The other car comes into view. Driving reflex helps you slam on the breaks. You hear the squeal. Smell the burned rubber. A second passes. Sound of cracking plastic and breaking glass. Somewhere numbed you might feel your seatbelt jerk. A minor collision.
Friday 13th never bothered me before. Superstitions aren’t something I truly believe in and frankly, I still don’t. Today, however, was definitely not my lucky day. I got into my first car accident.
After driving a 17-year-old car for 3 years and never having issues, I purchased a newer vehicle and a month into owning it it’s at the body shop. So here is what I learned – just because you are driving down the main road does not mean that someone who’s coming from a parking lot on the side will yield to the cars trying to turn into the parking lot from the median turn lane or to oncoming traffic, namely me. Anyway, I learned that when you do have an accident first you get out of the way, either by driving or pushing your car in neutral.
Your next step is calling the police. Also, yay for smartphones, take pictures of each other’s insurance cards and driver’s licenses or use pen and paper – name, address, birthdate, phone number, DL an insurance numbers all must be taken down.
Call your insurance company at the end. If they are good (and your coverage is reciprocal) everything will get set up for you – tow truck, body shop, rental car, etc. If you are not at fault, as in my case, the liable party’s insurance company should cover your out-of-pocket expenses.
So, hard lesson today, wish I didn’t have to learn it, but I guess it had to happen someday. I guess, if I can wish you something is that you were meant to have a wreck, it be one like mine – the other driver and I were understanding, the police officer was helpful and my tow truck driver was compassionate in a bad time. (And later have a supportive husband who will get you Marble Slab.)
On a happier note, I have to brag – Gail G. McGee, Ph.D., one of the renowned researchers and educators in my field came to observe my school today, as we are a replica of the center she founded and is the director of. She also happened to highly praise my teaching. We were all truly honored to have her visit us and I am beyond flattered to have such praise directed toward me from such a pioneer in my profession.