Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A lesson in looking where you're going

So I got rear-ended on the way home from work yesterday. I'm fine and the other driver's fine (well, except her nerves) and the cars were both fine. Somehow.
The accident happened on Shelby Oaks Drive across from Putt-Putt and next to Jim's Place East (coincidentally where my family's meeting for dinner for Nana's birthday this Friday) - I was going that route after stopping at my Mom-in-law's work to pick something up - and after I was frustrated with a lady in front of me for not turning left when she had plenty of time to do so. Now you know two variables that could have changed it all, had I gone straight home or the lady in front of me wasn't a wuss.
In my rearview mirror I see that I have maybe two seconds tops to face the realization that A) There's a car coming at me that is slamming on its brakes, B) That lady is going to hit me, and C) Oh crap, we only have one car and I cannot afford this right now.
With the car in front of me having just turned, I hit the gas as hard as I could, which was probably the only thing that saved us from going KABLOOEY. She still hit me pretty hard and made a decent CRUNCH noise, lurching my car ahead. My car turned off with what must be an emergency kill switch, but my air bags didn't deploy. So either they're broken or it wasn't hard enough. Her front bumper ended up just bouncing off my big back bumper, apparently, because there was almost no sign of damage other than some scratches on my bumper and the bumper is a little loose.
When I get out, of course, I'm expecting to see the back of my car split in half. Approaching me is a frazzled little white lady, maybe 65 years old. She was driving an old brown Corolla that, in her nervous rambling, she tells me that she got for only $1,500 on a good deal because she just had cancer surgery and as a result - this is the kicker - doesn't have insurance (oh, great). She also complained that the seat belt hurt when she hit my rear. (Um, yeah, the seat belt that probably just kept your head from hitting my back window?)
She starts marveling at how neither of our cars appear damaged, which is a miracle, I admit. My back window didn't bust, the bumper didn't split, her car didn't even have a dent (at least not a new one). My car started right away when I tried.
I could have called the cops to report the accident. I probably should have. But all I could think was, this lady is driving a clunker with no insurance, what the heck am I going to get out of it? My Aztek is fine, no one was hurt. She was apologetic and volunteered to do what I wanted even though she probably knew she'd be in big trouble for lacking insurance. So I just wrote down her plate, name and phone number so that I could at least tell my insurance company what happened in case a month from now the innards of my car just fall out on the street.
I didn't really want to call the cops and hang around for an hour, either. Val had a dentist appointment for a filling, and I needed to get home and help take care of Cooper, so I went on home, and my car is driving fine and I'm not sore, thank the Lord.
Meanwhile, may I ask that everyone watch for cars ahead, and oh yeah, if you don't have insurance, stay the heck off the road.


Scott Rushing said...

Yep, still should have reported it. You didn't think about residual health problems that might occur in the coming days.

Jeff said...

Yeah, I know. Just didn't feel like waiting around. Hope it doesn't cost me later.