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Car Accident - cellophane
the story of an invisible girl
renniekins
renniekins
Car Accident
Quick Summary: I'm okay, but my car is not. Longer Version: I was heading W on 11 mile; I'd just crossed the freeway, and I was turning left onto Stephenson, the I-75 service drive (north).

The oncoming traffic was all backed up, and the lane nearest me was at a standstill. The left-turn light starts out blinking, then a green arrow appears. The car in front of me turned left, and I honestly thought our green arrow had started. Now I'm not certain if it had. Plus the oncoming traffic wasn't moving anyway, but a space had been left for us to turn left.

I turned a slow left, following the car which had just done so, easing my way through the hole in stopped traffic. As I completed the turn, suddenly I heard a screeching of brakes. I didn't even have time to formulate a complete thought, just something along the lines of "Oh no, I hope--", and the oncoming car in the right lane slammed into me.

I'll admit I was pulling out my cell phone at the same time in order to dial into a business conference call, though not talking yet. But I'd thought my light was green, and I'd thought all the oncoming traffic was at a stand-still anyway due to rush hour. I didn't see him at all. I'm guessing he had just swung into the right lane, since the left lane was stopped. Or maybe he was there all the time, just blocked from my vision by the stopped cars. Why would the right lane be moving so fast, with the left lane stopped? I don't know. He says his light was green.

He hit me at a completely perpendicular angle, on my passenger side door. For an instant, I felt the surreal sensation of my body staying still while my car slid out from under me. Then I was jerked to the left along with the car, and we skidded at some kind of angle to both of our velocities.

It felt almost like a rollercoaster, except for the nasty smashing noise.

The actual accident is mostly a blur, except for the body memory of inertia in action. I found myself driving forward after it was done, the car still moving okay. I kept going for a moment -- unsure of where to pull over. I turned right onto the first side street and stopped the car.

As I climbed out, a van with two guys in it pulled over and stared at me, stared at the car. It felt like they were gawking, but I suppose they were just making sure nobody was injured. They didn't talk to me or stop once they saw I was walking.

I walked back to the scene, and another guy approached me. He said he'd been turning left behind me and seen the whole thing. "Where's the guy who hit me, did he drive away?"

"No, he's pulled over in that parking lot. Somebody's already called the police for you." I meant to ask him if we'd had a green arrow, but was too distracted and frazzled. He left before the cops came; don't know if anybody got his information or not.

I found the guy who'd hit me, and he was on the phone. We didn't exchange more than brief words, though we both talked to the cop when he came. It was cold, we were probably both pretty shaken, and honestly we didn't have much to say to one another. The cop told me it was okay to drive my car, so I pulled it around the block to where the other guy was.

I called my office and my insurance company, then I called my boyfriend. The officer came over and gave me a "written warning". I had failed to yield, but the circumstances were poor and my record was good, so I didn't get a ticket.

My insurance company (Progressive) was helpful and responsive. I drove my wounded car there (which was very cold since the passenger door has a six inch gap between it and the roof now), and they had me driving to work in a rental car before one o'clock -- less than four hours after the accident.

Unfortunately I have already found out that they are totalling the vehicle (meaning that it would cost more to fix than the car is worth), so I have to buy another.

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Comments
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: January 12th, 2007 12:38 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm so glad you're safe even if your car is totaled.
jenx From: jenx Date: January 12th, 2007 01:41 am (UTC) (Link)
I can recommend an excellent dealership if you're in the market for a MINI.
retepsnave From: retepsnave Date: January 12th, 2007 02:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Go with the Mini!!!!!

just watched old Italian Job with Michael Caine
mini's rock!
:-)
joline From: joline Date: January 12th, 2007 01:49 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh my gosh! I'm so sorry. I'm so, so glad you're okay, and I admire your ability to not freak out. Wow. That must have been scary for you.
atdt1991 From: atdt1991 Date: January 12th, 2007 02:09 am (UTC) (Link)
*hug* I'm glad you're safe and well.
crwilley From: crwilley Date: January 12th, 2007 02:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Glad you're okay! That must have been terrifying.
sllywhtboy From: sllywhtboy Date: January 12th, 2007 02:47 am (UTC) (Link)
glad you're ok..
sherdeb From: sherdeb Date: January 12th, 2007 03:14 am (UTC) (Link)
So glad you weren't hurt!
(Deleted comment)
thatguychuck From: thatguychuck Date: January 12th, 2007 03:56 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad you're ok. Cars can be totaled and it's ok. People are an entirely different story.
pi3832 From: pi3832 Date: January 12th, 2007 01:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Spoken like a man who's body has a salvage title.
ellison From: ellison Date: January 12th, 2007 04:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow, you're more street smart than me. When I was in my accident (a few years ago), I called my husband first, all like, "What do I do??" hehe. Someone else called the police for me too. It's nice that people stop to help and check to make sure everyone's okay. That's really cool.

Sorry about your car! As everyone else has said - I'm glad you're fine and that it wasn't worse.
morgaynne From: morgaynne Date: January 12th, 2007 04:13 am (UTC) (Link)

Wow, that looked painful!

Very happy that you are all right. Have you gotten checked out by a Dr, Chiro or Osteopath? The way you described feeling the car go one way and you another... Well that can show up later in some back and neck problems. And I am a worry wort, so I'm really glad you feel okay but make sure nothing got knocked out of alignment and you'll feel better in the long run.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: January 14th, 2007 03:31 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Wow, that looked painful!

Thanks. (: Actually I visited a walk-in clinic yesterday, because my neck got really painful. They took x-rays and found nothing wrong or out of alignment. Just some severely traumatized muscles, for which I now have a variety of relaxers and anti-inflametories. It'll mostly just take time for the muscles to heal... He said to come back in 10 days. Once they are less "hot", he can see if I'll need anything else to get completely better.

hannunvaakuna From: hannunvaakuna Date: January 12th, 2007 06:40 am (UTC) (Link)
thank God your car did what it was supposed to do: protect you. definitely take it easy for a few days - when i had my accident a couple years ago, i walked away with a bruise on my leg, but i was sore/achy for a few days after that. be good to you.

*hug*
renniekins From: renniekins Date: January 14th, 2007 03:32 am (UTC) (Link)
So true, my car gave its life for me! I'm definitely sore, especially a couple of muscles in my neck, but I know I'll get better. It could have been *way* worse, I keep reminding myself. Thanks!
From: zencuppa Date: January 12th, 2007 10:51 am (UTC) (Link)
agh!! I am sorry :-(

But that being said, I am very glad that you're okay *hugs.*
marsgov From: marsgov Date: January 12th, 2007 11:04 am (UTC) (Link)
(a) Congratulations! The money you put into maintaining safety features for the car — good brakes, decent tires, keeping the car in good structural shape, etc.; the time you spent developing good driving habits, such as wearing a seat belt at all times; and the money you spent on car insurance; all have finally demonstrated their worth. You are safe and sound, you'll take a financial loss but not a particularly noticeable one, and life goes on.

(b) Do not doubt yourself. You saw a green arrow, you followed the signal, and you drove appropriately. The other driver's perceptions and actions are his problem and should not make you doubt your memory. In court or to your insurance company, state what you remember and what you did, without being disrespectful of the other driver.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: January 14th, 2007 03:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for this thoughtful comment; it really helped cheer me up.
pi3832 From: pi3832 Date: January 12th, 2007 01:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
It sucks to be forced into buying a new car, but trust me, you're better off in the end. Dealing with having your car repaired is a royal PITA, and it's never quite the same after that.

And for researching your new car, I recommend Edmunds.com. Personally, I love car shopping. Unfortunately, I only buy a car every 7-10 years, so I don't get to do it very often. Meaning, if you give me your criteria for a car, I'd love the chance to dig through the data and put together some recommendations.
thatguychuck From: thatguychuck Date: January 13th, 2007 04:37 am (UTC) (Link)

Criteria

Well, you offered. :) Before heading to sleep, I decided to ask Rennie what it was she wanted in a car. Here's generally what came out.

Somewhere between $8,000-$10,000, leaning more toward $8,000.
A small nice car, not a small little econo-thing.
2 door. (She likes the Quad Coupe idea the Saturn Ion has, but it's only neat.)
Used. But she's nervous about something dependable and that works. In theory, a new car lasts longer, but I've offered to take a look at any car she's interested in buying. I also suggested taking it to a mechanic for a verified "once over."
Not a sedan.
Not blue. ;)
She's leaning away from Chevy, but just for change.
Must:
Cruise control
Power Locks
Anti-lock brakes
Remote entry (keyfob)

Would be nice:
Heated seats
Sunroof
Something with a warranty


What she hasn't said yet, but she'll probably think is nice:
Good gas mileage, or at least not crappy.
Not 4 billion horsepower, but not an econo crapbox either.
Remote start. This is Michigan, after all.
A personal valet. (Ok, she'll think it's nice. Don't think it's a factory option.)
Something easy to maintain. She doesn't care about this, but I think it's important. I'm sure I'll at least be tinkering with it occasionally.

And of course, everything else I've forgotten. :)

Mike, thanks for your offer. She'd never be able to ask this of you herself, so I am. :) You rock, my friend. And I hope next time you're near this side of the country you give me a call first. If you're going to be in Michigan next weekend, you're going to have to come to ConFusion, you know. If you weren't planning on it already but decide to, I've got your membership for you. Hope to see you there.


susmadel From: susmadel Date: January 12th, 2007 01:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Glad you are OK. Maybe not get another version of this car this time? It doesn't seem to be doing too well. :(

You know I can always get you Ford pricing if you are interested. What a hassle. I have Progressive too, and they were great when my airbags were stolen out of my car. They really took care of me.

cannibal From: cannibal Date: January 12th, 2007 09:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
No more little blue cars for you!
retepsnave From: retepsnave Date: January 12th, 2007 02:12 pm (UTC) (Link)

accidents suck, and the sureal moments make them all the more weird!
sorry bout the car
but very glad to hear you're ok
infernus1218 From: infernus1218 Date: January 12th, 2007 04:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Almost exactly like one of those volkswagon jetta commercials.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: January 14th, 2007 03:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Really? The broadsiding, or something else? I guess I haven't seen the commercial... weird!
specialagentm From: specialagentm Date: January 12th, 2007 04:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
I figured they would total it. It takes a surprisingly small amount of damage these days to add up to being more than a vehicle is worth.

I'm glad you're OK, and you didn't get a ticket -- these things happen (that's why they call them accidents, after all) and at least everyone's coming out of it OK.

So, what's the new car going to be? :-)
thatguychuck From: thatguychuck Date: January 13th, 2007 03:18 am (UTC) (Link)
I saw the car today. WOW. She's a lucky lady.

And it didn't look like tons of damage, until you looked closer. The entire right suspension was trashed. All the body panels on the right. And to say the entire structure was tweaked doesn't even begin to describe it. It was rumpled and folded over in places.

But it was DRIVEABLE. She says it drove fine. I can belive it, but I certainly wouldn't want to own that car after it was fixed.

Hmmmm... For $500, yes. Yes, I would. < grin > But I'm glad she's not going to be in it any more.

"Your car committed suicide to save you." --Rennie's Insurance Adjuster.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
mrs_sweetpeach From: mrs_sweetpeach Date: January 12th, 2007 09:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Bummer about your cute little car, but I am so glad you came through the accident in one piece.
jenaflynn From: jenaflynn Date: January 13th, 2007 06:12 am (UTC) (Link)
My goodness, I am so glad that you're OK. sad to lose your car, but good that its safety equipment did it's job, and prevented any harm from coming to you. :-)

Good luck, and may your next car be just as nifty as this one.
sylph4980 From: sylph4980 Date: January 13th, 2007 06:45 am (UTC) (Link)
I absolutely hate everything about that little 11 mile/I-75 intersection!! I've seen some scary stuff there...not safe at all!

Glad you are OK even though your car is not. Its a cavalier right? I'm not sure what it is but body repairs on them are ridiculous. I've been in 2 accidents in mine and repairs have always been 1500+.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: January 14th, 2007 03:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, that intersection is has always worried me. Just all kinds of dangerous.

It was a cavelier, may it rest in peace.... (: It was pretty seriously crushed, would have been around $8000 to repair it they said.
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