Friday, March 11, 2011

We're Always Behind this Metal and Glass. I Think We Miss That Touch So Much, That We Crash Into Each Other, Just So We Can Feel Something

Last month I went to the post office first thing in the morning. It's one of those places that is too far to walk and the bus doesn't go there, so I drove (although this was before my No Drive Week). I mailed my stuff, buckled Ash into her carseat, got in the driver's seat, (miraculously) buckled my seatbelt, backed out of the parking stall into the aisle, and then had to wait. I stopped to wait for a car in front of me. While I was stopped a truck began to back out of their parking space. I honked to let her know I was behind her, but she kept coming, so I laid on my horn. She crashed into us leaving a huge scrape on the side of our car, a big dent, no door handle and the taillight hanging off. Her truck had a tiny scratch on the bumper.

In this blog post, I was in another car accident. I was a passenger in a friend's car and again, we were not moving. We were stopped at a red light and were hit from behind. Two years ago Jasmine was parked in a parking lot (I was not in the car at the time) when another car backed into her. That's three accidents in a little over three years where I WAS NOT MOVING. Does this prove it's harder to hit a moving target? I think it proves that even though I consider myself a bad driver, at least I have never CAUSED an accident. So other people must be worse drivers than me.

Anyway, not a bad accident; I was not moving. She was going slow, everyone was buckled in. She was really nice. She apologized, gave me all her insurance info, her name, phone number, address and driver's licence number. But not her licence plate or VIN number and I didn't think to get it from her. We didn't call the police because she said Sunland cops don't respond to no-injury accidents and I was dumb enough to believe her (but also, I hate cops, especially Sunland cops so I'm not saying I was hard to convince). The next day I talked with her insurance company, did all the claim stuff, filled out papers, got my car inspected blah blah blah. All that boring crap that goes along with car accidents. A few days later they called to inform me that although they insure the driver, she was not driving her car; the car they insure, so they will not be paying for anything. At that point I was told I needed to call her and get the car's owner's info. Except she won't return my phone calls (of course). Our car is broken. It's drivable but ugly and we can't open the back door. Also, I need a new carseat for Ash since this one was in an accident. These things are being taken care of very slowly, with dozens of phone calls to my insurance company made while Ash is sleeping.

The odd part is, even this accident was in no way my fault. I feel guilty. I feel like I knew better than to be out driving, using a car, killing the planet, and even that I, personally, should not be driving, because I feel I am not a good driver. That's why I hate driving. I feel guilty when I drive. I feel like I'm doing something wrong. I feel like I'm sneaking around behind the cop's back. Why do I feel that way?


  1. Let me first say, This was in no way your fault!

    You do the best you can to avoid driving and sometimes it's gonna happen anyway, and I'm sure you are a very good driver but even if you aren't, you can't control people running into you when you are stopped.

    As for the cop thing, we all do that. I generally obey speed limits, stay in my lane, etc. but if I see a cop I automatically check my speedometer, blinkers, etc.

    If it makes you feel any better, I never think to check the license plate and vin. No one ever says in all those little insurance booklets that we should. You did the right thing.

    If she is refusing phone calls, it is not too late to get a police report and get those cops on your side to get the information. Talk to the claims people at your own insurance company; you pay them to help you out of a bind. She is, in effect, a hit and run at this point--refusing to take responsibility for her own actions.

    Sometimes it takes a little assertiveness, or a lot, to work things out in your favor, but generally a couple of polite phone calls can work wonders. Don't let her run over you again figuratively.

    Insurers will always say "insurance follows the vehicle" until your son moves away 250 miles to college. Then they say, "he might drive someone else's car so you have to keep him insured." uh-uh. Can't have it both ways, people. He's over 18; it's not my problem if he drives a friend's car.

  2. Stress & trauma. They all have a recovery process with different stages that we work through. Guilt is one of those.

    Also, having experienced a period of time when someone had constantly told you that all the world's problems were somehow your fault may be skewing your thoughts.

    These accidents were not your fault.

    You have many other things that you ARE responsible (at fault) for like having a wonderful personality, creativity, ingenuity, caring about and for others, a beautiful daughter, being proactive in environmental responsibility, and much, much more.

    Please give yourself credit for surviving some of the biggest stresses in life all within the last 4 years: marriage, new job and job changes, moving, giving birth, moving, new job, moving, purchasing a home... and (sigh) moving. Plus the accidents that you have mentioned. Mix all that with normal life ups and downs, illness, and sleep deprivation....

    You are a survivor and a great one at that! Hang in there. Be nice to yourself. Enumerate your blessings. And please always remember that you are loved... immensely.

  3. haha. Yea, insurance companies are bad ones to take care with. For that, you can ask your insurance company to contact with the Driver's insurance company as you did. They are smart enough to convince them; otherwise, just report to police saying I was told this and believed what she said. At least you had the driver's contact info, and licence number, so you can go to police and tell them that she lied and ran away:)

    I do not think you are a bad driver. I had an car accident I caused:) Or at least I am a worse driver than you are:)

  4. Well, dont hate cops. Thats a pretty insulting thing to say. My dad is a cop, Stephen will be a cop. Practically half of my family are cops, and they are here to protect us. Cops caught the murderer here, cops risk their lives selflessly every day, walking into unknown situations with bravery, to help us citizens. Next time, call the cops, they will help you. Cops were the ones you called when you were nervous of the helicopter above your house. Cops will be the one you need if your house gets demolished by an earthqauke. You will call 911. Cops will help you. Next time, call the cops, and file a police report. And since you cant do that now, then use the justice system and sue the #$%^&. Cops/lawyers/judges, will help you.

  5. Toshi: I did not mean that if you cause an accident you are a bad driver, I meant at least I've never run into a car that was not moving. Drek ran into a stationary post once. He still tells me he's a better driver than I am. Giggle giggle. You are an awesome driver.


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