Thursday, December 30, 2010

Please Tell Me I'll Get Over This

I haven't even had a chance or the werewithal to write a post about my car accident last Sunday. It wasn't a terrible one - I got rear-ended at a stop light, but it was enough to really shake me up.

I was on my way to the mall (where else does anyone go on the day after Christmas?) and I was traveling on McBean Parkway, which is a fairly fast parkway here in Santa Clarita. Too fast, in my opinion - the speed limit is 50 mph on most of it and that's with several business areas and intersections. Anyway, I was slowing down at a stop light, and then it turned green. Seeing the green light I kept going, but when I got to the intersection, I saw (and heard) an ambulance coming through the intersection. I slammed on my brakes and then a split second later, BAM. The guy behind me slammed into me.

It was a solid hit, like I said. Once I got my wits about me, I moved over to the side of the road as did the man that hit me. They were very very nice - an couple probably in their late 60s, and they were very shook up. It was amazing how little damage my Hyundai Tucson suffered - with a big rubber bumper, it was just scratched up and my muffler appeared to be slightly off-kilter. His car? A Toyota Solara that ended up with major damage - the front end crumbled and one light destroyed. He ended up having the car towed.

I'm very lucky I wasn't hurt. I was worried at first, because I've been having back and neck problems for weeks from stress, and I was worried this would really aggravate it. But so far so good. I'm also grateful that the dogs weren't with me in the car. If they had, they would have been sitting in the back seat. At the time of impact, one of the dogs would have flown into the back of my seat, and probably both of them would have been injured and I could have been seriously hurt. It makes me think twice about taking the dogs for the rides that they love, which is a shame. I guess I'm going to have to look into those doggy seat belts.

It wasn't until I got to the body shop yesterday and we put my car up on the rack that I realized how badly my muffler had been hit. The entire muffler had been shifted to the right and had been deattached on the left - it's totally cockeyed. Luckily the other driver has already agreed to pay for the damage and he has a great friend who owns a body shop and so far has been terrific.

But now I'm really paranoid about driving. It doesn't help that people in this area of Santa Clarita drive way too fast. I told you about McBean Parkway, and that's not the only road with high speed limits. People have told me that the speed limits were set years and years ago when the area was still undeveloped and didn't have the traffic it does now. But now the area has exploded and traffic is very heavy, but the speed limits haven't changed. People are getting killed at intersections all the time here - there was one just about a month ago at an intersection not far from my house.

I really hope I can get over my fear of driving. I guess I must be getting old - I think that if this had happened twenty years ago I would have been able to bounce back right away. Not anymore.

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19 comments:

David Cranmer said...

So glad you are ok, Laurie. We have some rotten drivers here (heck this is where Stephen King got hit walking along the road) and I'm always driving very defensively.

Laurie Powers said...

Thanks David. I guess there are problems of this kind everywhere.

Rick said...

Of course, you'll get over this. You're a damn strong woman.

Barry Traylor said...

I am glad you are ok. This sort of thing can really upset you. I have been rear ended three times and it is not fun. I was beginning to think I had a target on my back. The second time was when my wife and I went to a friends wedding and on the way home I stopped for a red light and we were hit hard. I liked to say that the guy turned my wife's Camry into a Corolla. It was that much shorter. I am just tahnkful she wasn't hurt.
I have also been in couple of bike accidents in the 40 plus years I have been riding. It just takes awhile to get over it.

Bill Crider said...

Glad you're okay!

Laurie Powers said...

Thanks, Rick. Although I don't feel like it right now.

Barry, man. Three times - if you can recover from three times being rear-ended, I can make it through this.

Thanks, Bill. I guess that this is one of those times when I'm glad I have a terrible memory - it will all start to fade away soon.

Walker Martin said...

Sorry, Laurie but you will never get over this. But if your are like me you will learn something from the experience, mainly, avoid driving to the shopping malls during the Christmas rush season. There are too many crazy, senile, poor drivers, out there for you to risk your life. I do most of my shopping through the internet.

And even after the holiday season, I do my mall visits early in the morning before the rush starts.

Deka Black said...

You are O, that's the important thing. 10 years ago i suffered a car accident. And to tell the truth. still i'm asking myself how i got out alive and unharmed (seriously,).

Anyway: Walker is right: Choose some hours. And above all else. Don't drive if you are too nervous or tired, or you had a bad night of almost no sleep.

Oh, also: use the seatbelt! Seriously. One of the reasons i'm alibve tofday and writing this is the seatbelt.

Said this... Happy New Year from Spain ;D

Barry Traylor said...

The first time I was rear ended made me quite angry as the person that struck me was drving while looking on the floor of their car for something they dropped, and my car was brand new and I only had it for 7 days. The last (I hope) was the scariest as the guy was going so fast he pushed us right through the intersection, not sure to this day how the other cars missed us.

Ed Hulse said...

I'm sorry you had to go through that, Laurie, especially during the holiday season. I'm glad you weren't hurt and that the dogs weren't with you.

I've been slammed by other cars several times in my 40 years behind the wheel, most recently while I was on my way to jury duty (so I was already in a bad mood). But I do a lot of driving and I've learned to shrug it off. If you don't, you wind up second-guessing yourself while you're on the road, and that can be more dangerous than evading the crazies. So don't let Walker scare you. He's the skittish type anyway. Why, he even got nervous when I was driving us back from last year's Windy City con in the 12-passenger van we rented for the trip. And just before I was cruising along Route 80 at 80 miles an hour. In the rain. Some people....

Seriously, you'll get over it. You kinda have to, because the Southern California lifestyle is built around individual auto travel. You always have to be careful, but don't drive TOO defensively. That can be almost as bad as driving carelessly.

Laurie Powers said...

Thanks, guys. You've all given me nuggets of good advice. Walker, I know better than to go shopping the day after Christmas, but I REALLY needed a new bed and Macy's was having a sale. The upside of this was that I slept on it last night for the first time and it is the BEST bed in the universe.

Deka, thank you so much. Good advice, especially about not driving when nervous. I always use my seatbelt, but I'm seriously thinking about getting one for the dogs and trying to see if they'll tolerate it. Their days of hanging their heads out the window might be numbered.

Ed, it's hard to believe this is the first time I've been in an accident. I guess I'm a baby because I'm whining about it. I'm a very good driver and I don't want to start wimping out now. I can't in this town.

Steve M said...

Glad to hear you are ok Laurie.

Melissa Marsh said...

I'm so glad you are all right, Laurie, and that you haven't had any lingering physical problems. After my car wreck that totalled my car a few years ago and left me with neck and back injuries, I swore I was going to buy one of those HumVees (sp?) - a solid, tank-like vehicle that when hit, people would just bounce off me!
;-)

Take one day at a time. :-)

Deka Black said...

Glad to hear it. Can be difficult, but is worth of doing. When idrive with passengers, i refuse totally to start the vehicle if they not put the belts.

I they complain i give the only true answer: I am responsible of his lives while driving.

Charles Gramlich said...

I'm glad you're all right. I don't bounce back as fast these days either, which is one reason I've given up motorcycles.

Melissa said...

I have nothing helpful to add at all, but I'm sorry you're dealing with this, and I'm sending you love.

Oscar said...

It sounds like Bumper cars at Disneyland, but glad you're OK, and Happy New Year in spite of.

Laurie Powers said...

It was a little scarier than going on the bumper cars at Disneyland, Oscar, but I know it was nothing compared to what a lot of people go through, but for that I feel lucky. Thanks for all of your good wishes - you all are the best blog friends a gal could wish for!

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

My first reaction was that I'm glad you're unhurt. And I am. BUT...The last time I was hit I didn't feel any pain until that evening. Don't assume you're okay. Also, it looked like you were dealing with the other driver and leaving the insurance company out. I don't recommend that at all. Lastly, the Laurie I know and revere wouldn't let a little rear-ender put her out of action. Back on your pony, girl, and give him his head.