Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bumper Cars

This week has been a very rainy week. It's rained all day for at least five days in a row. Luckily, the rain stopped so we could enjoy our weekend. I picked Joshua up at the sitter's house on Friday night. It was raining pretty heavy. Visibility was low and there was a good amount of water on the roads. We got into the car and started our trip home.

Nearing the highway, traffic started to slow. There were lots of people trying to get home and out of the rain. I was going down a slight hill and suddenly two cars in front of me stopped. This of course caused a chain reaction. I was about two houses away from the car immediately in front of me. I stepped on the break only to have them totally lock up. I slid... and slid... and slid. Realizing I only had about 10 more feet before I hit the car, I started looking for options- maybe I could swing into a driveway really quick - maybe I could find an opening on the other side of the road and avoid a collision. No chance, I was moving closer and closer. I laid on the horn when there were about eight feet between my car and her bumper.

SMASH! I watched my hood wrinkle up before my eyes. Both Josh and I were fine but it scared him of course. This is just what I need... Hands shaking, I rummaged through my glove compartment to frantically pull out my insurance cards.

I saw the woman get out of her car and take a look at her bumper. Scratches, only scratches. Ok, this won't be so bad... think again. After making sure everyone was ok, I turned to take a look at the damage. Since I had seen the hood of my car rise up in folds before my eyes, I knew it wouldn't be pretty. The front bumper is cracked in the middle making the sides stick out and hang as if I folded it in half. The hood wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. It's crinkled up and exposing part of the cars "guts" on the side, but still, not as bad. How could her car have sustained such a force coming at it while mine crinkled up like a piece of paper?

We went to the police station and made our statements. I got a ticket. The first time ever... I've never had any kind of traffic violation or anything. Now, I'm in the system. No longer off the grid... My insurance is pretty good. I knew that if I got into an accident I wouldn't have $500 to pay plus the ticket so I've been paying a little extra to keep my deductible down to $100. THANK GOD!

Luckily the woman whose car I hit was very nice. We took down eachother's information and called it a night. After she left, the policeman handed me that nasty pink piece of paper. Scribbled in carbon copy, the offense was marked "safe distance." In the eyes of the law, no matter what the circumstances, I was too close. I flipped it over to see what the damage would be to my checkbook. $200!!!

WHAT?! I can't pay that plus my deductible! I'm a 25 year old recent college grad with a house and a family. Holy crap! Then I learned that I could go to court. If I could prove the damages were taken care of and no one was badly injurred, I have a good shot. I'll take it! I'd rather go to court and try to reduce my out of pocket by being reduced to court costs only than not take the chance and be out the full $200.

I know it's just a little fender bender and lots of people go through this, but I feel like such a criminal. My name will be in the public database for the court system. I hate the thought of that! I can't believe I caused an accident before I even got a speeding ticket... 

*sigh* I'll fill you in after I make my first court appearance. Hopefully my defense attorney skills/grovelling are better than my driving skills.