Car Wrecks

I’ve had three, one of which involved, oh, 25-26 other vehicles. I don’t recommend the experience. The first one was weather induced, the second involved the largest doe I have yet seen, and the third . . . the police were not happy with the other driver, either.

The first one came about due to a snow-squall on an interstate, dropping visibility and adding to the slickness of the road. A maroon Suburban-type SUV and something else met, and the maroon SUV ended up on its side. This led to a cascade of colliding cars as following drivers tried to avoid the wreck, then the people leaving the wrecked cars. By the time I arrived, I’d slowed down because I just knew the road was nasty. I could see cars scattered around, and was down to about 10-15 MPH and about to thread the needle around the main wreck when . . .

A pedestrian walked into the gap. I turned a little to the left and hit a car that was already into the Jersey barrier (concrete divider) between the north bound and south bound sides of the interstate. And I spent the next two hours directing traffic and then staying out of the way.

The suicidal doe was you basic “deer in the headlights,” except she was massive. Like, 180 pounds of deer. Whatever she was eating that summer, it agreed with her. Alas, it was 95 degrees F out at ten PM and I didn’t have a cooler, knives, or other things with me, because the deputy who worked the accident offered to tag the doe for me so I could keep the hide and meat. She cost me four thousand dollars in repairs, so I should have gotten the tag and at least kept the hide! That car also bagged a pheasant with the windshield (out of season.)

The third wreck . . . I hate cell phones when being talked into by other drivers. She blew through a red light. I saw the motion and tried to get out of the way (no on-coming traffic, thanks be to G-d!), but she hit the pickup just aft of the passenger side rear door. The airbag deployed, knocking my glasses off. I managed to get the vehicle back under control, and up into a parking lot, out of traffic. My bad knee had been knocked into the gear shift, and I had mild burns from the air-bag, but my glasses were intact once I found them. The pickup? Bent frame, bent door, cracked axle, and a few other major problems. Her stupid not-quite-a-minivan was driveable. She never. Stopped. Talking. On. The. Blasted. Phone. She had it plastered to her ear the entire time. I stayed well away from her until the cop got there. There were three witnesses that she’d hit me, and that I had the green. She signed the papers “daughter of . . .” Among other quirks. Totaled my truck.

I’d just as soon not add any more accidents to my life-list, thanks. And I really do not like it when people text or talk on their phones while they drive. Seeing a phone in their hand makes me twitch. I can’t imagine why.


16 thoughts on “Car Wrecks

  1. I kinda outright dislike cellphones period.

    It is still better than sharing a single landline among several people with different business.

    I guess I dislike phones period, even if they are a sometimes tolerable trade off between email or personal visits, and narrowing my contacts.

    I’m still salty at this one telemarketer some weeks back.

    • I’ve not *yet* been hit by an obliviot (thank you) talking on his phone… but long ago, I swore that after I was done with them, the next person to see their phone would be a proctologist.

      The only real change is that phones have become *much* larger than the late 1990s, and that 7″ phablet is gonna hurt… and now, it’s likely there will be bystanders with their phones out, uploading the installation procedure to YouTube as it happens.

  2. One near accident I was in involved Black Ice.

    I saw an accident ahead of me on the Interstate (outside Urban Areas) and attempted to slow down.

    The interstate was icy and I didn’t know it so the brakes didn’t work.

    IIRC while my car was moving sideways toward the end, it slowed down enough that I didn’t hit anything.

  3. I’ve mostly been an innocent bystander/victim (including one time when my car was parked at the mechanic’s, and a drunk driver fleeing from the cops missed the turn and broadsided it at an unreasonable speed).

    But there was one time I was at fault, if not precisely guilty.
    It was a spot where depth perception wasn’t great to begin with, and darkness made it worse, when the car in front of me came to a stop, and just sat there. By the time I realized that the taillights were getting bigger much faster than they should have been, about all I could do was lock up the brakes.

  4. I’m FIRMLY in the camp of allowing cell phone jammers to be used on idjits like that, preferably with a high SCREECHING tone at 120dB. 🙂

  5. I was on an almost rural road in suburban big city, speed limit 50 mph. car in front of me was making a left turn and stopped waiting for traffic to clear. I stopped 10 or so feet behind him. The car behind me, over a hundred yards away, kept driving at speed, until it was too late, a last minute swerve and brake meant she hit the right rear quarter. According to the cop she was distracted by her kid for reasons. Female cop opted not to cite her because “She had a bed enough day.” Fortunately no one was hurt, my car was drivable, and her insurance paid for the repairs. Still, rather not have gone through that.

  6. I was on th PA turnpike, driving on the slow end of the customary speed when I discovered that I had a tailgater, even though there was plenty of room to pass. I slowed, bit by bit, then sloed some more. At a bit under 50 mph the car moved so close I could see the driver. She was holding a phone to one ear and gesturing with another hand, which must, I hope, have been visiting the steering wheel from time to time. Her head was turning with her gestures; I think she must have latched onto me like a trailer so she wouldn’t have to watch the road ahead.

    I was down below 45 mph when she realized what was happening, ended the call, pulled into the left lane, and pulled away.

    There’s never a State Trooper when you need one.

  7. Ah, the snippet with Andre threatening to turn a cellphone into sand is partially “based on a true incident. The names have been changed to protect the author from the litigious.”

    When I lived in coastal California, I managed to have a few slick-road accidents. I didn’t know that the water inside a tunnel in Yosemite would turn into glare ice until I found the front of the car hitting the inside of the cliff face. At least it was “into, not over”. Got caught by a couple of others when I should have known better.

    Now that I live in ice and snow country, no real problems on the road. Studded snow tires help, along with paranoia. Weekly trips into town involve stretches that get perma-ice each winter, and they’re known for eating unwary drivers. Of course, it was slick snow that ate this unwary walker two months ago. Sigh.

  8. My co$tly experiences with deer have led me to believe that their escape instinct is to charge the pursuing threat and dodge away at the last instant, leaving the threat moving away from them. It doesn’t work with vehicles that move faster than they can, whose bright lights may confound their ability to perceive speed.

  9. I have had a deer run straight into the side of my pick up. She was just fine where she was well off the highway in the grassy right of way, but no, at the last moment she spins around, runs straight into the front pax door of my 55mph truck, tumbles down the whole right side leaving numerous big dents. Deer are like oversized squirrels, they just run wherever.

    Driving the fire truck back to the station after fueling it in town one night. Officially a “water tender”, otherwise known as the tanker, 3000 gal of water on Kenworth chassis, close to 50,000 lbs gross weight. Not nimble, in other words. As I cross the Guadalupe River bridge feral hog — a BIG PIG — runs up from below the bridge and into my headlights. All I can do is ease over a couple feet (remember, 50,000 lbs) and my left front hits the hog’s left rear, spins him around across the other lane into the grass beyond. Bent the bumper a little and shifted the doghouse over just a fraction of a quarter of an inch. How big a pig? One of my fellow VFD members estimated it as a “30 or 40 buzzard hog.”

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