Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Car Crashes

I've had my fill of car accidents lately. 

The evening my parents got home from Italy, we were sitting at the light to turn into their neighborhood and a car sped up from behind us, passed us, and tried to make it through the intersection before the light turned red.  As she sped by, a car from oncoming traffic tried to make the left as the light turned yellow.  SCREECH!  The car coming toward us was hit on the side, spun around and almost flipped.  All 5 of us saw it and the kids were completely beside themselves.  Thankfully, we were 2 cars back and missed being in any part of the accident.  Both drivers got out of their cars immediately so it looked like no one was hurt, but they were both VERY lucky based on the speed involved and the impact. 

The kids talked about that one for days and Caroline even drew a VERY accurate depiction of it in school the next week.  I always strive to be a safe driver, but after seeing an accident like that, I've gotten even more conservative.

Then yesterday as I was sitting in traffic waiting for a light to turn, I got rear ended.  Quite honestly, it was just a hard bump but I turned on my flashers and pulled over to the side as much as possible.  When I got out of the car, I quickly figured out I was the fourth car in a 4 car accident.  Car #1 was a 17 year old girl in an old Jetta who slammed into the back of an SUV, that bumped into the back of a new Lexus, that bumped into me.  The damage to my car is negligible.  In fact, I think Piper might be able to do more damage to my bumper than the Lexus did.  Just a gouged scratch that you have to kind of look for to even notice.  The car that caused the accident was totaled though.  But thankfully, no injuries.  The police showed up and were just soooo nice.  It was hot as hell - I had sweat dripping down my legs.  95 degrees on the street at 5pm is no joke. 

The thing that really struck me about this particular accident was the girl who hit us all, was only 17.  When her mom showed up, she was very nice and apologetic and happy no one was hurt.  But then she says to me and the Lexus driver, "Honestly, I'm kind of glad she had an accident and totaled her car.  Now she won't have a car and won't be driving."  Um, what?  Seriously, if you feel that way about your kid driving, don't you think maybe she shouldn't have her own car and maybe you should have more strict driving restrictions.  If you have any gut feelings about your kid driving, you really need to trust them.  Ugh.  Idiot.

Now I'll be watching my distance behind other cars when I'm driving and when I'm stopped.  It just makes you realize though, no matter how safe a driver you are, you cannot control others.  I say this as this morning I saw a fairly young driver TEXTING on the beltway in rush hour traffic.  Again, not that texting and driving is ever okay (it's not), but on the freaking beltway?   Good grief.  People are idiots. A car is a lethal weapon and driving is a privilege.  I think people forget that.


Katie said...

Oh no! Glad u & kiddos are safe n sound.

Lisa :) said...

I am glad that you are all okay. As a parent of 2 drivers and 1 almost driver it is very hard to see them drive off alone. Although, they have been driving for a while. As a parent I think you always worry. At least I know I do. I am forever telling them to be careful. I know I have got to have faith and I know they are good drivers, but I think teens tend to get over confident. My oldest was already in an accident (not her fault) and that really scared her. I know they always wear their seat belts and they better not let me know that they were texting or on a phone. It is scary out there for sure!

Heather said...

Oh no! I hope you are OK! I saw a girl driving while on her ipad! She was swerving all over the place...I just stayed way behind her so when she did crash it wouldn't be into me! Caroline should give her sketch to the cops as an eye witness! I hope the kids aren't scarred too much from witnessing that. Gretchen still talks about the big bus that hit us in NYC last May every.single.time she sees a tour bus. Sigh.

Erin said...

I had the same realization as you after we were the last car rear-ended in a domino effect wreck on I-95 two Novembers ago. Seriously...scared me to death. I'm always looking out for cars all around me, anticipating what people might do and looking for a way out. But I have to say that, until then, I never gave mnuch thought to what was goign on behind me. Now everytime traffic comes to a quick slowdown/stop, I brace myself for a rear impact. Some people simply do NOT pay attention. Honestly, I hate driving and hate being on the road... to the point of nearly being a bit phobic about it. I have a radius in whcih I feel relatively comfortable, but outside of that, I get really freaked out. Glad you are all okay!!