Monday, October 28, 2013

The Accident

"A driver just hit my car," I said into the phone, my arm shaking.
"Tell me about your accident," the insurance agent said flatly as if she were asking for directions.
"It's not 'my' accident."
"Whose is it then?"
"She hit me."
"But it happened to you."

Here's what I know about car accidents: 1) Every accident is unique; 2) Every accident costs money; and 3) Every accident is a pain in the rear-end, posterior, derriere, seat and tuchis. And if you get rear-ended like I did, you can add "pain in the neck" to the list of ailments. Here are some new things I've learned about accidents: 1) Whip lash is no fun; 2) Talking to insurance companies, mechanics and doctors takes time; and 3) Women drivers. There, I said it.

The accident happened when I was stopped at a traffic light. I looked in the rear view mirror and saw a white car approaching from behind. The white car didn't stop. Boom! It hit me. The other driver said she'd pay for the damages out of pocket. I believed her. Stupid me.

I went to the doctor for the pain in my neck. I took my car to body shops. I got estimates for the repairs. I called the woman who hit me and gave her the estimates because she said she'd pay. She refused to pay. Stupid me.

Luckily I'd called my insurance company who were great and handled things. I felt less stupid.

At work I told two female friends about the accident and the woman driver who refused to pay.
"Accidents are the worst," Monica said shaking her head. "When I hit that guy two years ago he was a jerk about it."
"You hit him?" 
"Yeah, he was foreign and cursed me out in Italian."
"Accidents bite the big one," Susan nodded. "Last year I backed into a guy in the parking garage."
"You hit him?"
"Yeah, and he went ballistic."
"Mercedes ballistic or BMW ballistic?"
"Porsche ballistic."

I didn't press my friends any further on their accidents because they did the right thing. They caused the accident and they paid for it.

Causing an accident is like being pregnant: you either are or you aren't. There's no middle ground. So it doesn't matter if you hit a Jaguar, a Ford or a dune buggy, if you caused an accident, you need to pay for it. 

So women--and men--drivers, when you're behind the wheel, do everyone a favor and don't text or talk on the phone. Just focus on driving. I bet then there would be fewer accidents on the road. 

And if not, I'll just curse in Italian.