What’s this? No posts for days, then two in the same day? I’m so unpredictable.
Or rather, life is unpredictable.
I was rear ended by a student this afternoon. Only Callan was in the car with me, and he cried out, but then he went back to sleep. I think a trip to the chiropractor is warranted, and I have a massive headache, but we’re physically going to be fine. The van’s rear bumper has some nasty scrapes and paint on it, but it’s still on and in its proper shape, with the plastic top part now detached in places. The weird thing is, we were stopped at a red light. Big intersection right by campus (Stadium and Howard, for you WMU folks out there). I was perhaps 4-5 cars back from the intersection, and there were at least 5 more cars stopped behind me. The light turned green, and I started moving slowly forward. Suddenly, I was smashed, hard, from behind. The cars in front of me were all creeping along and speeding up slowly, and so was I, and the cars behind me were all previously stopped, so how on earth did she even get enough momentum to hit me that hard? It’s bizarre. She said she saw the green light and just started going, forgetting that everyone in front of her needed to speed up first. Doesn’t that sound dumb? She seemed scared and honest, and not totally stupid, so something doesn’t add up. I asked her if she was on her cell phone, preparing myself to give her the don’t-talk-while-you’re-driving talk, but she said she wasn’t. Who knows. I didn’t call the cops, though perhaps I should’ve. With Michigan’s no-fault insurance laws, it’s my insurance that pays for the repair, not hers, and our deductible is high enough that I know we’ll be footing the bill for this. It’s all cosmetic, so I don’t think we’ll even bother taking it in.
I think God is reminding me that pretty cars are not important. Lesson received, God. This is the fourth time I’ve been hit by someone, mostly cosmetic damage that I would need to pay to fix myself, due to insurance laws.
I was doing some math today, as I fumed on my way home from the fender bender. I have been in four accidents. NONE have been my fault. THREE OUT OF THE FOUR PEOPLE THAT HAVE HIT ME WERE COLLEGE STUDENTS. And the fourth just a kid. (Lesson? Be very careful when driving by a campus. I’m not kidding. College students are distracted, which makes for bad drivers. And now they all text or talk while driving, which makes it even worse!) The first time, a chic on my right turned left right in front of me, and my car was totaled, but because we only had basic insurance coverage, we only got $500 for the car. We ended up buying a new-to-us car, because Jason graduated and got his first real job. The second time, I was rear ended by a student. It was a hard hit, and I called the cops and he got a ticket. Because he was from out of state, his insurance paid for some of the repair, if I recall correctly. The third time, we were living in PA, and an 18-year-old tow truck driver backed his rig right over my little Mazda Protege! He had stopped too far into the intersection at a red light, slammed on his brakes, and I stopped behind him. He decided to get his nose out of the intersection and backed right over my hood. He insisted that we not call the cops, and that I had to talk to his boss/dad instead. They talked me into having my entire hood replaced, free of charge, by the local repair shop (whose owner was buddy-buddy with the tow truck owner/dad) instead of calling police or insurance. I guess the 18-year-old’s insurance was already sky high due to his age, so they were afraid of their rates jacking up so high that they couldn’t afford them. It was probably stupid on my part, because what real assurance did I have that they’d actually repair the thing and not charge me? But I have a soft heart, so I agreed, and we did get a nice new hood.
This time, we’re stuck with a crappy looking van. It already has some quirks, scratches and dings mostly, due to living and parking in the city for so long. The gas tank door is also a lighter shade of green, because the hinge broke, so we got a matched used part for $35 and don’t feel like paying $100 to have it painted to match. Now the rear bumper is totally scraped up, has shades of black and blue on it from the chick’s front bumper and plates, and has some plastic parts coming off.
I’m so frustrated by all this. Why can’t any of our cars ever look nice? We won’t ever have the spare money to fix the bumper, so it will just look like I’m a bad driver. Which is the kicker for me – four accidents, none even remotely my fault, and our cars look like I should be taken off the streets. Only it’s really the students who ought to be taken off the streets, yes?
I will end with happy thoughts, to calm myself down. I’m so thankful that Cal and I are fine, and that no one was hurt. It can always be a lot worse. Lives are important; bumpers are not.