My first car accident
Driving home from work today, in the pouring rain, I thought, “dear god, just let me get home without an accident,” as I do every time it rains here, when the rush-hour drivers still insist upon going 70 mph even though visibility is at minus one foot. I made it to Bruno’s to pick up some groceries for dinner, and was waiting in the parking lot for a car to back out ahead of me so I could take her place.
Directly to the left of me, an SUV’s rear lights flashed on. I did nothing, because there are a few beliefs I hold, and I assume the rest of fully functioning humanity holds them as well:
- Before backing up, you look in your rear view mirror. Some (like me) may turn around to check the blind spots, too, but at least, you look in your rear view mirror.
- After looking, when you see a car directly behind you, you stop moving.
- If you don’t stop moving, at least you stop when someone lays on their horn.
- It never reaches a #4, because you have stopped by #2.
So I learned tonight that there are a few people who don’t abide by the rules I evidently only have established in my head.
I honked politely, then embarrassedly (because no one honks here) laid on the horn, and watched as a big fucking SUV backed slowly into me and crunched my wheel well so I now can’t open my door.
And when the guy came out of his car to talk to me, the first thing I didn’t even think I was going to say was, “you didn’t hear my horn?” Not necessarily even accusatory. Not because I was being nice on purpose, or because I didn’t have to get up in his face since he was obviously the one at fault and everyone knew it, but because I was flustered and couldn’t think of anything else to say.
So he called the cops; I went back to the car (climbing in on the passenger’s side) and called Tim and cried briefly from the shock of it all; a cop came and gave us forms to exchange but didn’t file any report because we were on private property; the man parked next to me (whose door I nearly took off when I flustered-ly moved out of the parking lot lane and into a space so I wasn’t blocking everyone) gave me his card if I needed a witness; and then I went shopping for an onion and a green pepper.
I suppose, though, for my first accident, it wasn’t that bad at all.