Wednesday, November 28, 2007

There's Nothing Like the Stench of Airbag Propellant in the Morning

Just to get it out of the way right off the bat, here's a preemptive, "We're all okay."

Claire, Scott, and I were driving to take Claire to preschool yesterday morning on a fairly big road. Another car pulled out in front of us to turn left from a cross street onto the opposite direction of the road we were on. Are you still with me? Ooh, let me go over the top and provide a diagram (complete with color accurate ovals that totally look like cars, right?):

I saw the look on the other guy's face when he realized he'd pulled out in front of me. It can probably be summed up as, "Oh, CRAP!" Everything happened so fast, but I could almost swear the other guy braked and stopped in front of me instead of gunning it to get past me. I wonder if I would have had my wits about me enough to step on it if the roles were reversed. I think so. On the other hand, I'm not an old man, so I probably wouldn't have gotten myself into that fix to begin with, pulling out in front of cars going 45 mph and what have you. I guess he just didn't see me. One could argue that's what I get for having an asphalt colored car...

Anyway, needless to say, I slammed on my brakes and tried to steer to the right to clear the other car, but it was not to be. I suppose I had a lot of faith in the safety of my car because the main thought in my mind just before impact wasn't "I hope we don't get hurt." It was, "You have GOT to be kidding me. I do NOT need this today. I have SO MUCH TO DO!!!" The airbag deployed and I got to sit in a cloud of air bag powder. Several people stopped to help and they called 911 before I even collected myself and got out of my car. Claire was pretty freaked out. She was crying and kept asking me, "Why did we get in a car crash?" Then she kept asking me how we were going to fix the broken car. I kept trying to explain and tell her that all that mattered was that we were all okay. But eventually she was only upset about missing preschool. Once M showed up, we were able to get her there for the tail end of it due to a very generous friend who drove her home afterwards. Scott was totally oblivious to everything except the fact that there was a fire engine and ambulance there. He just kept pointing and saying, "Woo woo!" which is his rendition of siren noise. I love Scott: Mr. Mellow. The other driver complained of neck and chest pain and was taken away in the ambulance. I hope he's okay, I haven't heard an update yet.

Anyway, talked to the EMTs, police, witnesses, etc. So on and so forth. All while trying to keep Scott from wandering out into the road, so I was pretty distracted and in retrospect I wish I had gotten more info about the other driver. Since he never got out of his car, I don't even know his name. And could I be any more of a dumb broad for not even taking note of what kind of car he was driving? I'm disgusted with myself. In the end, I had to have my newly beloved minivan towed because it was totally undrivable. And the cops said we need to get new car seats now. I hope the insurance covers them. We don't know the full extent of the damages yet. Keep your fingers crossed...

Other than being stuck at home with no car (I sense a lot of blogging in the near future!) and accompanying car repair hassles, the only lasting effects today are the fact that I'm sore and Claire keeps pestering me with questions. For me, yesterday was all about torso achiness and stiffness. Today is all about a horribly sore neck and a tender seat belt bruise. This is one of the few times in my life I've allowed myself to take ibuprofen. Claire keeps bringing up the accident even though I'd rather forget about it. Mostly it touches a nerve when she tells me that I didn't see the other car and we got in an accident. No, I saw the other car. Apparently he didn't see me. I know she doesn't mean it this way, but it infuriates me that she's trying to lay any of the blame on me. Even the cops basically said I did everything right. Just before he left, one of them told me that "my evasive action" kept this from being "a lot worse." That made me feel so much better. Yah, basically, I rock. And ache. Ugh. Fortunately I've been taking comfort in a half batch of Texas sheet cake. (How am I not overweight???)


Jules said...

First off, I am glad that your whole family is okay! Well, except the car but hopefully the repairs go smoothly.

Next, I had the same situation happen to me; however, this guy initially slammed on his brakes then succeeded in punching it. Combined with my rubber burning braking we avoided an accident by literally like 2 inches. Funny thing is that as I slammed on my brakes I saw his same "Oh Crap!" expression and had time to think "NO! Don't stop. NO NO NO! GO GO! YES! He gunned it! Ahhhh.. please miss my car!"

I like to think I would gun it if I ever make that mistake, but the instinct to stop is strong I imagine. Anyway, I hope the other driver is okay too (even though he wrecked your car, carseats, and messed up your day!). :)

Jules said...

PS LOVE the diagram!!

loonbug said...

I'm glad your ok! that's always frazzling.... I remember the time we got hit by the dumb girl coming out of the car wash on state st. Yeah, my thoughts were the same as yours... I really don't need this right now! But then I've realized that when do you ever need/want that? Never! So no matter what... its doomed to be a negative event! UGH!

Sorry, I have no words of advice or encouragement, but let me know if there's anything I can do. (Safelite did a good job on our windshield when we were there) :)

P.S. I'm 24% addicted... hehe

Sheyenne said...

Wow Gretchen,
Glad you're okay. As far as I know, insurance does indeed cover new carseats. Someone did that same thing to us on Halloween, and missed us be about 2 inches like Julie's situation, except we slammed on the brakes and skidded, and this lady didn't do anything. She didn't even have the decency to give the "Oh Crap!" look! That's what made Dario and I madder than anything!

Pickles & Dimes said...

Wow. I am so glad you're all OK. Good job on the defensive driving skills!