Friday evening culminated in a crash-bang ending to an already crazy-busy week. I was driving back from my midwife’s appointment (in a city an hour and a half away from where I live) and was stopped at a traffic light when a large Dodge truck plowed into me. The impact of the collision in turn made me hit the car stopped in front of me.
I hate the sound of crushing metal. I hate sudden, forceful impact as your body slams against the seat belt and the steering wheel. And I really hate that a person can be doing exactly what they are supposed to be doing, yet be negatively impacted by some idiot.
The two other cars involved in the accident drove away from the scene with scratched front and rear bumpers while my car looked took on the appearance of an accordion and remained at the scene of the crime until it could be towed away—a couple hours later. Luckily, (and I am trying to be really grateful for this, since it could have ended much differently), I am unharmed. I came away with only a stiff neck and tender back. Baby seems to be unharmed and as active as ever. But, as ungrateful as this may sound, I am sickened by the damage to our car. I was driving our “nice” car--the one Mr. F. brought to the marriage which was only three years old and was kept in pristine condition. While it was the safest car for me to be driving, I kind of wished that I was driving Miss Mabel—my geriatric, Toyota Camry. At least it would have been less expensive to replace, and we would still have our “new” car.
The driver at fault was a 54 year old man who, according to him, had never been in an accident before. This was a fact that was mentioned repeatedly while we were waiting for the police to arrive. I couldn’t help but wonder whether or not he wanted a gold star or a pat on a back for his nearly-perfect record. I somehow refrained from retorting out loud that I wished his first foray into traffic accidents not have been quite as spectacular and nor involve my car.
This incident though has me remembering previous experiences. I realized that, unlike the driver above, I have been in a number of accidents in a relatively short time span and all of them have been another person’s fault. To add insult to injury, half of them have occurred while I have been at a full stop. I am starting to wonder if I have been jinxed. Let’s review.
Age 17: A small meteor kicked up by a riding lawn mower, smashes into my driver side window and completely shatters it while I am innocently driving down my street at 25 mph.
Age 18: I am parked in front of my high school waiting to pick up a fellow student when a woman backs up illegally, hits my driver side leaving a considerable dent, looks over her shoulder, and takes off. Luckily, I had a quick-thinking friend in the car who thought to write down the license plate number.
Age 21: I get rear-ended while stopped at a stop light by some teenager who wasn’t paying attention. The force of the impact causes me to hit the car in front of me. My car is totaled.
Age 22-24—away on a mission, and therefore not driving.
Age 24-29—remarkably free of accidents. However, I am plagued by a car that needs constant repairs.
Age 29: after spending a small fortune on my car to keep it up and running (see above note), I am t-boned while driving to church. (I feel more keenly the injustice of being a victim of automotive incompetence when I am being particularly devout and religious). The other driver thought the coast was clear to cross the road. (Hint: it wasn’t). The car is totaled.
Age 30: I get rear-ended while stopped at a stop light by some idiot who wasn’t paying attention.
The force of the impact causes me to hit the car in front of me (sound familiar?) The damage to my car has yet to be determined although given my luck, it could be totaled.
See what I mean? In fact the only “accident” that that I have been personally responsible for was taking off the driver’s side mirror while backing out of the garage at the age of 16. I would suspect the seven years of bad luck that seems to accompany the breaking of mirrors except this has gone on much longer than seven years. Instead, it seems that I have a sign emblazoned on every car that I drive that says, “please hit me and ruin my day.”