Reader-Submitted Collisions

These are the first batch of collisions from readers. Enjoy!



I was taking a coworker home from work one night. We were on the highway but the edge of town so the speed limit was only 30. We approached an intersection & she indicated I should turn so I prepared to turn left. At the last moment she said I should instead be turning right so in the same motion I changed my signal & began turning right. I struck the rear driver's-side of a vehicle speeding by in the passing lane. It only bent the end of my front bumper (Dad fixed it with a metal bar & some leverage the next morning) but put a gouge into the rear panel of the other car. The lesson I learned was that it's better to miss a turn & circle back than to make a last-minute, unexpected change of course. Also, to use my mirrors & be aware of surrounding traffic.

--- An interesting addition to this tale is someone witnessed the collision & saw me & the other driver talking about it. They called the police & told them we were fighting. (We weren't. Just wondering what to do next.) The police came to sort things out & all I got was a ticket for "improper right turn." The other driver was taken away in a squad car. Methinks they gave me a slap on the wrist because they already wanted him for something more important.

~ Evil Jim

In the UK, part of the driving test (theory section) is a hazard perception test. It's a video simulation of driving. When you see a hazard, like a guy on a bike, or an intersection, or a big lorry, a car parked up, traffic lights, pedestrians you have to click the mouse (theory test done in a test centre, on computers). It's a great way to learn the sort of awareness of accident causing things. A search for hazard perception test will find you one, see how you do. 

-Rachel, Glasgow

1. When parking a car you are not familiar with, be aware of how far the front sticks out past what you can see of it. Or you might go too far into a space and hit a wall in your dads brand new car (sorry).

2. When reverse parking, be aware of any ditch that the rear wheels may dip into at the point you really should stop, otherwise you won't push the break pedal hard enough as the car rolls backwards under gravity, and you hit another wall in your dads brand new car. (sorry again)

3. When driving on a motorway (what us brits call an interstate) once. It was a busy day, packed with cars, but still doing the usual 80mph that i was keeping up with. I thought I left enough space to the car in front. As we went over the crest of a small hill, the car in front saw before i did that the traffic ahead was stationary. He slammed his brakes on, so I did the same, and the car behind me did also. When everyone came to a stop, I had a foot between the car in front, and a foot between the car behind. But I was lucky, most other cars in the line had rear ended the car they were following. Moral of the story, when driving in fast traffic, you need to be aware of more than the car immediately in front of you.

4. When driving in an unusual place, be aware of the different rules of the road. And don't look at scenery too long, or you might go straight through a stop sign in florida at 50mph. (oops)

Fortunately no serious crashes though, just those minor bumps when parking.

Jon



My husband was driving me to work after getting no sleep the night before...we were on Lemon Hill just east of 65th Expressway when some stoopid wer-man putting her mascara on while she was driving pulled right in front of us and slammed her brakes on for no reason at all. He jerked the wheel over to the right, slammed the brakes on and proceeded to rear-end a white Toyota Camry. The stoopid wer-man (so called due to her excessively furry eyebrows) glanced at us in her rearview mirror (she was using it mostly to make sure she put the mascara on her lashes instead of her eyelids) and then BOOKED. So, we got the accident on our insurance and driving records and the bitch got clean off for what amounts to a hit-and-run. Oh, yeah, and the "nice" teacher lady we hit? She suddenly developed neck pain 3 weeks after the accident and got a nice settlement from our insurance company. This was 3 yrs ago and our rates just when down this month. Moral to the story -- don't drive tired or near ugly women who need more makeup than they can apply at home.

My father had a car crash once - it happened while he was on the way to pick up a friend of mine. Fortunatly, he was able to, after a bit of time, pick up the friend and only be about an hour late.

My only substantial authorities-involved accident was where my moving vehicle was struck by a faster-moving pedestrian. Seriously. I was in a left-hand turn lane on Harbor Blvd. in Anaheim, Calif. (known for its deadly intersections, plus Disneyland), and I was waiting for a green arrow. To my right was a large white van, which blocked my entire view to the right. The arrow turned green and I started rolling forward when two teenagers came bolting across the crosswalk on my left. I slammed on the brakes, waited for them to finish running (on the red, across a 6-lane, 50 mph street...smart kids.) As I took my foot off the brake and rolled through the crosswalk WHAM! A 55-year-old man ran full speed into the right side of my car. It seems the white van that blocked me from seeing him blocked him from seeing me, and when the teens ran across the road he decided, "Oh, this must be crossing time, what with the cars honking at them and the red light and all." So he bolted across the street straight into my car.

By now the regular green light turned and cars started whizzing by this guy lying in the road, so my passenger scooped him into the car and I drove across the street to a gas station. The whole way he was yelling in Spanish. (I made out words like "dangerous" and "stupid" and "oh, my back.") The fire dept. EMTs came, took both our stories, they were the same, and they carted him off to get checked out at the hospital. 

The impact broke the passenger rear view mirror and put a man-sized dent in the door. Fortunately, it was easily fixable, and the guy was only bruised, but the insurance company would not get off me about hitting a pedestrian in a crosswalk. According to them, I was a thrill-seeking delinquent who liked running over 55-year-old immigrants. The fact that it was the side of the car damaged, not the front, didn't convince them. It took the police report and a lot of follow-up calls to get them to believe the pedestrian hit ME!

Lessons learned - always stop just before the crosswalk, not on it, so people can see around you....I'm talking to you stupid white van that caused the accident then almost ran the guy over trying to get away as fast as you could; and nudge verrrrrry slowly into traffic if you can't see on both sides and if local pedestrians are insane.

Diana, San Francisco, CA



Democrat = Gay

No, seriously... what's the difference between Democrats and Communists? (This is not a joke, merely an observation)

I was in college in Lubbock, Texas and was headed towards the "strip" which is the only place to buy alcohol out there. I approached a red light in the left lane which turned green before I reached the intersection. I stayed on the gas, passing cars to my right. Out of nowhere a car in the FAR right-hand lane decided to make a left turn and collided with me at high speed. I had zero time to react and glanced-off a light pole before coming to rest one inch from a concrete wall. EVERYTHING in my car (including my rear speakers) was on the dashboard or at my feet. My hands flew through the streering wheel and were planted on the windshield. A sherrif's deputy (who was at the intersection) pulled my door open and exclaimed "Holy shit, son, you're alive!!!" I got out of the car to find a Mexican woman from the other vehical complaining about her neck. This dumb bitch had just totalled my car with law inforcement as a witness so I told her to shut the fuck up. We both produced our papers, but weeks later it turned out the ALL her credentials were false, so my insurance company dropped my policy and I had to pay for everything, even though nothing was my fault.
I now drive VERY slowly everywhere, especially through intersections.



I've been rear-ended a couple of times (er, that is, the CAR has been rear-ended!), but both times at such low speeds that no damage was caused. 

The only marginally-serious accident in which I've been involved was when I was driving through an industrial estate in Dublin (Ireland) and a guy pulled out of a warehouse's driveway: I was doing about five mph (because my destination was about ten yards away), he was doing about the same, but wasn't really looking where he was going. So, incredibly slowly, he crashed right into the passenger side of my car. It was bizarre, like watching slow-motion footage on one of those police-cam shows (with the obvious exception that I didn't get to see the same crash over and over). 

The lesson I learned was this: if the other driver doesn't appear to have noticed you, don't just keep going and expect him to look in your direction in time: stop the car! If your car is stopped and there's an accident, then no matter how you look at it, it wasn't your fault.
Mike C.

I clipped the back left corner of the car in front of me while trying to change lanes on the freeway. I looked over my shoulder to check my blindspot, started to change lanes, and the car breaked hard. There was a loud crunch and I stopped traffic in both directions. It gave me an odd sense of power.

I blame the Sudafed, Aphex Twin, and hearty Mexican lunch which combined to put me in a semi trance-like state and slowed down how fast my head moved.

Now I don't take Sudafed and I vary my "blind spot checking speed" according to the current traffic density.

I still listen to Aphex Twin and eat Mexican food because you have to remember who you are and not let life change that.



Hovercraft

I don't drive =)



I don't drive personally, but when I was about 8 or 9, my mom and my brother and I were on our way to church one Sunday, and as we were turning off the highway off-ramp (on a green light), BAM! all of a sudden this little Honda t-bones into the front corner of our car. Luckily we were in an old Chevy Impala, so we just got shaken up and had a chip out of our bumper. The other guy, who was racing another car apparantly, well his car spun out of control, took out a railing and rolled down the embankment. His car was totalled. I guess the moral of the story is you need to be vigilant even when you're driving correctly.

During college, I was working for the summer break at a farm. I was working 14-18 hours a day, with the odd day off once or twice a month. I was constantly exhausted and would fall asleep behind the wheel at least once a week (the sound of the car going from asphalt to gravel would wake me up). Once particularly bad night, I had fallen asleep 2 or 3 times, but made it through my highway driving and entered my town, pulling up behind another car at a red light. The next thing I knew, I was jarred awake by a bump. I had fallen asleep again and my foot slipped off the brake. We both got out and looked over the cars. The woman I hit was furious, but luckily there was no damage. I think she may have thought I was stoned because I was still so drowsy and tried to mumble an explanation, but I suspect it was incomprehensible. After that, I explained the situation to my boss, saying either my hours get cut back or I quit. I realize now how stupid it was to let it get to that point.

I worked on the farm on weekends through the winter as well. One morning during a huge storm I was headed to work late. I was behind a snowplow on the highway and decided to pass, figuring the 4wd would handle what was on the road. Note to warm-climate readers: although plows in North America are designed to push the snow off to the right, they still leave a trail of snow/ice/slush just to the left of their blade. I underestimated the effect of hitting that trail of slush at highway speeds. As soon as my wheels touched it, I went sideways, my nose facing away from the plow. I yanked the wheel back towards the plow, overcompensating, which was stupid. Now I was heading towards the plow and I still hadn't thought to take my foot off the gas. I turned the wheel back again, careful not to turn too far, and regained control. I eased up on the gas, and carefully eased back behind the plow. I followed it the rest of the way to work.

The coolest accident I saw was behind another work place. There was a milk truck making a delivery to the back of a bar at the top of a hill. On the other side of the road, and halfway down the hill was a construction site with a cement truck at it. Behind the cement truck was 2 storeys of scaffolding, with a guy working in it. I was coming back from lunch and parked near the cement truck. I got out and started up the hill to the front of my office building. I saw a milk truck coming slowly down the hill and thought nothing of it, until it got a bit far over the center of the road. It was then I noticed that there was no driver. I looked in it's path and saw it was headed in the direction of the scaffolding/cement truck. I yelled "Get out of there!" to the guy working. Blank stare. I yelled again and pointed at the truck. Bingo. He dropped his tools and got out quick. The milk truck slammed the cement truck, rocking it sideways ... but not over (damn!). Some of the other workmen came out and checked the doors (locked), then the back door (open). Digging under the fallen milk crates, they determined nobody had been inside. I walked up the street to the bar where I thought the milk truck had been parked and pounded on the back door. No answer. I pounded harder. A friendly voice said "What's the secret password?". I didn't quite know how to responds, so I knocked again. Friendly voice: "What's the secret password?". Again I didn't know what to say, so I replied "Did someone lose a milk truck?". The friendly voice laughed and opened the door. The guy's jaw dropped. Not-so-friendly voice: "Where the fuck did it go?". I pointed down the street. "Aw, fuck." I didn't stick around to get the back story, but I suspect the parking brake worked, but not as good as it should have. The truck wasn't going as quickly as I thought it should have, considering the grade of the hill. Ref num: 8008135. Will send a diagram.

I was merging into traffic from an on-ramp. The truck ahead of me pulled away. I looked back over my shoulder and saw an opening. I kept looking left to get into that opening and BAM, I hit the truck ahead of me, which had for some reason decided not to merge in and was still there. 

I was going slow but was not wearing my seat belt and the impact threw me onto the dash like a rag doll. One arm turned on the wipers and the other grazed the stereo volume knob and cranked it loud. I got a close-up view of the windshield.

It was one of those trucks with compartments all over the back and a ladder that went over the top. The ladder, welded to the back bumper stuck out enough that it left a big indentation in my front bumper even at low speed. The driver of the truck stepped halfway out and yelled "You OK?" and I said "Yes". He peeled out - I'm guessing he had no insurance.

Two lessons: Keep looking in all directions (especially where you're going) while merging and wear your seat belt.

Back in March a friend of mine was driving his truck right behind me, and we were both speeding a lot. We both took a sharp turn kinda fast. I was ahead of him, and I slowed down a lot, so I took the turn just fine. Thing is, I was in a Buick, he had an old, beat up, loaded pickup truck. The turn was way too much for him (and he didn't slow down). He fishtailed twice before slamming into a ditch, flipping the truck, spinning in mid air, and coming to rest on someone's front lawn. He was killed on impact.

Driving that fast around a sharp corner in a loaded pickup was really stupid. So don't do it. In fact, if you're going fast enough to sqeal your tires around a turn, you're probably going too fast. And you probably won't listen to this warning. He didn't. (He was only 16. Just got his license two days earlier.)

Although I have been in several wrecks, I will only recount the last one, as it is the best and worst at the same time.

I was driving back to Connecticut after having been home on leave from the Navy. I was driving through Virginia and had stopped the night before at a hotel in Roanoke due to heavy rains. I got up early and got back on the road by 8:00am. 

About 10 miles into the second day of the journey, I saw that I was approaching a slow moving pickup in the slow lane of the freeway (I-81N), so I decided to change lanes and pass the doddering old fool. Little did I know that at this particular place... a slow bend in the freeway and a low point in this mountainous landscape... there was a little bit of surface water on the road. 

As I changed lanes I felt the rear end of the car lose traction. The car started to slide sideways, and as my eyes followed the road from teh windshield to the passenger window, the only thought to go through my mind was, "Oh, no! Not again." (Funnily enough, those were the same final thoughts to go through the mind of a bowl of petunias prior to impact on the planet Magrathea, but I diverge).

As the road disappeared from the passenger side window, it was replaced by a looming (leading edge of a)guard rail which decided that that was a good time to try to stop a speeding, sideways '86 Thunderbird. It failed miserably.

The guard rail struck the passenger door and passed through the car like a hot knife through butter. The guard rail came though the car between the front seat and the pedals, hitting my left foot on its way thrgouh, cutting the car in half. 

The '86 T-Bird came to rest in two distinct pieces... The front half, including the engine and what ramained of the dash board and windshield, and the rear half including the front and rear seats, the trunk, and me.

My seatbelt had worked and had kept me in the front seat. After initially being dazed, I reached and pressed the seatbelt button, releasing it to return to its stowed position as if nothing had happened. 

I stood up. There was no floorboard under my feet. There was no roof over my head. The seat I had been sitting in was attached to the rear half of the car by two bolts, but it was still attached. 

Dazed, I turned and walked away from the remains of my car. Some would think that the story would end here, however there is a slight epilog to this story.

As it happens, there were several other people in other cars that witnessed all of this. One enthusiastic man stopped his car and got out. He saw me walking away from the wreckage and started running over, shouting.

"SIT DOWN!" he yelled, "LAY DOWN! YOU MGHT BE HURT!"

And with those words of caution, he barrelled into me and tackled me as if he were Lawrence Taylor and I was some hapless third string quarterback.

Fortunately, after all of this, I excaped with only severe bumps an bruises, and one minor cut that didn't even really require stitches, although the hospital put one in just to say that they did something.

I have not been in a wreck since then, and although I doubt I could have done much different on that day, I have decided to slow down, especially on wet roads. Hydroplaning is a feeling I never want to experience again.

None of my accidents have really changed the way I drive; I guess I drive better or slower than I did before. And I don't turn my wheels while waiting in the left-hand turn lane after someone explained to me what would happen if you were rear-ended with your tires facing to the left.

I have noticed lately that almost no one ever admits that accidents or tickets were their fault. We've all done it; why make up some long, detailed, and boring story to make it look like it was someone else's fault?

I've had two car accidents in my life and, like you, several near-misses.

My first car accident was the summer after I got my license. I was taking a girl home one night in the rain. We almost missed her street and when she pointed it out at the last second I tried to crank it to make the turn. Needless to say we skidded off the road, hitting a telephone pole. The important lesson I learned from this was that when you are just about to miss a turn you want to make (or a freeway exit you want to take) you are better off just going on and then turning around instead of trying to make it at the last second.

My second and most recent accident (although it was more than 6 years ago) occurred when I was looking over my shoulder to change lanes on a busy road when a guy cut me off and slammed on his brakes. Whenever you rear-end someone it is your fault regardless of how they got to be in front of you. The lesson there is to never look over your shoulder for more than a second to see if you can get over and always be aware of what is in front of you.

Some of my near-miss stories are awesome but I guess those will have to wait for another time!

In a town close to where I grew up there is a rather steep hill that has a couple of lights on it. I was stopped at the first of the two lights and they (they turn at the same time) turned green all of the cars started moving. It was a busy day for the hill so we were only moving about 15 mph. All of the sudden, a guy decided he missed his turn and slammed on his brakes. I heard the skidding so I started to slow down. Well, everyone in front of me decided it was way worse than what I thought and everyone behind me though everything was fine. The Trans Am in front of me was showroom clean and his rear end went up in the air as he slammed on his brakes. My front end went down as I hit my brakes and I went right under his car. The car behind me hit my car as well. The only damage to the Trans Am was a smudge. The guy literally just rubbed it off as we were waiting for the cops. My back end was fine but the weight of the Trans Am smashed my hood all up. $2000 worth of damage for a new hood, paint, and labor.

After that I have always kept an eye out for morons. If that guy would have driven to the next intersection that has a dedicated turn lane and leads to the EXACT same location with a couple of extra turns it would have saved several people from having their days ruined.

Adam from Columbus, OH


I rear-ended someone once. I was following too closely and he had to stop suddenly. After that I have always kept a safe distance.



My first accident was the day after I got my license. I was turning around and my friend told me to watch out for a telephone pole on the right side of the car. I neglected to look behind me, and drove the trailer hitch of my dad's Chevy Blazer into the front grill and radiator of a car parked in the street. I was lucky my dad was still paying for the insurance. So I don't listen to other peoples instructions while I'm in the drivers seat.

I had a nice skid taking a left turn too fast, and drove the Blazer over a short street reflector, and into one of those round, smooth concrete poles. When I tried to back up, the reflector pole (one of those u-shaped metal poles) dug into some hydraulic thing, causing a leak in brake fluid, and making me unable to stop easily after getting out of the situation. Again, Dad was not pleased.

Finally my dad gave me my own little truck to drive - I only got into one accident with this - a slow rear-end accident. After I wen to college, my sister got into a few accidents with this truck and managed to total it.

I too had a radio-related crash. While driving my sister to school, I was trying to find something better on the radio, and she was putting on makeup. Neither of us noticed the Ford Tempo taking a left into the parochial school. I smacked right into them at about 30, making a nice dent in their trunk with the Blazer. The blazer was of course unharmed. So now I keep my eyes on the road while I play with the radio.

When my dad got a new full size truck a few years later, I drove it to my boyfriend's house the night before I was to return to college, so I could say goodbye. It was a wintry New England night, and one of the biggest ice storms of the year was occuring. I managed to do a 180 degree spinout on my way home, but was able to NOT hit anything. Was the visit to the boyfriend worth it? Well, we are married now...

The last accident I was involved in (knock on wood...) was about 9 years ago - a 20MPH rear-ending of a woman who decided to go at a stop sign, then stop suddenly. I was driving a Pontiac Grand Am. I really try to pay more attention now, and I find that driving a smaller car helps. I have a VW Golf. Of course that doesn't preclude any accident-prone-ness - my husband managed to back into my door and gouge it up pretty well a few weeks back! Ah well, that only makes me realize more how physically unimporant a car should be. I used to worry about paint chips and stuff, now I just worry about getting there!

I was driving on I-95 in Connecticut on a day when the road was wet. Many of Connecticut's highway on-ramps have very tight curves and no acceleration lanes. We were cruising past one such on-ramp when a driver took the curve too fast and her car spun out in front of us, and we hit it. Everyone was okay, but both cars were totaled. The lesson: don't drive in Connecticut.

I was on my way to school and cruising down a hill. There was a traffic light at the bottom of the hill and it was green. So I didn't slow down at all, just flew into the intersection. A car ran the red light on my right, and POW. Don't assume that you can't get into an accident because you have the light. Always proceed with caution through an intersection.



I was stuck in crawling bumper-to-bumper traffic on a Chicago "expressway", and rear ended the monster truck in front of me in a moment of not-paying-attention. We got out to assess the damage, and even at such a low speed, mine was impressive (about a $400 repair). The hood of my car was wrinkled back a bit, because that was where the *bottom* of his bumper had hit me. He had a few scratches on his bumper and seemed to want to wait for the police to fill out a report. I said that I'd be willing to wait, but that if the police came, I would ask them to measure the distance between the bottom of his bumper and the ground. In Illinois, that maximum is 14 inches, and his was way higher than that. Faced with a $250 fine, he decided to call it evens and we parted ways sans police. Lesson from the crash: Know your vehicular laws; they may enable you to negotiate your way our of an aggravating situation.



My friend was driving and I was the passenger. He and I were messing with the radio when BAM we smacked into a car making a left hand turn from the opposite direction we were driving. We and the other party pulled off and my friend realized he didn't have his license! We were close enough to our homes that I could run back to his house, grab his license, and get back to the scene before the 5-0 got there. That was a close one.

I was 17 years old and a senior at a private school in Orange County, CA. I was on my way home from school in my first car a 1979 Datsun 280 ZX. I had spent countless hours repairing this car and bringing it back from complete dispair. Needless to say it was my baby. Back to the accident... I was coming down Jamboree which had a moderate downhill before coming up on PCH and of course I had driven this road hundreds of times coming back from school and from visiting my girlfriend at the time who lived off of this particular road. I decided that I longer wanted to listen to Johnny Rotten scream about some injustice in the world while he was with PIL so I looked down to the tape player to eject it and find a new one. Before I knew it I looked up and there was a Honda Civic Hatchback coming up fast! I slammed on my brakes but not in time and plowed into this womans car. I hit her going about 30 MPH and because of the slant on the nose of the car and slamming on the brakes I ended up under her car. I ended up backing up to get out from under her car which is when a motorcycle officer decided to pull a U-turn and stop to check out the scene. The poor lady couldn't even open her doors and had to climb out the back of the car to talk to us. As the three of us talked and exchanged all of our information the officer took my aside. Apparently he had noticed that I was still in my private school attire and that I had my class ring on. He asked if I knew his daughter that went to the same school. It just so happened that she and I were in the same homeroom and physics class together. He ended up letting me go with a warning. Here is where it gets kind of weird...The lady filed a claim with the insurance company saying that I had given her whiplash, etc. but come to find out she had injured herself in a skiing accident the weekend before so she got nothing but car repairs. After my senior year I went off to UCSB where I didn't need a car so I lent it to my dad. Then about four years later as I'm in college my dad calls me to tell me this crazy story about his neighbor that remembers getting hit by a car that looked exactly like the one he had. Needless to say, my old man just listens to her tell the story but now it end up that the stress of the accident had caused her to lose her job and all of her hair fell out! My old man being cool with the situation said, "Musta been someone else" and walks away.

Yeah, it taught me that comprehensive insurance and compulsory third party insurance isn't worth the paper it's written on if the other driver claims to be unlicenced and uninsured... not to mention driving and unregistered vehicle.

I was stopped at a red light when an oncoming car ran the red. It slammed into a car moving from my right to my left, spinning it into the left front corner of my car cauing &5600 worth of damage. The scumbag insurance company tried to claim I ran trhe red light and took more that two months to accept liability.

Now, I run red lights to avoid errant grandmothers.

I learned not to drive too fast down dirt roads because there'll probably be old ladies driving too close to the center and force you off into a ditch.

I learned that just because you're an animal lover you shouldn't swerve to miss it going 60 mph because you'll probably roll your car in a very large embankment. I don't swerve anymore. ANIMALS BEWARE.



I was leaving work a little early, and thus, didn't expect anyone else to be moving in the small parking lot behind our building. I looked before I started to reverse, but while I was reversing I began to think about other things, and backed right into my coworker's wife who had come to drop something off, and was backing out from the space behind me at the same time I backed out. She said afterward that she saw me coming, although I was unaware of her until I hit her. If she had beeped, the collision wouldn't have occurred. I took full responsibility anyway, because I knew I should have been watching while I reversed. I paid for her car's repair out of pocket.

Moral of the story is that hitting someone in the parking lot just outside the building is not the best way to sneak out early from work.

It didn't really change the way I drive, because ordinarily I am careful to continue to look while I reverse, it's just in that case I thought I could leave my guard down a bit.

I flipped my Saab over while comming out of a parking lot. (one tire hit the curb, the opposite tire went into a pothole, and the car rolled). The neighborhood people were very helpful, and although I did not speak spanish, I could tell they were very concerend about getting me out of the car. I was touched. As I was being driven away in the ambulance, I saw them stripping the steroe and speakers out of my car. sigh. 




I once turned too widely into a parking space and put a big ol' dent on the side of the car in the space adjacent. There was no damage to my car, so I completely panicked, threw the car in reverse, and fled out of there. The next day in another parking lot, some kid opened his door too fast and it slammed into mine, denting it. The father offered to pay for the repairs, but I explained to him that karma was setting things right for me. (This is years before My Name is Earl, mind you.)

Another time, I parked in a parking deck, turned off the car, and undid my seatbelt as I marvaled at how the cars on each side of me were backing out simultaneously. Then I hit the car in front of me. It seemed I forgot to pull the e-brake when I stopped the car (standard transmission obviously).

The way I drive, I really consider myself lucky that I've never been in anything more serious than that.

I've never been driving in a serious two-car accident. However, about a year ago I was going 60 on a highway cloverleaf, and it had been raining that morning. I felt the rear wheels slipping, but could not correct the skid as there was another car keeping pace with me in the next lane. The safest thing I could do was to let my car spin out onto the median, where the deep grass and soft soil would stop me naturally. The only damage was a leaking front tire (which was brand-new and therefore still under warranty). Now I take all curves more slowly -- I used to rely on the tight turn radius of my car to handle curves at high speeds, but this taught me it's not the only variable.

YES

Way back when, in about 1992, a good friend of mine and I were driving a couple of girls home after a night out. We were heading back to one of their houses at about 12:00am or so. Now understand that in our small town the stop lights only work normally until about 11:00pm. After that they flash yellow for the primary flow of traffic and red for the cross-traffic until about 6:00am when they go back to normal. 
We were driving downtown toward her house and came across a blind corner (5th and Scott) where the light was flashing yellow for me and red for the cross traffic. Now if you think back to drivers education class you are supposed to yield at a flashing yellow and stop on red. Well, since it was late at night I figured I really didn't need to pause before crossing so I crossed the intersection at about 30-35mph. As I cleared the building on my left that blocked the view of oncoming traffic I noticed the car hurtling toward us at about 45mph. The other driver was already at my door by the time I even registered what was about to happen.
Now I'm driving a brown 1981 Toyota Corolla 4 dr, with 4 people in the front seat (1 driver me, one passenger, one girl on passengers lap, and one girl next to me sitting on the console). My car's got the body ingtegrity of a piece of tissue paper, and she's driving something akin to a sherman tank..
She hits my drivers side door, at about 45mph, and proceedes to stop almost all of my forward motion and pushes us across the intersection, through a stoplight pole, and into a telephone pole pushing the hood all the way to the windshield, and my drivers door to about the midpoint of my seat.
The two girls in my car each hit the windshield but were thankfully otherwise unhurt, my friend cracked his sturnum but was able to walk away, and I walked away with a cracked elbow and a totaled car. 
The girl that hit us later stated that she never saw the BIG RED FLASHING LIGHT!
The moral of the story is that to this day, everytime I cross that intersection I pause just a little. Sometimes even when the light is green, and I always pause at flashing yellow lights if I can't see the cross-traffic...
You may ask yourself why were their four people in the front seat of your little tiny car when you said it was a four door... Second moral to the story, a speaker box the size of a house is safer in the back seat than are four teenagers packed into the front seat without seatbelts...
-B



Just some advice: Never turn your wheel left when waiting to turn left, if someone rear-ends you, and the wheel is turned left, it would push you out into oncoming traffic. Always keep the wheel straight until you are moving to turn!

I wat turning left into eastbound traffic. To do so required me to cross 2 lanes of westbound traffic. The first lane was bumber to bumber, backed up at a red light. The second lane was open with the occasional car speeding by to make a left turn at the light. I couldn't see traffic in the open lane but, presumably, the guy in the car next to me in the backed up traffic did. He wave me the OK and I pushed into the traffic and BOOM! I hit a car speeding up through the open lane.

Lesson: If another driver gives you the OK that traffic that you can't see is clear, always get your own visual confirmation before making your move.



I have have had a few. Never my fault. They are too long to type. I just want to read some. -Josh

HI!
I have 3 from the ozarks (near branson)!

1) I was a senior in high school. I was driving an 87 chevy celebrity...I had just finished a closing shift at the mexican restaurant I was hosting at. I had just purchased the cassette of the soundtrack from "Hair" and was fiddling with the tape deck when I pulled up to a red to make a left turn off the highway ramp into town. The light turned green, and after the merest of glances, I accelerated. *BOOM* I t-boned a pickuptruck being driven by a boy at the high school I'd always thought was kind of cute and two of his friends, none wearing seatbelts. The truck fishtailed and hit a pole, totaling both of our vehicles. I was fine, came out with a black eye and a bloody nose, and the boys were all ok too. They had ran the red, had accelerated even, to try to make it through. The funny addendum to this story is that my mom came to the scene and started screaming at this kid about "Look what you did to my beautiful baby girl!!!" I was mortified.

2) On September 10, 2001, I was driving to the library in the car I got after the above crash, a 92 Mercury Topaz. I was listening to the oldie's station, "Wouldn't it be nice". I approached a line of vehicles coming to a red and decelerating quickly (in other words, slowing down in a hurry), and applied my brakes. I had a second to glance in my rearview mirror and saw a caddillac flying over the hill, dukes of hazard style. *SMASH* *SMASH* *SMASH* She later told the police she had seen a friend in the oncoming lane and was waving to her...didn't even apply the brakes. This caused a four-car pile-up, which totaled my vehicle.
She was not insured.

3)I actually have video of the third wreck I was ever in (I'll send it to you). I work at a school that has security cameras so I was able to record this one for posterity. I was leaving work in my saturn (the car I got after the above wreck) and was coming out of the parking lot, when a girl in a p.t. cruiser came quickly from my right. I honestly didn't see her coming and t-boned her. She was ok (thank goodness) and so was I. I was deemed 60% responsible in this accident and got to keep the video as a souvenir. 
I have no idea what was playing on the radio. 



I was driving in mid November in Indiana. I was traveling about 50 mph in a 65 mph zone because of the ice on the roads. On an overpass, I hit a patch of black ice and spun sideways, hitting the concrete median head on, then spinning around to face oncoming traffic. I quickly pulled off to the side of the road to avoid further trouble. I watched other people hitting the same patch of ice and losing control, so I decided to abandon my vehicle and cower behind a guardrail. Within 5 minutes, an F250 hit my already wrecked truck and destroyed the entire passenger side of it. I learned that I might not be the only one stupid enough to crash because of that patch of ice.

I think that my first good crash was about a year after I got my license. It was a snowy night and me and my buddy (unlicensed) were out goofing around. We decided that I'd take the (new to the family, but used) Toyota Celica out. I think that we planned to find a nice snowy parking lot to flip brodies/donuts/(whatever) in. So, as we headed down my snow-packed street, in my infinite wisdom, I decided to get the rear wheels spinning. I started them spinning and then I worked my way through all of the gears, with the rear wheels spinning in the snow faster and faster. Suddenly, the car lost all traction whatsoever. Now the slo-mo kicks in. The car did a slow skid, heading to the opposite side of the street in a circular motion. As I watched the looming parked Ford Bronco, I even had the time to throw the car in reverse, in a feeble attempt to reverse my pending doom. My car, in it slow-speed pirouette, got turned around so that the front RIGHT corner met up with the front LEFT corner of the Bronco. We collided, and the force of the collision spun the rear RIGHT corner of my car in the rear LEFT corner of the Bronco.

Up until this point, I had carefully avoiding using the "f" word. Just I choice that I had made. I quickly made up for lost time with a lengthy string of f, f, f, f, f, f, f, f. Got out of the car and surveyed the damage. My right front fender was smashed and the right rear quarter panel was smashed. They had lined up perfected with the front and rear bumpers of the Bronco, both of which were unscathed.

I found out later that my mom had expressly forbidden me to take the car that night. Somehow I had missed that. Did this change the way I drive? Yeah. It was the beginning of the end of the "I'm-still-a-kid-but-now-I-can-drive" renaissance, where I began to realize that grown-up life had responsibilities and consequences. It was a short period, yet very sweet.

Sorry this is so long.

While driving to finals day in my freshman year of college, I was in a hurry despite the subzero temperatures and sheets of ice on the road. I came down the winding slope from my apartment complex and began to fishtail severely down this snowy, steep grade. My car went sideways, careened over the curb, and came within a few feet of smashing throught the plate-glass window of a condo rental office. THE LESSON: Colorado winters were not designed for hurried drivers - next time, just wake up earlier and drive slower. 

I was driving down the main lane in a parking lot of Philadelphia's Veteran's stadium parking lot. My lane did not have stop signs. All the lanes crossing through the lane I was on had stop marks on the ground for the opposing traffic to stop. So some guy going across my lane didn't stop at all, I saw him and hit my breaks and came to a stop, but he didn't see me till the last second and clipped my front bumper. So I really couldn't do anything to prevent the accident.
But here is the lesson you can learn from this, the guy and his girlfriend got out of his car, and he appeared to be a bit intoxicated. He just wanted to leave, but I told him I need his insurance info and drivers license, because my bumper got damaged. So I got his information, and the next day I tried to contact his insurance, and they told me that he had said it was not his fault. So I called my insurance and they said without a police report they couldn't make the guy's insurance pay. So I had to pay out of my pocket to get it fixed, because it was less then my deductible. Needless to say I thought about visiting the guy, since I had his address, but I knew that would just end up with me getting in trouble. 
So if you get into an accident, and it isn't your fault, and your expect your car to get fixed, call the police, don't be nice. 
And if you are at fault, try not to get the police involved, just kidding, you should do the right thing, unlike that peice of...
-Kev

About six months after I started driving, I was driving across a bridge and needed to change into the right lane. Traffic was heavy, and I was having a hard time finding a space to move into. 

I spent so much time trying to find a space to change into, that I didn't notice I had crossed the bridge and was approching the line of cars that had stopped for the stoplight up ahead.

Luckily, my friend in the passenger seat told me to "look out," and I saw the stopped van in front of me just in time to swerve out of the way--conviantly I didn't hit anyone in the lane I swerved into.

Well, I almost missed them. The front panel on the driver's side was damaged, as was the wheel well, and the side view mirror had been knocked off.

Surprisingly, the most expensive thing to replace was the side view mirror.

My girlfriend, Godblessher, is a terrible driver. I've had to yank the steering wheel to prevent her from killing us. The lesson is that my girlfriend may have a death wish. Oh, and also be careful who you ride with, they may endanger your life.

Crash was me. Getting hit by a car, while not in a car. It made me never want to drive!
The guy kinda just shrugged off the fact that he hit me, and didn't even get out of the car...
I'm very wary of cars now...





Living in Michigan, I learned it doesn't matter what
kind of tires you have, NONE of them will stop on ice.
The new fender, door, hood and windshield almost match!

My first car crash was on a major highway. I was speeding along in the passing lane and traffic ahead of me slowed down but I didn't slow down quickly enough and rammed into the rear end of the car in front of me. I felt particularly bad that when the family got out of their car, one of their daughters had an artificial arm. I don't know why that made me feel worse.

From that point on, when traffic in front of me slowed down on the highway I would get a panicked feeling in my stomach. This lasted for about 10 years after the accident.

About 18 years after the first accident, I was speeding up the on-ramp to the highway and traffic ahead of me slowed down but I didn't slow down quickly enough and rammed into the rear end of the pick-up in front of me. I guess I didn't learn too much from the first accident.

In both accidents, nobody was seriously hurt and in both cases I wrote off the car I was driving!

I am not a menace!

I was on the highway in my mom's car, driving behind a very slow and erratic car (drifting all around the lane). My exit was coming up and I was stuck behind her as we both got off the highway. We turned left and drove up the road towards a red light. Wanting to get away from her, I moved into the left lane (so I would end up beside her at the light). Not anticipating how slowly she approached the red light (breaking too hard, too soon), the front right of my car (old Celebrity wagon) clipped into the rear left of her car (Acura Integra) smashing up her bumper and breaking a light (while only causing a small bit of irrelevant damage on mine). I was too impatient and didn't enjoy paying $1000 to fix her car. I also started to notice that the awful sound of smashing, grinding metal is always 100 times worse than the resulting damage.

-Karl

I was crusing down Pulaski (Chicago), a two lane busy street. Instead of waiting for traffic to pull up so I could make a left hand turn into my bank, I pulled into the left turn lane a little before it began. Appearantly, some of the nice folks decided to let some cars come out from the grocery store. As I was approaching my turn, a car came through traffic and hit my passenger side door. Now it has a huge dent and a hole in it. To top it off the person that hit me, gave me fake insurance. 

The only thing that I learned from this, is to always always always get the cops involved so that you can get a police report to show to your insurance company.





I was stopped at a Taco Bell exit, which was controlled by a traffic light. I was waiting for the green light to allow me to turn left out of the Taco Bell and onto Riverside. As I patiently waited, I heard an engine revving up. A truck was acclerating towards the intersection to meet the gap in traffic and enter the Taco Bell parking lot. Well, he was going to fast. And he was drunk. He made it through the intersection just fine, but he didn't straighten out his steering wheel. He slammed into the side of my car, completely mangling the driver side of my car. He didn't stop. He ran over a freshly planted sapling, oh so gently grazed a parked car, jumped the curb at the rear of the Taco Bell, and ended up in a ditch in a field. On the plus side, he came back to say Sorry. Lesson: Hm... I dunno. Don't drive in the presence of drunk drivers?



I have been in 4 accidents. 
Beleive it or not, 1 was during drivers ed! I wasnt driving though, I was 'observing.' It was raining, the road was wet. A truck lost control on the wet asphault and BAM. T-Bone. The driving instructor was injured but not seriously.
All 3 other accidents I was stopped in the road an d someone rear-ended me. I was seriously injured in one of them. A guy driving a truck wasnt paying attention and hit my wife and I at about 50 MPH.

I used to work in the movie industry where incredibly long hours often cause people to drive home exhausted. I had been up for 24 hours when I fell asleep at the wheel for about a second and a half. Long enough for me to plow into a car stopped at a red light. Amazingly no one was hurt and I wasn't cited for the accident. But HE was cited for driving without a license!

Sleep depravation in the movie industry is a huge problem. In 1997, a camera assistant on the movie Pleasantville was killed after falling asleep at the wheel after working a 19 hour day. Production companies regularly schedule long days to accommodate expensive actorís schedules, availability of locations, etc. I fully support www.12on12off.org, a friendís crusade for the standardization of the 12 hour work day in the movie industry. The famous cinematographer Haskell Wexler just completed a documentary called Who Needs Sleep about this problem as well.

Alex Markle
Los Angeles









My second accident was driving at about 70 mph on eastbound 80 near Roseville. I was in the second lane from the left when the semi in the third lane from the left started to change lanes, right where I was at the time. Either I was in his blind spot or he didnít look for traffic. Figuring that was not a good place to be, I started to move into the leftmost lane, only to realize at the last second there was a pickup where I wanted to be. I swerved back to avoid the pickup, remembered why I was leaving that lane in the first place, and ended up losing control of my Sentra and hitting the pickup, knocking it into the guardrail. When we got out of our cars, I was so rattled that I ended up flinging my arms around the guy in the pickup and apologizing because I was so relieved I hadnít hurt him. The guy with the pickup was very understanding and the guy in the semi very shifty. It ended up costing me $1500 to repair my car because I did not have collision insurance at the time.

Lessons learned: get out of the way of trucks even if youíre following the rules of the road, be assertive when in an accident with someone sketchy, and use those turn signals!


I was hit, 100% their fault. However, I no longer go around the block to let the song end.

While following a friend somewhere, I was driving along in my 89 Plymouth Horizon, at night, in the rain. It was a piece of junk with nearly bald tires. The light in front of us turned yellow, but with enough time for both of us to make it through. Instead of going through, she decided to slam on her brakes, in case I didn't have enough time to make it through. I slammed on the brakes, downshifted and yanked on the e-brake, but still ended up rear-ending her from a complete slide at about 20 mph. The front end of my car was cosmetically destroyed, but the frame was straight. She had a small, dime sized hole in her rear bumper and no other damage. I learned to assume that the person in front of you has better brakes and better tires than you, and follow accordingly.

The only accident I have been in is when a deer (pregnant with twins I might add) decided it would be a good idea to run into the side of my little Dodge Shadow when I was going about 50mph in the middle of the day. Yes, the deer hit ME. Went through the drivers side window and pretty much totaled the car. The most freaky part about it was that it came out of nowhere and there was nothing that I could have done.

Lesson: Don't trust deer. Encourage hunters to keep the deer population on the lower end of safe.



I was waiting in a right turn only lane from one artirial onto another. A car was ahead of me and traffic cleared , so he made his right turn and zoomed off... as he pulled out I focused on the oncoming traffic. I saw that it was still clear and popped my clutch and hit the gas and BAM! the wierdo pulled ahead about 30 ft or so and STOPPED half in and half out of the merge lane. He was an older dude that was freaked out by on coming traffic. I could have avoided it though if I would have given that one last second look ahead, which I always do now. Never assume someone has actually gone before you commit to going. Fortuanatly, I hadn't built up enough momentum to do to much damage. I bent the bumper frame on my car, but you couldn't tell there was any damage at all... his car was a geo metro and I crunched the bumper and obliterated the tail light. My insurance calland said all the damage was a total of $400 to the other guy. The other lesson I learned was that exchanging insurance info is fine, but work out an aggreement that they call you first with the estimate so you can decide if you can afford to just pay them rather then invole your insurance.

Another time, in the same 89 Plymouth Horizon (called the Putzmobile), I was driving along a gravel road through the woods on a Sunday afternoon. I was just enjoying the scenery so I was only doing about 30 in a 35. I came around a fairly sharp corner, and came face to face with a deer. I drove off into the ditch to avoid hitting the deer, slowed down and tried to get back on the road before I came to a group of trees. When The road there turned from hard packed dirt to loose gravel, and when I tried to get back on, the back end swung out, caught, and rolled me over so I ended up in the other ditch (landed on the wheels) facing the way I came. I learned that sometimes, you can do everything right and still be lucky to be alive. Also, a rollover accident, if you land correctly, can fix that bad alignment problem you'd been having. Though it's not really a recommended way of going about it.



********A near accident:
I was driving home at night driving around 70mph on the freeway when a ways ahead I saw headlights doing things that they don't normally do. About 2 seconds later I had to slam on my brakes as I noticed a couch sitting in the middle of the freeway. It had fallen off of a truck up ahead and another pickup truck hit it and flipped over. Everyone was safe, but man, I'm sure those people who flipped were angry at the other truck for not securing that couch!

******Lesson: Don't trust any else's "secure" attaching of larger luggage.










I have avoided a number of accidents in these cold, icy Minnesota winters by using Green Diamond snow tires. They're the only tire I've ever used that is able to brake hard and corner on glare ice. If not for these tires, I would have had to replace a dozen various body parts on 3 different cars. If you live in an icy state, use proper tires. It will save you much heartache and also save your pocketbook. Using the wrong tires for the season is like wearing jeans and a t-shirt through a hurricane. Yeah, you're covered, but you're gonna get drenched. If you'd just put on the waders and poncho to begin with, you'd still be somewhat dry, though still stupid for walking around outside during a hurricane.

I was driving my '76 Nova (hello, no ABS) in downtown Tracy, trying to hurry to school. I was stuck behind a big-rig. Being impatient, I didn't take his brake lights very seriously. So when he stopped for some pedestrians, and I was tailgating him, I saw my life flash before me. I slammed on the brakes... and nothing happened. My brake warning-light turned on and I screamed, but luckily I was going slowly enough to grind to a halt before getting a face-full of steering wheel. So kids, don't tailgate, and remember to PUMP the brakes when you don't have ABS.

I was driving North on I-94 near the Illinois-Wisconsin border in my old 94 Escort a few years ago when traffic suddenly stopped dead in front of me. Some people were even pulling onto the shoulder to avoid collisions. I slammed on my brakes hard and avoided the car in front of me by approximately one foot. I had no more exhaled the breath I was holding when -BAM!- the minivan behind me slammed into me full-tilt, causing me to tag the bumper of the car in front of me as well. The minivan was filled with six recent high school graduates, all eighteen, who were headed to Milwaukee for the weekend. Their hood was bashed in, the horn was blaring, the windshield had a tremendous spider-web-crack in it, and the airbags had all gone off. The car in front of me pulled over long enough to inspect damage (apparently none) and then drove off without even talking to us. My car sustained a new minor scratch with a hint of green paint on the rear bumper.

Did it change the way I drive? Indubitably. For about two years afterwards I was exceedingly jumpy and nervous and would automatically tap my brakes every time I saw brakelights in front of me on the highway. To this day, I still keep a greater-than-normal distance between myself and the car in front of me. It's a very scary thing to imagine yourself safe only to discover in the next second that you aren't.



Slow and steady wins the race!







Crash #1 - followed a truck turning left into a parking lot. He stopped once we were in the parking lot, and I saw his reverse lights come on. I immediately put my car in reverse and was about to backup into the street when I noticed another car travelling down the street toward me. I couldn't back up, and despite pedestrians waving at the other driver, he backed right into my car. Not my fault. I should've used the horn, though.

Crash #2 - I was turning left from a suicide lane across a busy two lane street in Kelowna, BC. It was so busy that traffic was barely moving. The other drivers stopped and left a gap in traffic so that I could make my left turn. Some idiot was driving on the extreme right, in the bicycle lane. As I made my left turn he popped out from behind the line of cars and my front bumper hit his driver side fender. He tried to claim it was my fault until I told ICBC that he was driving in the bicycle lane. Then he dropped the issue. It was only a small scratch on my bumper. Not my fault.

Crash #3 - This one totalled my 1990 Nissan Pulsar. I was driving down the road, talking with my friend but still watching the road. I glanced away for a split second, and when I looked back, there was suddenly a truck, stopped, right in front of me. He has just reversed out of his driveway without checking for oncoming traffic. I hit the brakes, but the road was wet and I slid right into him, crumpling the entire front end of my poor car (which I had just painted). With the bumper crumpling the way it did, the impact was extremely soft, like hitting a fluffy pillow. The occupants of the other vehicle tried to claim whiplash but I think ICBC saw through these lies. Once again, not my fault.


One time, a lot of traffic was stopped at a light, and I was trying to pull out of a parking lot, turning left. The two lanes of traffic waiting at the light kindly left a gap so that I could pull out and go the other direction. Unfortunately, I wasn't cautious enough to see the Surburban pulling a boat barrelling down the third, left turn lane. BAM! Lessons learned: when you're stopped at a light, don't enourage people to make these kind of turns by making gaps (I still let them pull out in front of me if they aren't crossing lanes). If you are making such a turn, it's very awkward to reject their kind overture by sitting there while they wave you through; if you succumb to peer pressure, be very, very wary was you proceed across the lanes.

Another time, I was driving on a foggy summer night on a country road in Vermont. I'd driven the road many times, but for some reason, I didn't realize that I was coming up to the "T" in the road where I had to turn left. I was going over 60 when I saw the sign and realized I wasn't going to stop in time. I sailed off the road and into some guy's field, narrowly missing some massive, rusty, pointy equipment that had been sitting there for years. As I surveyed the damage (bent wishbone on a Volvo), a couple of drunk rednecks successfully navigated the turn, came to a stop, and after asking if we were okay, proceeded to make "i-might-be-drunk-but-at-least-i-can-drive" jokes. Lessons learned: just because the car can handle the curves at speed doesn't mean it's a safe speed; factor in other concerns like visibility and surface conditions.

I was driving home late one evening around Mardi Gras. There's a club right on the street near where I was living at the time and I saw a red pickup truck nearly pull out from the club right in front of me. Luckily, he stopped before entering the road. About a minute later I was stopped at the traffic light just up the road when I saw a pair of approaching headlights. I eased off the brakes just in time to be slammed into by the driver. I got out of the car to discover the same red truck that had almost pulled out in front of me before.

Turns out the guy was drunk and when I got out of the car (which had been pushed out into the intersection) to call 911, he sped off down a side street. Luckily (again) I was already on the phone with the dispatcher and was able to chase after the truck long enough to scream the make, model, and license plate number into the phone. The cops came out, took statements, and drove down the same side street looking for the guy. They found him passed out, hanging halfway out of his truck in a parking lot about TWO MILES down a windy road. I couldn't believe he had made it that far. I was at the scene when they busted the guy (actually, I ended up driving one of the officers there in my still drivable car). It was a wild ride. I got to go to court and make a statement to the district attorney and everything. My lesson from this is to not drive by clubs around Mardi Gras, even if I have to pass one to get home.

I was driving accross the Ben Franklin Bridge, which is a big tall bridge that crosses the Deleware River, and links Philadelphia, PA with Camdem NJ. 

At the time, there was no center dividing structure on the giant 5 lane highway bridge. 

One night, a driver coming west experienced a diabetic shock, and drove head on into our east bound lane. 

Cars sweerved out of the way, but the car in front of me swerved to hard and hit the side rail of the bridge, and his tire flew over my car. I thought I was in a movie and prayed that my car wouldn't go over into the drink.

I braked and braked and braked as hard as I could, and stopped very short of hitting the car that was now perpendicular in front of me. Two other cars were also stopped and pointed askew. 

A man got out of his car woosily and went down to the asphalt and had a heart attack. I gave him a blanket and let the professionals help. 

The cops and ambulances took care of everything. As I stood there, waiting for traffic to clear, waiting to see if the man was going to be ok, just waiting, on top of a bridge in the middle of traffic at night. It was surreal. 

I learned from this to always keep a good amount of distance from the car in front of you.

The Deleware River port authority learned that a divider on that highway bridge is also a very good thing. 



I once rear ended a man while pulling out of the McDonalds drive-thru. I was driving a piece of junk $50 car. I put it in park while at the window, and then put it in drive, and barely touched the throttle. As I was coming up to the car in front of me, I hit the brakes (going about 7mph) but they went to the floor. I didn't have much experience yet, since this was a mere 3 days after I got my license, so I panicked and didn't do anything except press the dead brake pedal harder. There was no actual damage to his car, just rubber from my front bumper (once again, the 89 Horizon Putzmobile) that rubbed off on his. (which I even removed for him) But he insisted on exchanging insurance info. He ended up getting a new bumper from my insurance anyway (they didn't even bother to inspect it). When he came into my work 2 weeks later and didn't recognize me, I was very tempted to sell him the wrong, very expensive part for his vacuum that he didn't need. But I didn't. Moral of the stor(ies): If you drive around a car called The Putzmobile, be extra careful, and be prepared for people to take you on insurance claims.







It was 1985, and I was in 7th grade and my mother was driving the car (because I was in 7th grade). We were taking our new Schnauzer puppy to the Vet. I was sitting in the back seat of our Ford Escort Wagon with the puppy and my mother hit some black ice and started to go left-of-center. I immediately grabbed the dog and hit the floor. Thankfully, there was no on-coming traffic, and mom finally got back on the correct side of the road, but then went a bit to far and rolled into a tree. She literaly coasted, we couldn't have been going any faster than 5 mph (there was about 20 feet of grass between the road and the tree line to help slow us down). But by the look of the hood wrapped around the tree, we should have been going a lot faster.

When we hit the tree, it was all in slow motion. The puppy escaped my grasp and 'floated' up to the roof, hit the roof, came back down to the seat, bounced over to the window, ricocheted onto the floor and back up into the air where I grabbed her.

No one was hurt. We missed the Vet appointment, and our puppy lived to a ripe old age of 16.

This accident hasn't happened yet, but it's pretty much guaranteed. My wife drives like a bat out of hell on residential streets to get somewhere three blocks away. Given the short distances involved, doubling your speed saves maybe 10 seconds on the trip -- but only if you don't have to stop and explain why you're trying to mow down hordes of school children, joggers, and dog walkers to Officer Smiley.

P.S. Honey, you don't know how to adjust a mirror and at this point, I don't think you ever will!



I flipped my truck over when I spilled beer on my gilrfriend while reaching for the blunt and ran into a cow.

Okay Rob, I think it's time for you to invest in some sort of Blog or Forum software!!! This super-wide plain text crap sucks.




I rear-ended a car at a traffic circle. I was heading South on CA19 (AKA Lakewood Blvd.) in Long Beach, California, approaching the only traffic circle in town. I was getting frustrated anticipating that other drivers would be stopped at the "Yield" sign, because no one in California seems to know how to use a traffic circle. I was determined not to stop and to simply merge with the circling traffic the way you are supposed to. I wanted to show the idiots how it was done. I was SO concentrated on watching the circling traffic that I completely failed to see the car in front of me stopped at the yield sign. I rear-ended him at no more than 5 miles per hour, doing minor damage to both cars, and thankfully injuring no one. I learned to be a little less cocky that day. I also learned to pay much more attention to objects in your immediate trajectory, and a little less attention to objects in your long-term trajectory. [Google Earth screen shot of traffic circle emailed, reference number: LBTC19]
-Charlie.

While driving a Plymouth Acclaim that I got for $50, I was rear ended at a relatively low speed. On a left turn arrow, people followed through, but quickly had to slam on their brakes for a semi making a right turn into some industrial area. I barely avoided hitting the person in front of me, but a girl in a Beretta clipped my corner. We pulled off to a side road, and she was freaking out, apologizing profusely. I took a look at my bumper, saw only a minor scratch that covered up one that was there previously, and went to talk to her. She was really cute, and had smashed out her front left turn lens. I put my hands on her shoulders, said "Are you ok?". She was, so I told her to settle down, gave her the address of a local junk yard where she could get a new turn signal, and told her to go home. She got in her car and drove off, and then I kicked myself for not getting her name and insurance info. Moral of the story: ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS get the cute girl's phone number. Don't pass up golden opportunities like that. Go for the date.

We had just finished toilet-papering Leah's house and were celebrating by eating corn-dogs at the all-night Safeway. Then we got the idea to throw eggs on the toilet paper. After buying 4 dozen, Joe took off in his mazda pickup and I took off in my '82 Chevy Cavalier. The 500 block of Smith Drive in Woodburn, Oregon has a sharp corner where Leah's house used to be. Since Joe and I both had our headlights off so as not to garner suspicion, we didn't see each other and collided head-on. My bumper came unhinged on the driver side, the hood was a little bent, and the front fender folded backwards. Also I was covered in eggs. I fixed the car later by tying the bumper back on with a jumprope I found by the courthouse a few days later. This crash changed the way I drive in that I no longer egg things. Or drive without headlights in the middle of the night. As a weird side-effect, I no longer eat omlettes.



...



I drive my father's Ford E-350 XLT Van. It's big. As in 20ft long, 3000lb empty big. 12mpg highway, dont-even-ask-what-it-gets city big. It has, at last count, been involved in seven rear-end collisions. In each case, it was us that was rear-ended, and the other seven drivers that had to call a tow truck because they had just totalled their car. 
The worst was the most recent, where a Toyota ran into the boat we were towing , doing about 30mph. We had come to a dead stop in a traffic jam, and the other driver didn't. He skidded for about 30ft before he smushed his hood, split his radiator in half, and cracked his engine block on the out-drive of the boat. I really have to feel sorry for the guy, it was obviously his first car, he still had a provisional license(just like mine! Lucky I wasn't driving the van). 
Reviewing the situation, there is nothing more that we could have done in the van. So, please people, watch out for vans which are much larger than you are. You would be surprised how quickly we can come to a stop for something ahead of us. And those big, ugly bumpers are not made out of the same plastic as your Toyota's is. 
This accident especially has served as why I especially have to listen to my father's constant wise words "Don't hit anything!". It'll hurt. And not us. 
The Poor fellow's Dead Toyota http://www.kashpureff.org/album/2006/2006-07-05--11.22.23/img_3853-med.jpg
Our Really Large Van 
http://www.kashpureff.org/album/2006/2006-06-15--12.25.21/img_3721-med.jpg
More pictures of the Accident Detailed http://www.kashpureff.org/album/2006/2006-06-15--12.25.21/
Me(for you curious web-stalker types) http://www.kashpureff.org/eugene/

well this one time, on a gradual turn on an icy dar, this one car slid out of the other lane and into ours, it waws scary and it involved about 3 or 4 cars

$wrapme is what you want to get wrapped around.
$wrapped has been wrapped to 100 characters. 
Please implement, we love you Rob, we hate this text file crap.

$wrapme = str_split( $wrapme , 100 ) ;
$wrapped = implode( "\n" , $temp ) ;





I was driving along in pretty heavy traffic, and wanted to merge into the lane on my right. I started to flash my blinker and checked my blind spot--it appeared that a truck was stopping so that I could squeeze in front of him. I looked forward again and began to merge, but before I knew it he had revved up his engine and had shot past me when i was HALFWAY IN THE LANE. I was in a huge SUV and he was in a littler truck, but I managed to scrape by with just a slapped mirror. The worst part was that he pulled over about a 1/4 mile up the road to scream at me about it. I'm definitely never going to think that someone's letting me in unless I get a wave or something first.







I had just broken my finger, and was quite distracted by the pain. Regardless, a car in front of me stopped short, and I dinged her rear bumper. It did almost no damage, leaving only a small discoloration on my bumper and no trace on hers.
A second incident occurred when I was backing out of a parking lot at work. I was changing the track on my cd, and not paying attention. Little did I know that a car had pulled in behind me, basically blocking me in. The driver had gone back into the building to grab something from her desk. Anyhow, I hit her car.

I learned nothing, other than how horribly expensive a minor ding can be.

I was driving along on a 30-something single lane road that goes through the beach area of my town. My friends and I were supposed to go skydiving that morning, but we got rained out, so we were already kind of bummed that day. I was driving on "autopilot", not paying very much attention. I heard my girlfriend say "Hey" in warning, and I remember thinking "What does she want." She had time to scream "HEY" a little louder before I drove my Buick LeSabre straight into the stopped car in front of me, a Mercedes. I started to panic, because at the time I didn't have a valid driver's license or any insurance. If the cops were called, not only would I be out a lot of money but I'd probably go to jail. As we pulled off to the side of the road, I saw a third car pull of with us, and I realized I had actually knocked the stopped Mercedes into the car in front of it. This was getting worse. When we inspected the damage, my hood, bumper, and left headlight were totalled. Then I looked at the two other cars and, miraculously, there wasn't a scratch on either of them. The other drivers said that since there was no damage to their cars, they would just leave without calling the cops. I was elated. Later, I had to shell out about $800 for used replacement parts [Auto-Zone wanted $2300 for new parts]. The lesson: watch the damn road.



Not exactly a crash story, but in response to your statement "Hey, here is a dangerous scenario, watch out for it" -- there is one great way to learn this stuff. I highly recommend an advanced driving school. I have taken the one-day condensed version of the Skip Barber school, but there are other such as Bob Bondurant. Expensive, but insanely fun, and gives you the skills to handle real-world stuff out on the roads by practicing in a safe-environment.

I was on a 4-lane city street (no center turn lane) traveling in the left lane when I saw acar in front of me waiting to make a left. I checked for cars to my right and rear and made a simple merge to the right lane. Sudenly a car from the other direction made a left turn across my lane and I impacted the back of her car. It turns out that she never saw me because the car that had been making a left in front of me completely blocked her view. I am now a lot more cautious and deliberate when I go to the right lane to avoid someone slowed or stopped for a left turn. 

My first wreck, or rather, the first time a car I owned was wrecked into was when my roommate with the illegally dark window tinted Camaro scraped the entire driver's side of my '65 Mustang convertible. It didn't change the way I drove but I learned a lot about the insurance industry. We were both insured by the same company and they wanted to pay me for a (at the time) 25 year old car. Although the car was a daily driver it was in very good condition and to repair it properly took a lot more money than they ultimately were willing to give me.

My second accident involved excessive speed on my part, and a car pulling out in front of me. I learned that in spite of the fact that my right of way was brazenly seized from me that I could still be found at fault, and ultimately it did change the way I drove. Slow down, so that when the unexpected happens, you have time to react. Oh, and learn to expect the unexpected.

My wife was involved in an accident that was clearly the other driver's fault, but when the police report came out, she was listed as the responsible party. After getting nowhere with the local PD, I took my fight to my insurance company. I explained the circumstances and, lo and behold, through the magic of subrogation, we were absolved. The lessen I learned is that when you know you are right, don't accept the traffic officer's report as the final word.

Jeff in Louisville

I was backing up so i could get into a space. I took my foot off the brake pedal to reverse and the car didnt move so i tapped the gas and slammed into the car behind me. 

A brand new black Acura. 

Oops. Three Latino men came out and screamed at me in what i believe was spanish, then finally when they had calmed down, the driver who was a nice man after all, saw how shaken up I was and offered to just let me pay for the damages. He didnt see the need to call insurance (I dont think he had any), and also he was the owner of a BODY SHOP. 

I thanked my lucky stars, paid the man what he asked, ($200) which i thought was amazing. Considering the fact that i had put a lovely post-it note sized hole in his bumper and numerous lovely scratches into a brand new cat. I felt like i got off easy. 

My car suffered no damages. My GS300 is built like a tank. 



One night I was following a friend in his car to a place I had never been before. It had snowed earlier that night, and there was about half an inch of undisturbed snow on the ground. We were driving on a winding country road, and as I followed my friend around a curve, I realized we were going too fast for the conditions. I let off the gas and very gently tapped the brake. Even that tap was too much. I began to spin out of control. My friend must have done the same thing, because he began to spin out at the same time. I couldn't control my car, so I sat back and watched everything spin by. Eventually I came to a stop in the cornfield. My friend and I laughed giddily when we discovered that we were both OK, and had done no damage to our cars, but it was by pure luck that neither of us slammed into a telephone pole, or oncoming traffic, or each other. Lesson learned: just because you are following someone, doesn't mean they are driving safely. If they are going too fast, and you start to lag too far behind, they will slow down if they are courteous. If they don't, they're probably a jerk anyway, and it would be better to lose sight of them than to get in a car accident. I could have really hurt/killed myself and others if this had happened on a busy road. 



I have yet to crash seriously. I slid once in 3 inches of slush into an ancient van & they guy said, I'm late for work & I'm fine if I don't hear anything from you in 1 yr I'll toss your plates that I wrote down & I haven't hear nuthin. but I say yet, becuase I have had my fair share of dangerous encounters. people trying to turn into my lane on the highway whithout looking... turning left on red when slightly oblivous. & distractions from having passegers. I get really forgetfull *stupid passengers* but I haven't hit anything, & everyone expects me to.







Driving up a side street in a 79 98 olds lady who was parelel parked pulled into my passenger door. Ripping the front of her car off, well the bumper anyway. 98, just dented a bit. 

Although I'm lucky enough not to have been in an accident, I have had multiple near-misses in my 8 years of driving. One summer my radio/CD player broke, and I didn't have the money to get a new one. I found that while driving alone with no radio/CD playing, my mind would wander like crazy. This caused me to drive like a fool, and almost run into other cars multiple times. Once I realized the problem, I got bought myself a new radio and haven't had a problem since. It is almost counterintutive that I need background noise to concentrate.







I have never been in a crash since I started driving 4 years ago (I'm 20 in a month) I chock it up to young reflexes (I have been in several close calls because of other people drifting into my lane or cutting me off, or turning closely into the street in front, etc) safe following distances, and a high level familiarity with the car I drive. If driving another persons car or truck I drive slower and much more cautiously (because 1:I don't want to mess up someones else's car, and 2: I don't know it's braking speed, acceleration, handling, or dimensions.) All this and I'm also not one of the aweful slow driver, I drive equally as fast as probably the fastest cars on the road at any given time, and do my fair share of passing in the right lane (which is legal in Illinois)

After a night of heavy drinking and drug abuse, I was driving down the street from a friends house, a 4 lane road, 2 on each side. I was talking to a friend in another vehicle in the left lane while we were both driving to the liquor store to pick up where we left off... I saw a look of alarm of my buddies face and looked forward, and there it was... A dead car in my lane and I'm driving 40+ mph. Dammmmn! I hit the thing hard and really screwed up both cars, but the funny thing is, when the cops got there, they asked for insurance and id's. As it turned out, this guy was an illegal with no papers of any type. They took HIM in and told me to go back to my friends and get some rest!! Unbeleivable! So my other buddies completed the liquor store mission, and I got some well needed rest until they got back.



i was stopped at a red light waiting to turn left onto leicester highway. there are 2 lanes that turn left i was in the farthest one over and an older man was in the one next to me. the light turns green and we both slowly pull into the intersection. a lady runs a red light and slams right into my car causing me to hit the older mans car, i get out as quickly as possible and walk to the side of the road to avoid being hit. the crazy lady tells me its my fault that i ran a red light but my light was clearly green. i think she was drunk
Caitlin

I had had my license only 7 months when it happened. I was making a left turn onto a 5 lane road (one middle turn lane) from a side street with a stop sign. I brought the GMC Sierra to a full stopped and looked both ways. I pulled out of the side street, sneaking a quick look to the right, and I didn't notice the small motorcycle heading at me on my left. When I finally saw it, I slammed on the breaks, taking up one an a half lanes, but leaving plenty of room to go around (no one else was on the road at all). Completely stopped in the middle of the road, BAM! the motorcyle went under the front of the truck, while the motorcyclist's head came down on the step bar as his body wrapped around the front tire. In the end, the motorcyclist was taken to the hospital and suffered a broken ankle and some bruises. Our insurance covered everything, costing our entire life insurance policy. A year later, the final paperwork was signed and the case came to a close. Since then, I always pull into the middle lane, even if I can make the complete turn. And waiting at a stop sign a little longer, doesn't hurt either.



The Geo Prism is not what one would call a "substantial" car. It, in fact, might be something one would be inclined to call "tinfoil" or even "Saran Wrap". However, in order to match standard California freeway speeds (determined mainly by CA citizens, not the state govt.), I'm usually forced to drive it at around 70-80 miles per hour. Unfortunately, I was previously unaware that a "safe" buffer zone between you and the car in front of you is NOT 3-4 car lengths, but instead 1 car length for every 10 MPH of speed. This is almost double the regular buffer left by 90% of freeway drivers.

When the Excursion ahead of me braked hard to avoid smashing a backwards Suburban parked in the far left lane, I was unable to determine in adequate time that it was not simply slowing down, but performing an emergency stop.

My Prism is now approximately 60% of its former horizontal length, and 100% less operable. Thank engineers for airbags, or I would have been similarly impaired.

Now, I drive with 1 car length in front of me for every 10 MPH of speed (1 semi- of length for 3). Other drivers cut me off a lot, but I'm far less likely to get my car wrecked than they are.

In drivers ed, I laughted a little when the teacher seriously asked "what does a siren mean?" And the answer was "danger!". His point was that any time an emergency vehicle comes through, people go wild and act like idiots and it's a pretty dangerous time.. you should become alert and really be careful of not just the siren itself but also your neighbors who may do strange things. In 20 years of driving, I have seen two accidents exactly because people panicked at a siren and froze or pulled out in front of others, or just acted stupid. What does a siren mean? Danger!



I wasn't driving (I'm only just 15), but i was in a car with about 3 other people and we were driving back from a fireworks show, down a country lane, so it was dark. We were driving towards a small airport and some foreign men were driving on the wrong side of the road. no damage to anybody in the car i was in (except maybe slight whiplash) but in the other car, one of the passengers in the front seat wasnt wearing a seatbelt and nearly went through the screen. 

I was exiting I80 east at Auburn Blvd near American River College. It was a rainy evening 
and I was late for my 6pm class. There was a long line of cars in each of the lanes waiting for the
traffic light to change, backing up to the curve from the freeway. This meant that on the offramp,
going freeway speed, you could round the curve and not see the stopped cars.
I was stopped in line, when in the lane next to me I heard a horrible screeching and some beater
really slammed into the back of a BMW. It ripped the old car to shreds but the BMW had its trunk 
accordioned and not much else. Meanwhile, the light turned green and i began drifting forward 
while being distracted by the accident next to me... when BOOM i bumped an old truck in front of
me. I'd had my license for about 6 mos and was scared sh*tless! We pulled over, the guy in the 
truck was a sweetheart, and didnt even want my information. (My car, by the way, got some black
scratches from his bumper but that was it.) All in all, I learned NEVER to assume anything 
(traffic or otherwise) because if you assume traffic will keep moving it most likely won't. 
Especially at a traffic light.

I was turning right at a major intersection in town. The right turn lane veers into it's own separate 'exit-like' ramp but doesn't have it's own separate signal. Cross traffic had the green light, but there were no cars coming and you can see almost a half-mile since the road approaches down a low slope. Another car was turing right 100-150 feet in front of me, so as I approached the turn lane I looked back to the left, no cars. Kept moving 7, maybe 8 miles an hour around the curve of the turn lane... BAM there was the car stopped in the middle of the turn lane... no cars coming, it's own whole separate lave to feed into, NO REASON TO STOP! I got out of the car and started walking forward glanced at the bumpers, nothing obvious, two smooooth bumpers, but there was this strange noise in the air... some engine defect? a wounded animal? no a 60-65 year old woman screaming like the devil trying to claw her way out of the passenger side of the car... Was she hurt? no. was the driver hurt? no. was the car hurt? no. witnesses told the cop they couldn't understand why the guy stopped where he did. Why was the old lady screaming? No one knows. The cop probably felt a little sorry for me, so finally he says "I guess that's it". Now I've been in accidents before so I'm a little shocked by just being turned loose so quickly... I say the dumbest words ever uttered... "ok, so thats it, no ticket?" Ask and ye shall receive.

It was after 11pm at night. It was pretty foggy out, and by foggy, I mean visibility reduced to roughly 30ft in front of you. I had stopped at an intersection stop sign, looked both ways and couldn't see any traffic coming up the street. So I ventured forward (~ 20K/hr)...into the side of some rusted-up boat, driving extremely fast (70km/hr is my judgment) up the hill and through the intersection.

I figure the speed was fast, because she did a few donuts and slammed into a telephone pole, while I only skidded a few feet. Basic physics tells me that I wasn't driving with enough speed to force another car into a tailspin LOL. Plus, I didn't see any headlights coming up the hill (although I didn't remember that detail until after the cops had done their duty.)

Ahh, the cops. Unfortunately, the city five-oh aren't physics scholars. After listening to her wailings of soft-tissue injury, I had to sit in the back of the cop car and sniffle out my version. Even better was seeing my mom pull up in a cab to rescue me from the back of said cop car. 

That was my first and only accident (4 years ago). My apologies for any bitterness that came through in my story! Although I didn't get a traffic ticket or lose any points, my insurance company said it was my fault, simply because I hit her. Her car was written off (about $2 CAD?) My mom's Dodge Neon, about $1600 CAD, due to a bent frame and wheel alignment.

It didn't change the way I drive, though. I was nervous at first, but it didn't take long to feel comfortable. 

Happy to contribute my lil car sob story! Have always loved your site! =)

Cheers, Bryn from Saint John, Canada



My first crash was once when I was runnign late to work. I pulled off the highway at what I knew was a difficult off-ramp. The drivers turning right at the bottom of the ramp (like me) had a Bad Angle to see oncoming traffic. The woman in front of me pulled up and started a quick acceleration, then stopped for no reason. There was no car coming, but she stopped anyway. I had started to accelerate behind her, but saw that she was stopping short, so i slammed on the brakes. It was close, but I didn't hit her. I was pissed because I was getting later for no reason. So then she started accelerating quickly again and I started accelerating while looking over my left shoulder. There were no cars coming, but she stopped again. This time i drilled her. Just a little damage to her car, but my hood was stuck closed and headlight bashed in. Total of probably $1500 (my fault!) damage.

The other accident I got in also involved thinking that the person in front of me had gone. I was looking for a certain store and approached a stoplight. I saw the car 40 yards in front of me get to the intersection as it was turning yellow. I thought her went through and then got distracted looking for the store. He had stopped and I drilled him pretty good. I put in an insurance claim, so it cost me the deductible ($500) and some points on my license.



12:31 pm








I was driving in the middle lane of a 3 lane freeway just out of L.A. I happened to be driving in the blind spot of an older gentleman in Lexus in the slow lane. As I was thinking ďI wonder if that old guy checks his blind spotĒ, sure enough he didnít check his blind spot and joined me in my lane. To avoid an accident, I honked my horn and moved slightly, straddling the white dots in between the fast lane and the middle lane. Someone in the fast lane came by, going much faster than me, and our fenders scraped. The Lexus was brand new, had no license plates, and continued on down the freeway never realizing what he had done to me. I learned two things from this accident (1) Accelerate or decelerate out of anyoneís blind spot, especially the young or the elderly. (2) The accident was my fault, and my insurance representative suggested that in this situation it would have been better to let myself get hit. Accident avoidance is pretty instinctual, I donít know that itís mentally possible to let yourself get hit.



The only accidents I've caused have been three that all occurred while I was reversing out of parking spaces. The most surprising one was when I was reversing out of a diagonal parking space, and another person (who was my doppelganger mirror image) was reversing out of the diagonal parking space right across the street from me. When I'm reversing out of a parking space I tend to look far down the street for cars coming from either direction, and look straight back for something I might run into. But the diagonal doppelganger situation shows that isn't enough. It's also necessary to look near the "blind spots" behind me using head movements and/or side mirrors, to see nearby cars that might start into motion unexpectedly.

I've never run into anything while my car has been moving forward, and I attribute that primarily to leaving a healthy following distance. My pet peeve is people who tailgate in order to indicate they want to pass you. The proper way to indicate you want to pass someone is to flash your lights (while keeping a healthy following distance). I have been considering making bumper stickers like "Flash your lights to pass, tailgate to kiss my [derriere]", or just "flash to pass, or tailgate to crash". Tailgating is threatening act... it puts both the tailgater and the tailgatee in danger for no useful purpose.



Back when I was in high school I went to a private school that required me to drive 30+ minutes each way every day, into the neighboring county. One day my county had called it a snow day but my school was still happening. It was early in the morning and I was rounding a corner on the way in, half-asleep and fiddling with the stereo. When I glanced up I saw I was going a little bit off the road, causing me to panic-jerk the wheel as I passed over some black ice. I couldn't recover and spinning off the road and skidding sideways into a speed limit sign. One tire came off the rim and the dented door refused to open from the outside, and I tend to take my eyes off the road a lot less now.

I've been driving for 15 years, and I've never once been in so much as a fender bender. I've had at least 10 close calls, that involved screeching tires or veering onto the shoulder. I owe it to my catlike reflexes, but also good driving habits. 1) NEVER tailgate. 2) If you speed, make sure somebody is always going faster than you (this helps to keep tickets down, too). 3) When you're on a congested road, pay attention to not only the car in front of you, but also the car in front of it (especially brake lights coming on two cars ahead). 4) This one is common sense, but it never ceases to amaze me how many people pay no attention to it: Your car will handle differently in heavy rain, or snow, or ice. Drive accordingly.









I was in a head-on collision in an intersection so ever since then I close my eyes and tense up before entering an intersection. Everybody I drive around hates this.



In graduate school I was rear-ended by a car that failed to stop when I stopped for a stale yellow light (about to turn red). The guy who rear-ended me expected me to go through and kept going fast, but then had to brake so hard to avoid the crash that his front end was pushing down, resulting in my car resting on top of his hood and my rear bumper against his windshield. Damage to his car was more than mine, although my entire exhaust system was mashed from the crash.

Ultimately, I'm more careful stopping hard at a light, and look right away in the rear view when I do to see whether the car will be able to stop in time. I also tend now to go through a stale yellow light if I see someone hard on my tail in traffic.

Marcy
Dallas TX

I was headed west on a surface street. A silver Acura was sitting at a stop sign on a cross street waiting for a break in traffic so he could turn left onto my street. I could see him in his car. He was faced away from me - intent on finding his break. I felt so weary when I saw him begin to pull into my lane. He hit me directly on the front right tire.

I don't know that this accident changed the way I drive in any permanent fashion. I know that I was leery of cars parked at stop signs for a while. I have wondered often whether I could have avoided him. It seems in hindsight that I knew what he was going to do long before he did it.

My dad and I were passing a semi in Wisconsin. We weren't hovering in its blind spot or anything, but we weren't particularly zipping around it, either. We were engaged in a conversation about cropdusters when the semi started to drift into our lane. We thought he was just drifting, but then he turned his signal on. He was passing the car in front of him, without even knowing we were there. Dad slammed on the brakes and moved us as far over to the right as we could go without going off into the ditch. The semi never saw us. Its read end knocked off the passenger side mirror, and a rear wheel rubbed up against the door, rubbing off some paint. I was incredibly shaken up, as the semi had made contact about a foot from where I was inside the car. The semi never noticed he hit us, and continued on. All the cars behind us slowed down because they had seen what happened. It's definitely changed the way I drive. Whenever I pass a semi now, I absolutely whip around it. I can't handle looking out the window and seeing the big tires right next to me.

The people in front of me had their car in park, so their brake lights weren't on. Unfortunately, I had decided to change the CD in my car and didn't see that they were "parked" in front of me. Ooops.



I was distracted by Veronica Mars; no more multitasking.



I wasn't the one driving, but it is still an interesting story:
I was in the passenger seat as my brother was driving. It was winter, so the roads were rather icy. My brother was eating KFC, talking on his cell phone, and thought we were in four wheel drive. We weren't. As we headed up a hill, we hit an icy patch and went into a fast spin. My brother was talking to my mother on the cell phone, and simply sat quietly, listening to her speak, as he tried to pull us out of our whirlwind of death. Eventually he managed to bring us to a stop in the ditch (right next to a telephone pole) and said calmly, "Mom, I gotta go." He clapped his cell phone shut, turned to me, and went "Holy SHIT." 
I noticed I had dropped my chicken.









Travelling 35 mph on the Interstate in stop and go traffic forced me to buy a new car. I always keep my eye two cars ahead in these situations. There were three car lengths ahead of the Chevy in front of me, then, all of a sudden the Chevy slammed on the brakes even though the vehicle had plenty of room to slow to a crawl. I slammed on my brakes narrowly missing the rear bumper. Phew! Then, WHAM! a Ford F250 slammed into my rear bumper catapulting me forward into the Chevy's bumper. My 1990 Toyota rear truck bed and front engine crush zones were, well, crushed. The F250 driver got out of his truck still talking on his cellphone. He examined his slightly dented bumper and kicked it back into place. He waited for the police and took off to enjoy a few drinks with his buds. The Chevy driver in front barely felt the bump. They were renting the Chevy on a vacation from Florida. The Chevy's damage amounted to a barely noticeable dented rear license plate. Perhaps my next vehicle will be a F350. I have to protect myself from those cellphone wielding 18 wheelers!

I was driving to work in morning rush hour traffic. I, too, noticed that the car in front of me began to suddenly and rapidly grow in size. I slammed on my brakes, only to find the car behind me *also* growing in size. I slammed on the gas quickly enough to avoid any major damage. I subsequently pocketed the $400.00+ insurance check. Extraordinary cost, indeed. 

total bosses car pulling into traffic





Oneo of my best friends as a teenager lived down a dirt road (in New Mexico, this is not so uncommon). I was following her down it one day, and her car is better at handling the turns on the dirt (I think because it's lower, but I'm no expert on this), so she was going faster than I should have. I slid and went off the road. Thankfully, there were just some pinon trees on a small hill, so I just swerved farther up the hill to miss to one I was about to smash into. I sided up against one and took my passenger mirror off, though. And there is still a piece of wood embedded in my front bumper, which I refuse to take out because it adds some natural flavor to my Subaru.

I was leaving a movie one night, and behind a white VW bug (the new kind) trying to turn right out of the parking lot. They were rolling forward ridiculously slowly, so I rolled forward a little too. They were rolling so slowly that I didn't notice when they stopped, and tapped her back bumper. Of course, it was so light that hardly anyone in either car noticed. She got out of her car, inspected her bumper (neither car had even dents in the dust on the bumpers), glared at me and got back in her car. I had to turn the same way they did, so I ended up behind them at the next stoplight. The 5 people in the car were probably in their 40s, and the 3 people in mine were all around 16 or 17. Every one of them turned around and flipped me off. That is the only reason I even really remember this incident, because they acted like such children.

Someone I know (who shall remain nameless) was driving to school one morning, facing into the sun (hence mostly blinded, and should have been going slowly) while at the same time applying makeup. So she wasn't watching the road, and had she been watching, she probably couldn't have seen what was happening soon enough to react (especially considering that I have never once seen this person stop soon enough for a red light, every single time she is at least 4 feet into the intersection). Anyway, there was a stop sign, and a person in front of her stopped at this sign. She slammed right into them, they flew into the intersection and hit another car, which (if memory serves) hit another car. All this for some mascara that could have been applied in 10 seconds in the parking lot.



The only big accident (other than small bumps) I've ever had was in my freshman year at Shepherd College in West Virginia. Thankfully, nobody else was involved. It was October, and it was raining. I was leaving the Frank arts Center via the little twisty road that comes out accross the street from Sheetz. I was driving pretty slow (maybe 15), and looked down to adjust the radio, or heat, I'm not sure. When I looked up, I realized that I was coming into a turn kind of steeply, so I cut the wheel and put on the brakes. Unfortunately, the road was both wet and oily, and I skidded into the curb, which was unusually high (this was also before they installed the speed bumps, so there was nothing to stop me). The high curb scraped the heck out of my suspension and transmission. Technically, the car could have been fixed, but it was cheaper to just buy another used car. I kept a piece of the curb which broke off and use it for a paperweight.



I was playing tennis at my school. I heard a loud screech and a crash. The car parked next to me had tried to back out while another car was speeding around the parking lot, and the backing out car was pushed into mine. I learned to park further away from the destination-- I can walk a bit further to keep my car out of high density areas.



I was driving on a rain slicked street and the car ahead of me made a right turn. The driver didn't allow for the narrow drive she was pulling into and stopped with half of her car still on the street. My truck had ply tires (which are like skis on a wet road) and I skidded (skied) into her rearend. Her car was sitting at a 45 degree angle to mine so I receive a hard diagonal hit on the right front end. Her car had a urethane bumper and looked unharmed. Mine was crunched. A cop probably would have said it was my fault so when she shrugged it off I was happy to leave but when I got home I saw the full extent of the damage. The truck didn't have a dent before and now the whole passenger right side of the front end was bent up. Give yourself alot of braking distance if your driving on ply tires on a wet street.

I almost rolled my car driving just after a snow storm in January 2002, the coldest month of the year. The road was almost nothing but ice, and there was a light dusting of snow on top, which causes very slippery road conditions. The road hadn't been plowed or sanded yet, so things were very very slippery. I had an empty gas tank, and 4 nearly bald tires, which means my car had no traction, and weighed considerably less than it could have. I was only driving about 25 mph, but that still wasn't slow enough. I started to fishtail and being a novice ice-driver, I over compensated for the slippage. I ended up sliding backwards over a narrow median; about two feet wide, and the other side of the road was a good foot and a half lower than the side I was driving on. My back wheels both hit the curb at the exact same time, and the tail end of my car bounced into the air. The car came down and sort of see-sawed on the "fulcrum" of the median. I still had a lot of momentum to use up, and I suspect I gained some in rolling down the median. My car slid across the wrong side of the road, bounced off the curb, and spun around twice before hitting the curb on the other side of the street. 

I broke one of the rear spindles that holds the wheel on, broke a strut, broke my stearing gear, and bent the frame on my car. By some amazing gift of luck, my frame is bent in exactly the same place, at exactly the same angle on both sides of the car, and my wheel alignment is still nearly perfect. However, if it weren't for the fact that my dad is a technician for a Lincoln Mercury dealership, my car would have been totalled. There was no way I'd be able to afford a new car so, we quietly replaced the parts at a cost of $750 to me, and the insurance company never heard about it.

Now, when winter rolls around, I always make sure I have good tires on my car, and when it snows, I always make sure I have a full tank of gas. These 2 simple precautions have kept me from sliding around on the ice ever since.



I was in a parking lot, waiting for my turn to pull out of the row of spaces and onto the main road thing. I was in a very noticable black Ford Ranger. (The noticeable part was my extremely loud stereo) So this lady had come out of the store and got in her car, and apparently DID NOT SEE my big shiny loud black truck behind her car, and proceeded to back straight into the passenger door... Of course, paying no mind whatsoever to the fact that my horn was BLARING.



I was sitting in the back seat, Christian was in the death seat (front passenger) and Billy was driving. We had a green light that was right in front of our turn lane, separate from the main green light for the lanes going straight. Billy assumed this meant a protected turn, but he was wrong. 

I'd heard of things going in slow motion during traumatic events, but this was my first experience with this phenomenon. 

I saw that a car was coming at us, and then I heard the bang. Things slowed down, and I watched the hood folding up towards the windshield. The windshield shattered. I can remember thinking, "If it comes in any closer Billy and Christian are dead." And it came closer. I was sure my friends were goners. 

I felt a sharp pain at the top of my skull and the world returned to normal speed. I hadn't been aware that I was moving toward the buckling hood as it was moving toward me. No seat belt sent me flying forward and up until I banged my head on the roof of the car. I sat there, dazed for what felt like a couple of minutes, hearing a faint buzzing but nothing else, and then Billy and Christian opened their doors. They were alive. 

I climbed out and I felt okay. I noticed blood trickling from Christian's ear and this scared the hell out of me. I made him sit down. When the ambulance driver arrived we asked him to look at Christian right away. We were relieved to find out the blood came from a tear on where Chris' earlobe attached to his face. He was fine, but the transported him to the hospital by ambulance to be looked at just in case. I went to the doctor with my dad that night as he was concerned that I might have a concussion. If I did it was a mild one. 

Christian got a couple of thousand bucks to sign an agreement that he wouldn't sue Billy's insurance company. Damn. I should've taken a ride in the ambulance. 

Keith Lowell Jensen (that's my reference number, I'll try to get arty)


Oh, um, no, it didn't change the way I drive, only the way I'm a passenger. No more driving with Billy, and seatbelts at all times. 
KLJ




I was leaving for work and was running almost-late and so was driving out of my yard to the dirt road I lived on while arranging the things in the passenger seat next to me. I overestimated how much I needed to whip the car around and hit a tree. I saw it just before i happened, but couldn't stop it. Very embarrassing, very expensive to fix. Ended up just getting a new car, actually.



I hit a telephone pole after skidding on ice last winter. It was snowing a bit, so I was driving slowly (15 or 16 mph), but as I came around the curve in front of my house, I hit a patch of ice, slid into the ditch, and swung my left rear door into the pole. There was another car oncoming, so I freaked out and didn't steer to stop skidding. You can't convince me that steering away from the ditch and toward another car is a good idea.

Also, the incident happened right in front of my house. My parents saw the whole thing.

I came out of the experience with $500 in damage to my door, a minor phobia of icy roads, and an abiding desire to move somewhere without seasons.





I bought my first brand new car back in November. I looked for over a year until I found the car I really loved. It's a 2006 Toyota Camry. I made plans to take it for its first Oil change on a Saturday. The Friday before, I woke up late for work so I hurried out the door. I got about 2 1/2 blocks from my house, and traffic came to a stop. I sat there for about 4 minutes when all of a sudden I went jerking forward. Some lady came into the lane behind me and saw the light turn green down the road and ran into me. She never even hit her brakes! She hit me hard enough that it bent all the metal from my trunk in and I had to tie it down with Bunji cords so that I could take it to the repair shop. Needless to say, I was without my brand new baby for over 3 weeks. I donít think it makes me drive differently, since I did nothing wrong, but it makes me paranoid now. Anytime I come to a stop now, I watch everyone that comes up behind me.

Some lady stopped short, and my front bumper didn't. Lesson? Watch out when stupid people are driving. Actually, just watch out. Stupid people are always driving.

I was driving too fast while it was raining (about 70 mph). I hit a patch of standing water and started fishtailing. I couldn't get back in control of my car and ran off the road sideways. My car slid up an embankment, and since I was going sideways, my car got caught in the mud and flipped over three times. When it finally stopped, I was surprised that I was alive and unhurt. I was wearing my seat belt. A friend of mine later had a similar acciden, but he wasn't wearing his seatbelt. He is in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

I have never been a driver in a car accident. I am 31 years old.





I will relate what happened to a friend of mine.

He was accellerating on to a freeway onramp near his home - the same onramp he's used a thousand times before (and since). But THIS time, a set of concrete road dividers (you know, the ones about 3 feet high they use temporarily on roads) had been strewn about, encroaching onto the regular lane and restricting it. He had to make a sudden correction, swerving *into* the turn... and his car flipped. Seriously, it rolled over at least twice. All it takes to roll your car is to accellerate hard, get into a long turn, and then suddenly steer into the turn hard. What He Learnt: just because you've driven the same stretch of roadway a Brazilian times before, and know it as well as the back of your hand, doesn't mean that THIS time it's going to be the same (or safe). You simply cannot take road conditions or configurations for granted, ever. 





I was driving along a road that changed from residential to commercial just before intersecting with a major street. A car was backing out of parking for a bar (the parking space was perpendicular to the street I was on) and didn't even check to see if anyone was coming. I hit the brake and honked my horn, but not before his rear bumper dented my door. It only left a little blemish in the paint, and I didn't feel it was worth reporting because my car was old, my deductible was high, and I figured a case could be made that I was going too fast. Lesson: Don't go too fast on residential-ish streets, and watch out for businessmen leaving bars after lunch.

bork!

i was driving on I-5 on christmas eve and was really getting into my music when i looked to the car in front of me and slammed on my brakes. luckly the pitch of my '90 vw fox was enough to slide under the vans bumper. now i always keep my eyes two cars ahead

My girlfriend was driving the car with me and her sister in the car. This was also her first day driving, having received her licence only earlier that day. This was also a brand new car with about 300 miles on it.

She was going to make a left turn in a major intersection, and had a green arrow. A Police Car ran the red light (no sirens or lights on) and smashed the hell out of her car. The cops knew it was their fault, and offered some compensation in addition to a new car.

The lesson?... I guess its better to be hit by a police officer than a regular car. Or drive defensively.

I've been in three 'incidents:'
1) A woman in the left lane changed lanes quickly to avoid hitting the person in front of her
that she was avoiding watching. I had to swerve hard right into a Wendy's curb. She called her 
husband, and he talked her into just leaving. Damage was minimal.
2) I was at a stop at the red light in a left turn lane. A guy behind thought the light turned 
green, and he bumped me. No real damage done.
3) There was a light I had to turn at everyday at one particular job. During the Spring, the 
Sun was right behind it and noone can see what color the light was. While waiting, I looked 
into the rear view and saw a young woman come barreling down at my read end. It hurt, and the 
rear bumper was transformed. She only got out of it because I did not have insurance at the time.

My first (and only, knock on wood) car accident was at a gas station. it was a rental car, too, that i wasn't supposed to be driving. i was backing into a spot, going about three miles an hour, looking over my right shoulder. i hear this really faint honking, so i slow down to like, one mile per hour. *bump* i hit a guy's front bumper who was coming at me or something from my left side. oh shit. friend jumps out of the car, i'm sitting there in disbelief freaking out. guy that i hit already had his cell phone out. my friend talked to him, reassured him that we were both insured drivers, gave him our information, addresses, etc, told him we'd pay to replace the BMW bumper i'd dented. the guy never called (replacement cost would have been around a hundred bucks - my friend drives BMWs and called his guy at the dealership.) i definitely got LUCKY there.

lessons learned:

don't drive rental cars you're not allowed to drive

never back up into a gas station spot.

never back up at all if you can possibly avoid it.

don't tell mom/your insurance company you crashed a rental car.





Crash no.1; I was attempting a U-turn in my 1967 VW Kombi when I was struck on the rear 1/4 causing the van to flip onto it's side.
Crash no.2; I was driving on the freeway at 100k/h in my 1967 Chrysler Valiant when 2 lanes became 1. the guy in front moved over into my lane & slowed down to 60 k/h. I hit the brakes & slid straight up his rear.
Crash no 3. I was driving in my father in law's 1984 Mitsubishi Sigma when & woman turned right, right accross my path. I just slammed straight into her.
Crash no 4; I was driving a bus & had to stop for a broken down car. A semi-trailer rammed into my rear.
I've also bumped into a lot of stuff, but they don't count (much).


One crash I had was when my friend was changing my radio station, and she rested her hand on my gear shift. She shifted into neutral, and I looked down to shift back into drive, and the car in front of me had stopped to make a left turn. I managed to get almost off the highway, so my left front bumper hit his right rear bumper. Don't ever rest your hand on a gear shift!

The other crash I had was completely not my fault. My black car was parked in my friend's very dark driveway, and her boyfriend was leaving and tried to peel out and show off, and he backed into my car. ARGH!

No specific story, I just nearly get slaughtered by a motor vehicle on a daily basis.

Diagram:
Car + Bicycle = Car + bloody pulp.

Moral:
Watch for bicycles! Please! I don't wanna be a bloody pulp :/







I had a 1997 Dodge Neon. It was the first brand new car I had ever bought. I was driving to work in Washington DC bumper to bumper stop and go traffic. It was morning so the sun was coming up and shining right in my eyes. I was behind a van so I tried to get as close to it as I could to have his roofline block the sun from my eyes. As I inched up to him to block the sun I bumped into him. He reached out his window and waved it off. About 5 minutes later with the sun still in my eyes I tried again to get close enough to him to block the sun and bumped him again - this time a little harder. This time he reached out the window and gave me a well deserved middle finger. 
I learned to change lanes after bumping someone and also to drive with sunglasses on. 

Both accidents I've been in were not my fault. Both were caused by people turning left in front of me when they didn't have the right-of-way. The second time, the woman completely blew through a STALE red light. I mean, I already know not to gun it the second the light turns green because some people run the red going the other way, but people turning on red when it's clearly red and has been that way for awhile? Good lord. 

Car survived accident 1, car was totaled in accident 2. 

I guess what this has taught me is to watch out for people turning left in front of you -- I do tend to look at the cars in the opposite left-turn lane when going through intersections. Still, I wish the second accident had never happened because all it did was make me MORE paranoid that every driver in the world is an idiot. 

Are you gonna post a best-of when you get enough entries? Reading the text files is kind of hard!

Don't drive angry. The two accidens I've been in were both angry. Once, I stopped at a stop sign and couldn't really see what was coming from the right because of a bush, but pulled out anyway. BAM. The other time, I backed out from a parking space across two lanes of (empty) road into the parking lot of a gas station and right into a pole. BAM. Don't drive angry.

Oh, one more. We were once at the Bel Air on Arden & Eastern when the lady in front of us suddenly started backing up. Dad laid down on the horn but still she kept coming, until she relatively gently tapped the front of his truck with her car. Why didn't the horn get her attention? The driver was deaf! Luckily, no damage. 

But still, even though this happened, I don't think everyone should assume other drivers are deaf. Probably they're just on a cell phone. - Michaela

I just started driving...so hopefully I won't have any...



Some of my finest automobile mishaps are chronicled here <a href="http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=12341935&blogID=32408312">http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=12341935&blogID=32408312</a>, so feel free to check them out!

One that does not appear there, however, is the worst of all, because it was the only one doing damage that was my fault. I was sitting at the roundabout, a fantastically stupid four-way stop, eight lane merging nightmare less than a stone's throw from work one morning, and the sun was rising right in my driver's side window. The lady in the car in front of me had been sitting for some time and finally made her move, rolling forward. At that moment, the sun's glare caught my eye and I had my foot off the brake. I rolled forward and BAM! she was still sitting there. And now my car had damaged hers. Mine, an 88 Jetta, had a tiny ding in the hood. Her left rear panel was crushed in like the Incredible Hulk had punched it. The tire couldn't even spin in it. I was tot 



Some of my finest automobile mishaps are chronicled here <a href="http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=12341935&blogID=32408312">http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=12341935&blogID=32408312</a>, so feel free to check them out!

One that does not appear there, however, is the worst of all, because it was the only one that was my fault. I was sitting at the roundabout, a fantastically stupid four-way stop, eight-way merge nightmare going to work one morning, and the sun was rising right in my driver's side window. The lady in the car in front of me had been sitting for some time and finally made her move, rolling forward. At that moment, the sun's glare caught my eye and I took my foot off the brake. I rolled forward and BAM! she was still there. And now my car had damaged hers. Mine, an 88 Jetta, had a tiny ding in the hood. Her left rear panel was crushed in like the Incredible Hulk had punched it. The tire couldn't even spin in it. I was totally freaked out and crying because I had never been at fault in an accident before and didn't know what to do. No one was hurt, but I did get picked up by my fiance and stayed home that day. I felt so guilty. For some reason, the officer did not count me at fault, I guess because I was blinded by the sun or she had started moving or something, but I lucked out. I learned to never take anyone's forward momentum as a sign that they are actually committing to an action, and always be prepared to stop. I rarely exceed 60, and I always drive in the slow lane. A Granny-driver at 32... LOL ...Kerry

As a new driver, I was turning right out of a Blockbuster at night onto a fairly major road. I saw an opening as a car was turning into the same place I was leaving, and made my turn. But I didn't turn wide enough to avoid the black Lincoln Navigator parked illegally across half the driveway, because I didn't want to hit traffic in the other lane of the road and the guy turning into my driveway almost ran right into me. The rear driver's side door of my beautiful, classic green '96 Ford Windstar was ruined. The scratched paint of the Navigator's fender cost $1000 to fix. By the time a cop came, the owner of the Navigator had pulled away from the driveway and insisted that she was completely legally parked when I hit her. Good thing we didn't go through insurance. The moral of the story is "be a lighthouse," like my dad used to say, and watch every angle before making a move. - Jen B, NY



It was snowing hard and the Caltrans snow plow, coming in the opposite direction, was in the middle of the road! Taking my lane! We went off the road, down the mini-cliff, but the snow was so deep it cushioned my 4 wheel drive van like a little sleeping baby. No damage.
Lesson learned: ALWAYS CARRY YOUR CAMERA

Okay so this isn't a crash story, but it's an almost crash story. I'm a very new driver, and I still have my permit. My dad and I we practicing and he told me to go up this very steep hill. It was incredibly steep, almost straight up. I went up it no problem, but then he asked me to make a sharp left. Well, I had never taken a sharp turn, but I tried anyways. I then got my gas pedal and break pedal mixed up and pushed really hard on the gas. In two seconds my life flashed before me, my dad grabbed the wheel, lots of dirty words were yelled, and I came literally 1 foot from driving on a cliff. 



The day after it snowed (it hardly ever snows in this part of Oregon) I was driving from the gym to my parent's house with my 1 1/2 year old in the back seat and decided to take the back roads to see how pretty the snow looked on the country roads. I hit a patch of slush about the size of a dinner plate and skidded right into a ditch, ramming into the area where the ditch ended and someone's driveway began.
I learned that back roads are not a good idea on snow days!

I was driving on a curvy, hilly interstate in Amarillo, totally going the speed limit and focused on the road. I came around a curve and all of a sudden there was a metal ladder right on the road in front of me. I couldn't or didn't want to swerve to avoid it, not totally sure why, but I braked and ran over the ladder. Then this guy behind me hit me going about 45 or 50. Damaged the "rear bumper cover" to my new Corolla. Cost about $550 (just over the deductible. the douche didn't have insurance, and he fled the scene!) Two years later I am STILL TERRIFIED of bumping into somebody, sideswiping them or having them rear-end me. I don't want anybody near me.





A near miss changed by driving attitude. As I got ready to pull out of a parking lot, I looked to the left while stopping on the sidewalk. I looked to my right, and there were two joggers about 15 feet from my car on the right. Had I been five seconds late, I probably would have hit them. Now, I always stop before the sidewalk, and I am more cautious in general.

I don't drive.



My older sister was turning left from a residential street onto a fast moving two lane road. There was a middle turn lane so it was a pretty wide street. A lttle before where the street she was on met up with the fast road was an akward light that made the traffic come in heavy spurts. She was pulling out during one of the empty times. Looked left, looked right, looked left again and started to pull out from her complete stop. Suddenly this guy on one of those ninja honda motorcycles comes speeding from a street across and more to the right from her. She slams on her brakes (she want going very fast at all anyway) but he planned on her to continue pulling out. Now mind you, she was driving my dad's large truck. The man's motorcycle hit the front left side of the truck and his body continued around the left where his head collided with the step bar. He was thankfully wearing a helmet which saved his life and kept him from getting really hurt but he was without protective leather clothes and was badly scraped from the asphalt. My sister had only had her lisence for a year or so and this almost put her straight off of driving. Our insurance shot up. There were many witnesses who helped porve that my sister was not the one at fault but our family kept in touch with the man until (finally) his family made contact with him. It was pretty scary. I was at a friend's house when I got the call from my mother that she had been in an accident; that was all i was told too. So now she is EXTRA EXTRA careful when looking for cars and especially motorcycles while pulling out.



I was backing out of my carport (a driveway, plus a covered porch) going to high school, like I had done hundreds of times before. Usually I back out until the edge of the driveway, until I get to the cul-de-sac where I look for cars/pedestrians and then I'm on my way. What I should have been looking for was my dads car parked 2 feet behind me. Neither car was damaged, but I was awake for my first class that day. I learned that even routine things can change.



overcorrecting on the freeway = hitting the side wall of a bridge at 70 mph.

I tend to speed, but I was coming back from a dinner out with a few friends in the car, so I was actually being particularly careful going 60-65 mph on the freeway when I see brake lights ahead of me. So I flip my blinker and look over my shoulder to get around when I hear my friend say "UM," and look ahead to see an Infiniti (and a car ahead of it) dead stopped. I nailed the brakes but went into their back end going at least 45. The Infiniti pulled off the freeway, and the car ahead of it took off. My car had its front end bashed in something awful, and being dead stopped in the middle of 7 lanes of speeding traffic is pretty damn scary, but someone up there likes me, because my pitiful little Honda Civic kept on running long enough for me to get over to the shoulder. Worst part? My brother had just wrecked his car the previous night. Oh, and my dad had let my insurance lapse and didn't tell me. So I got sued too, since the car that had made the Infiniti stop took off and it was therefore my fault. And since I was actually being careful, I didn't really learn a lesson, other than "shit happens," and make sure your insurance is paid up.

I learned a lot about fixing cars during the 6 months it took me to rebuild mine, though!





never assume that all cars brake the same. I had gotten used to driving my Audi, and when I drove my friend's honda I rear-ended someone because the brakes were much less sensitive, and I underestimated the amount of time/space I would need to stop in time.

What happened in your crash? Did it change the way you drive?

  

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