Reader-Submitted Collisions

These are the first responses from  readers answering the question "What happened in your crash? Did it change the way you drive?

Enjoy! Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10      Introduction

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

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...

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.


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.

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


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July 22nd, 2006 

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