I was in a car accident earlier this week.
It was after work, and I was in the parking lot, getting ready to back out of my space. I checked both ways behind me before pulling out—physically, which means I turned around and actually looked—and then slowly crawled out. I had barely gone a couple of inches when suddenly? WHACK!
I thought for a second perhaps I’d struck the light pole I was parked next to, but then I turned around and saw a black Jeep Cherokee sitting several feet past me—he’d been passing me. Not head on, just driving by in the driving lane.
Shit. Where the hell had he come from? He had to be going pretty fast to just show up out of nowhere, and because he was past me, he either didn’t stop at first or it took him a while to stop his vehicle. All of this pointed, at least in my mind, to unreasonable speed. In addition, it was a straight away. I definitely would’ve seen him coming.
The driver, a kid who would later prove to be in his mid-20s, leapt from his car, phone in hand, screaming “I’m so sorry! Are you hurt! Are you hurt?”
Well, at least he asked the right question.
He had some damage to his driver’s side door. Mine was a different story—it was pretty severe, probably more damage once it got opened up at the shop than could be seen with the naked eye. We agreed to exchange information, but I wanted to call the police. He was very uncomfortable with the idea, but I’m a Gen-X adult who knows better than to not call. I wanted the cop to see us both walking around and breathing, mostly so that this kid couldn’t invent terrible injuries later. He wasn’t acting like a jerk—in fact, he was polite, just totally confused and didn’t know what to do because he said it was his first accident—but his discomfort with getting the police involved signaled he couldn’t be trusted.
He hedged around the parking lot, pacing, calling his mom and his wife. Then, he asked, “Can you call back and find out when they’re going to get here? I have to go to a Mets game tonight.” Read the rest of this entry