Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Fender Bender

Admittedly, I am not the best driver. I'm easily distracted. My mind wanders. I get wrapped in my thoughts. And all of this is not in the least conducive to keeping my attention on the roadway. Honestly, it is pretty amazing that the only car accident I caused took place when I was 16 years old when I ran a red light and hit another car. Oops.

Unfortunately today my 14 year accident free streak (well accidents that were my fault) ended. I was driving through the mall parking lot and slowing to a stop. I looked down in my console for change, when instead of stopping on time I hit the car in front of me leaving a nice outline of my front license plate in her back bumper. The only damage to my car was to the license plate. Nobody was hurt, which isn't surprising as I couldn't have been going more than 5 miles an hour at the absolute most. Understandably she was pretty upset at my negligence at first, but calmed down pretty quickly. I'm sure that being obviously pregnant didn't hurt...how mad can you get at 8 month pregnant woman who sorrowfully professes all responsibility? I asked her to call me with a quote of how much it would cost to fix, because if its not terribly expensive I'd rather pay than go through the insurance.

So after she left I called Jeramy and burst into tears. I was sure he would be furious...he's always getting after me about my poor driving. Luckily, he was very nice about it and just told me to calm down so that I could drive home safely. So I came home and cried some more. In the grand scheme of things it's a very minor accident, but I can't help overreacting. Maybe its pregnancy hormones, but more likely its my own tendency to blow such things out of proportion. I can't help but think that I've totally screwed up my insurance record, which will lead to higher rates, which makes it harder to pay all the bills, which leads us into bankruptcy. Okay, maybe our financial situation isn't nearly so precarious. But you get the gist of how my mind operates. Anyhow, I've been soothing my anxiety with Ben & Jerry's Half Baked, because ice cream with cookie dough and brownies can solve any problem.

There is mildly amusing note to all of this. The lady had a daughter with her about 4 years old or so. The little girl kept asking her mom why I did this to them. Her mom would answer that it was just an accident and those happen sometimes. That response just didn't sit well with her though especially given her mom's initial angry reaction, and she kept going through it with her mom question after question. If I hadn't been so upset, I'm sure I would have had a good chuckle as the child's innocent questioning and astonishment at my horribleness for hitting them was rather disarming.


Jennifer said...

so glad you're ok!!
glad the other driver calmed down, too...give the pregnant girl a break...the last thing you want to do is get more upset...like she told her daughter...it was an accident, they happen.

again, glad you weren't hurt!
ps - so jealous of the ben & jerry's...sounds pretty darn good right now!

s.e. said...

It's bound to happen sometime. Stop beating yourself up. I am glad no one was hurt and only minor damage occurred. And let's hope her bumper is cheap!

Nicky said...

In the past 5 years, my husband has been the victim of 4 (yes, FOUR) fender benders where somebody else was obviously at fault. Initial anger is the obvious reaction, but nothing calms that down better than the at-fault driver immediately saying, "oops, my bad!" Glad the situation stayed calm, and quit beating yourself up over it!

Jewels said...

Oooh I've got a story brewing - This reminds me when I was in a fender bender, the guy came around the corner, I was stopped with my left blinker on waiting to turn into my condo complex, He slammed into the back of me, lots of damage, but thank goodness Toyota (among many others) has the crumple bumper so the damage was only my trunk end, none to the body. My son was in the back seat, when I got out, my first reaction was to make sure my son was okay, then to make sure the other driver was okay, I ran up to his window and was asking "are you okay- are you okay?" He was in shock, especially watching a little kid climb out of my back seat. Funny thing is is my thoughts were geared more to show Dylan how hard a car really does hit when your in a car accident, and he was only going about 20mph, not 65 or more, and how important it really is to wear your seat belt. I totally saw opportunity for lessons here.

Okay, another note:
I just got certified in a safety driving course, According to Smith System -80% of drivers believe their driving is above average, I believe the truth is a good driver is not someone who can speed, weave in and out of traffic, put on make up or shave while driving, talk on the phone and never get in an accident, I think people just depend too much on other people to obey the law and remain predictable when they are not, and for the most part, people just get lucky, they haven’t had someone suddenly stop in front of them while changing songs the I-pod. So I hope you dont feel too bad, don't beat your self up, it could happen to anybody.

Kay – nuff out a me. I’m glad your okay.

Heather said...

I'm just glad everyone is ok!

C said...

I'm relieved to hear you are okay! I'm glad the woman calmed down, it was just an accident. It's not like you were on your cell phone. :)

May I recommend Tilamook Mudslide ice cream? It is the #1 top favorite thing that I enjoy about living in the Seattle area, following distantly by views of Mt. Rainier and visiting Puget Sound.

JamieD said...

I am glad you are okay!! I am always amazed at how my own mind wanders while I drive . . . it isn't just you!!