Weekend Question Thread

Ever had a car accident?

I’ve been pretty lucky, been bumped into a couple of times but nothing too serious. Once I got run off the road by an asshole on the Dan Ryan expressway split during rush hour. It was just after a big snowstorm, and this dick swerved into the express lane late, cutting off a pickup truck which then swerved into me, trapping me between him and the barrier. Door scraped up, mirror torn off, and me pissed as hell because I’d already been late to work before this happened.

The truck driver felt terrible and offered to pay for the mirror. The guy whose fault it was never even stopped.


15 thoughts on “Weekend Question Thread

  1. Been in two, both in Loosiana, one my fault — didn’t see a stop sign and got T-boned.
    Volvo’s really ARE safe. Walked away, sore as all hell but otherwise unhurt.
    Once did a 360 in snow just outside of Sun Prairie, but no harm, no foul.
    And on a motorcycle had someone in a van back up on me…wouldn’t you know, the horn had a tendency to not work sometimes, but I was able to yell loud enough. The van driver was sorry and apologized.
    Of course, have had a lot of near misses. That’s why I try to drive as little as possible.

  2. I was going north on an angle street and some clown was speeding south on the same street trying to beat the light. He (tried to) made an illegal left turn on to a side street and broadsided me, @ 45 mph, (his speedometer broke at that speed) pushing my car sideways up a curb into a fire hydrant, ripping both of my right side wheels off, snapping the FWD mechanism off the front and busting the holder thing for the back wheel. The hydrant started gushing water into my car. The car would have been “totalled”, IF I had made even one payment on it. Instead MY insurance had to pay to have it rebuilt. He was uninsured, driving someone else’s car and had a foreign license.
    I had the car for 16 hours, it had 78 miles on it when it got hit. It was in the shop for 3 months and never ran right after then. My insurance only covered one month of a rental car. So I was out that money too.

  3. Yeah, when I was 21 I pulled away from a stop sign and was hit in the driver’s door. Woke up a couple of days later in the hospital with a punctured lung, no spleen and a broken pelvis. Had no real memories of what happened that day for years. (Of course, being in a 1968 VW square back at the time meant there was little protection in the car). Then, to make things eerie, this past January our son, who was a couple weeks away from being 21 himself, was rearended at highway speed, it caused his car to turn sideways, then roll down an embankment. We are grateful that he is not: 1. dead; 2. paralyzed; 3. brain damaged. When you see photos of his car at the scene, you would be thinking for sure someone died. And if he had any passengers, they would have been killed. He is okay except he has been struggling with back and neck pain. The structure of his car and his seatbelt kept him safe. Anyway, car wrecks are serious business. My son had a friend die in one a little more than a year before his accident, so he has been a pretty careful driver ever since Calvin died. This accident of his own has made him even more watchful. I guess as a mother I should be glad for that, but I still worry every time my phone rings and I see it is my son calling. Especially if he calls at night.

  4. Yep, I sure was. When I was 4-1/2 years old, mom and I were in her (68 or something) Mustang close to Xmas…headed to or from my grandparents’ house that night. A driver in a station wagon piloted by a drunk headed the other way approached us head-on and sent us spinning and off into the ditch where we rolled a couple of times. Oh, and we weren’t wearing our seatbelts…hey, it was ’71… Mom hit the windshield and busted up her face, broke her wrist, various lacerations. I slammed into the dash…my saving grace was my then-bigger-than-me chartreuse and white teddy bear my grandparents had given to me as an infant (while they were in Spain for a year). “Teddy Oso” was in my lap and functioned as my de facto air bag. I had bruises, cuts and a fairly shattered left ankle, but survived w/o a TBI. I still possess my Teddy Oso and now that I ponder it, ‘he’ may be the reason why I love the color chartreuse. (lagniappe: when you push on his teddy bottom, he makes a fart noise! Which also explains a lot about my sense of humor! Those silly Spaniards! 🙂 )
    Needless to say, since we got out of the hospital, we’ve worn our seatbelts. The upshot? The out of court settlement from the jackhole covered my college costs, so…not the preferred way to avoid a student loan, but…
    I tend to drive defensively and do my best to stay out of trouble’s path.

  5. I was a cops reporter for a lot of years in both rural and urban environs and covered a lot of fatalities. Some were nothing more than the predictable outcome of drinking and driving. Some were downright freakish (the two women who both died of broken necks in a head-on collision at 15 — 15 — mph; the guy who got decapitated by the hoof of a horse standing in the road in dense fog).
    Was in the back seat of a Ford Taurus on a two-lane road in northern Virginia in ’96 when we were approached head-on by a car in the wrong lane. I had no illusions about how that was likely to end. But we got incredibly lucky: We swerved, he missed, and although our car ended up doing a couple of 360s before slamming backwards into an embankment, all four of us, including the pregnant driver, walked away with no lasting ill effects. Other car never even slowed down. The sonofabitch. Nearby neighbors came out to help and said there were bad wrecks on that stretch all the time.

  6. For me, thankfully, only a couple of minor bumps. But I (used to) have a brother-in-law who was driving some years ago on a two-lane rural road in winter. Decided to pass the plow in front of him which was going too slow, so he went around on the left and smacked into another stopped truck. Air bags went off and kept him in the car, though very broken up. Spent 3+ weeks in a hospital. The next year, at a party at my house, he was going on about “Do you know how expensive it is to replace air bags?!” and my wife asked, “Would that be less than 3 weeks in a hospital?”

  7. Thank God I haven’t had one in a while, but I’ve totaled more cars than you can shake a stick at, and I think it’s only been my fault maybe once. I hit a deer once in a Dodge Colt, those things were made like Coke cans and it didn’t take much to destroy it. Same Dodge Colt hit a limo in downtown Manhattan. I had two uninsured drivers plow into me. I had a glass truck ram me from behind. Let’s see … oh yeah, I had an Iranian immigrant plow into my old 1973 Plymouth Duster — if ever a more indestructible vehicle was made, I’d love to see it. That was my first accident, and 6 months later I got a call from the insurance company’s attorney asking me weird questions. Apparently the guy was claiming that at the time of the accident he had only one arm and the accident exacerbated his one-armedness. I said, “I think I would have remembered that. Not only did he have both arms, but the one thing he DID NOT have was his driver’s license. At the time of the accident he told me he had to go home and get it.”
    Geez. I finally decided something was wrong with my car karma and made a conscious effort to change things. I haven’t had a real accident in years, though I hit the side of my garage once pulling out too fast. That doesn’t count, does it?

  8. I had several near misses and one accident. One of the near misses was a car pulling out in front of me and I went across the road in to the ditch, up and out of the ditch and back on the road. The cars behind me stopped to see if I was all right but the offender did not. The accident echoed that encounter.
    I was driving my employers car to deliver something in the next town. There were still places on the highway where there was no interchange. People pulled up to the stop and crossed the first half of the highway and then turned on to the other half. I could not believe what I was seeing. I was going the speed limit, 60, and they were pulling out right in to my path. I stood up on the brakes and braced myself for death. I think the car in the lane next to me may have shielded me from their view but I will never know. There was no question of dodging. Not this time.
    We rode in the ambulance together. The driver kept talking to me all the way making excuses and his wife kept trying to get him to leave me be. I was seriously injured and in and out of consciousness.
    What I remember best is how delighted the ambulance attendants were to find us alive. They called that particular intersection “hamburger junction” for obvious reasons. Two years later they built the interchange there as enough people had died to make the investment worth the money.

  9. Only minor stuff, and it has been a while since even that happened. During Tropical Storm Allison and the huge flood of Houston I was parked trying to wait it out when a pickup truck swiped the side of my Mazda 626. That was 2001.
    Now let me go find some wood to knock on.

  10. It was 1967 and we were a block from home heading to my folks to pick up our daughter the day after our friends’ wedding when my cousin hit my shiny dark metalic blue 1963 Grand Prix with the snowplow he was driving. I loved that car. Had a 389 with three two-barrel carbs, progressive linkage, Doug headers, and positraction. It would pass anything except a gas station. The impact spun us around and crimped the driver’s door shut. Fortunately, in those pre-seat belt days, neither of us were injured. Insurance fixed it, but we had to get rid of it for something more economical my wife could drive back and forth to college. Loved my Grand Prix.

  11. One really good smacking. When I was teaching, one February, I had an afternoon class to teach, had stopped on the way to do an errand, and when I got back in, forgot the seatbelt (which I never did, ordinarily). Toodling along at about 30-35 on a back road with about four or five inches of slushy snow, in front of me was a long left-hand uphill turn for me, downhill right-hand for the opposing driver. At the top of the hill, I saw a new (then) `80 Camaro come from behind a blind curve toward me at about 70 mph. The driver lost it, the back end came around, and I had no place to go–if I headed for the opposite lane and the driver corrected, it would be my fault, and if I headed off the road to the right, I was going to split the old VW bus in half on a three-inch steel post set in several feet of concrete. So, I just clamped down on the brakes and hoped for the best. Of course, when the bus slowed down enough, I was committed and couldn’t turn out of the way, and that’s when I saw the other driver crawling into the passenger seat to avoid the point of impact.
    The other car was maybe 150 feet away when I remembered, uh-oh, shit, no seat belt. So, I braced myself against the steering wheel as hard as I could, and when I was down to perhaps 10 mph, the other car t-boned me going maybe 40-45. It was a near-perfect t-bone–the rear half of the driver’s door right on the center of the nose of the bus and almost a perfect right angle. I was gripping the wheel so tightly that I sort of rotated up and out of the seat, which probably kept me from hitting the windshield. However, I lurched a little to the right and hit the overhead vent with my head. Those who have had old VW buses know that the fresh air vent runs overhead above the center of the windshield, and there’s a roughly 4″ x 6″ access panel so that leaves and debris can be cleaned out of the vent, and there are six Phillips-head screws holding it on, and I raked my forehead across every one of those raggedy-edged screws (I know, I checked later, and there were bits of skin on each one). Probably knocked me out for a second or two–I know I saw plenty of stars.
    Eventually, I was able to get out, hanging onto the door to keep me upright, blood running down my forehead into my eyes. It was then that the rather young driver of the other car sort of wriggled out of the opening where her passenger window used to be. The first thing she said was, “are you alright?” Reasonable question. I said, yes, I think so. Hearing this, she said, rather ruefully, “I guess my insurance rates are going to go up… [longish pause] *sigh*… again.”
    The truly odd thing was that the only apparent damage to the bus was that the bumper was bent back and down, the right headlight bulb had popped out and was hanging on its electrical lead like an eyeball on its optic nerve, and most of the front sheetmetal below the floorboard was bent backwards a bit. Her car, however, was a mess. The only undamaged panel on the car was the right front fender. Both halves of the t-top had shattered and fallen inside, the left side windows were shattered, the windshield was cracked in several places, as was the backlight, even the roof, b-pillar, trunk, hood and rear valence were wrinkled, and both left-hand tires were flat–cut by the crunched in fenders, which literally had tears in the sheetmetal.
    Finally a cop came, paced off my skid marks in the slush, looked up the hill at the wide swathe her car had cut in the slush, and started writing her a ticket. Then he stopped, and asked, “do you think you can get this thing out of here?” Dunno, I said, but that I’d try. Got in, door closed and latched just fine, the engine started up, I backed up and headed back for home. Lost the brakes a couple of miles from home, so I must have cut a brake line somehow, and had to use the handbrake to stop. Still have some minor occasional lower abdomen muscle problems from hitting the steering wheel, but, all in all, damned lucky. Haven’t ever forgotten the seat belt since then, either.

  12. The accident is the situation that we cannot predict where it gonna happen specially when we are on the road. All we have to do is extra careful and focus in driving.

  13. most pretty minor, tho i totalled my mom’s car. slick road. so much for anti-lock breaks.
    OH, i was hit while driving my SS queen victora(blue 1972 olds delta 88 in the 80’s) by a flying wheel, not tire, a wheel. i saw it fly over the street light heading for the passenger seat my aunt was in. i slowed down slowly as i was in the lead of a line of cars. it hit my front end squishing the header + hood and bounced off to the lawn, missed kids and smaller new cars. my old ‘beaters’ were bumped several times with no damage, while new cars were. i MISS those olds.

  14. I have had lots of near misses here in New Orleans…but thankfully I have good reflexes!
    On a school camping trip, our van went off the road (there had been rain and the dirt road gave way) and we toppled over the mountain and wound up upside down about 20 feet down, wedged by two trees that stopped our falling further. I do not like ANYONE ELSE driving on mountain roads needless to say…but not as much of a problem since I live in LA.

  15. 06/1964 Lubbock, TX @289/87 my dad missed a stop sign early in the AM and we had an impacted pickup truck. He died, I had a major leg fracture, my mother broke a collarbone & a number of ribs + lacerations and my brother was unhurt, went to live w/our uncle for a couple of months. Had he gone about 2mph faster I would have died…

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