Tuesday, January 22, 2008

When bad weather happens to good drivers

I had my first car accident yesterday. And it was my fault. Everybody is fine and there was just some damage to the front end of my car. It was just me and hubby in the car; Peanut was at home with my mom.

However, I must say that there were several elements that combined to create the conditions of the accident. It was snowing and westbound I-94 was slippery and icy. I was in the slow lane when I saw that there were cars on the shoulder, so, as is the law, I merged left into the center lane and ended up close behind a van. Much closer than I would normally be. (I'm sure you already see where this is going)

Just after I got behind the van, a semi hauling a bunch of cars cut off the van and started fishtailing. And slowing down. So the van starts to slow down. So do I. And yes, because I had shifted lanes to avoid the accident on the shoulder, I was too close to the van to stop in time. My plastic bumper was no match for that van's steel, even at about 5 mph.

Mr. Nice Gentleman driving the van was understanding, which I appreciated. Officer Freezing was also nice and very efficient, which is not surprising given that he was going from accident to accident on that stretch of freeway. And my husband, whom I love dearly, was the best of all. I had done as well as I could with what I knew even though I didn't know how to slow my car by downshifting and he told me that. He also got me to laugh several times when I got down and shaky. Mom was just glad nobody got hurt. Dad told Mom via phone "That's why it's called an accident--nobody means for them to happen."

But still. I feel like a moron. And now I have a smear on my driving record. Grrr. But my insurance guy and the people at the collision center were very nice. I'd been thinking of looking for new insurance to find a better rate, but with how the service has been so far with my insurance guy, I'll probably stay with him. Good service is very important.


Lisa said...

Man, accidents suck (I had a doosy up in Canada two years ago) but before you know it it'll be years gone by and won't mean a thing. It's nice that the other guy wasn't a jerk and really, in the weather, you couldn't be... I do understand the shaken up feeling though...

Liz said...

I'm 100% certain that you were not the only one who had an accident on Monday. The roads were nasty slick and if a slight bump is the worst that happened then that is pretty good.

Accidents are never fun, but no one is hurt and that is most important.

Emily Ryan-Davis said...

I've only had a couple of little bumps involving vehicles, but each one is alarming in its own way! I was tapped by someone behind me and in slow-moving traffic and it wasn't my fault and I still panicked because I thought I did something wrong :)

Thanks for coming by my site yesterday! Hope to see you there again!

Naomi said...

You're dad's right. That's why they call them accidents. And you were doing everything right given the conditions.

I'm glad you're all okay and that the hubby is like the best man ever. And at least you didn't have the fender bender I had in November. My poor car is still not talking to me without swearing. *g*

Mitchell said...

Last week I had a nearly miss accident.
One is as I was driving towards Pioneer Road from Upper Jurong Road, on my left slightly ahead of me by about one and half car length (surely should be able to see from the side view mirror), was a van and a heavy industrial lorry truck in front of the van. Obviously, the speed wasn't fast for them, at the most they were about 60km/h. But I was already travelling at 90km/h, fast approaching the right side of the van, then suddenly, without any signalling nor warning, the man van just sway out right in front of me and I was barely a few feet away from the driver's door, I know even if I jam and slam my break and I will still hit the van and the driver, as such, no choice, I took a evasive move by steering away from the van to my right and horn loudly, into next lane on my right. Thank God that wasn't any car or other motorist close by, or else, a serious accident is sure to happen.
Happy that you did not come to harm.