab. I was driving a 1984 Pontiac Sunbird. My little car had no chance. I had to crawl out the passenger side because the entire left side of my car had shifted up about a foot.

Insurance paid for the car and I got a new one a few weeks later.

I was at a complete stop on a two lane road waiting for a car two cars ahead of me to make a left hand turn. Someone hit me from behind going about 40 miles an hour. I was sandwiched in between her car and the car in front of me.
I still had the 30 day tags on my new car and they had to total it too.

The third car lasted a lot longer. I was in three minor wrecks but no real damage.

A co-worker and I were driving to a job in the Bronx in my car. Roads were icy, but it was warming up and raining = surface only slightly less slippery than AstroGlide.

We come to the top of a hill and lose complete control of the car. It was actually very gentle - we just started gliding and I realized there was not a thing to be done about it. A unique feeling, and one I might have enjoyed.

Except for the car at the bottom of the hill.

The one that we were RAPIDLY approaching.

I frantically tried steering left and right amd pumped the brakes, but nothing helped. So I prepared to die.

We slammed into the rear of the other car, then hit the guardrail. To our surprise, we were not only alive, but uninjured.

We helped the guy in the other car out (also uninjured), and then stood there and watched three other accidents happen in the same spot. The cops shut down the road shortly thereafter.

My car was in sorry shape, and I was bummed. My friend later told me that he now knew what it felt like to be a cue ball.