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Accidents Happen


  02:07:25 am, by Nimble   , 1210 words  
Categories: Announcements [A]

Accidents Happen

Got in an accident over the weekend. Was sandwiched between two cars. Nobody was injured, but my poor car's left eye popped out, as it were...

Ironically, it happened on a road route that I will seldom ever have to take again, since I was coming back from my old townhouse after settling some plumbing issues.

The merge from MacLeod Trail onto Glenmore Trail East is a bit of a nasty one... there's often a lot of traffic, the merge comes up quickly, and cars are coming from under the bridge. Normally, that's not too much of a problem.

The car ahead of me was speeding up to merge, but slammed on the brakes. I don't know the reason, but I can surmise that they weren't being let in.

One very odd things that may have been distracting drivers was the presence of sparks. I don't know what they were coming from, but they trailed behind some vehicle and took up an entire lane, and were rolling over into the middle lane. I've seen sparks from trailing mufflers... I don't think this was a muffler.

Their stop was a little sudden, but I noticed in time to come to a relatively quick stop.

In horror, though, I saw the vehicle behind me still approaching in my rear view mirror. That was spooky, and there was nothing I could do about it - no escape to the left, and a concrete barrier to the right. Crunch.

They bounced me into the car ahead, and an amazing amount of stuff flew out of my glove compartment. Everyone got out of their vehicles. I was relieved to see that nobody was hurt. This was made all the more poignant by the fact that there were children in the last car (this upset the first car's friend immensely, as she works will children - I can understand that).

Rather disappointingly for us, there had been a police cruiser right behind us, but it drove on by. So did another. I didn't find out until talking with the insurance agent that the Calgary Police will now only stop for car accidents if there are injuries, blockage or if there are drugs involved. That would have been nice to know; the Police's main phone line did not offer much help. Of course, no other witnesses stopped. One of the gals in the front car at least took some pictures of the cars the way they were at the scene.

All of the folks involved were nice people, though, and all apparent first-timers to having accidents (strange that you would almost want someone who had done this before, yet in a strange way, not). I couldn't detect any mechanical damage, but the frame was twisted just enough that I couldn't open my hood. The left headlight assembly shattered and came out, dangling a useless light, and the grill is loose. It survived the trip home, however.

I really do feel sorry for everyone involved. Merges really do involve a lot of looking left and hoping you look back ahead in time; I can see why the guys behind were distracted.

So now I wait for the agent of the last car to call.

Misfortune happens - I was just hoping that I wouldn't have anything else on my plate on TOP of selling my old place and planning a wedding!

Still, could have been worse, and it wasn't :)


# If I recall my traffic code correctly, no matter what you're responsible for hitting the car in front. If, as in this case, you're shunted into it despite stopping clear, you're still (in the eyes of the law) responsible for the damage to that vehicle. Hopefully they sustained just about nothing. I remember one time at university some kid in his mother's car swung around in a parking lot far too fast for the conditions and pulled in front of me from the right; I couldn't stop fast enough and hit him. The result: about $3000 damage which came out of my insurance due to the "priority from the right" traffic law and five years of higher premiums. Sometimes the law just ain't just.

As for merges, yeah, well, wouldn't be nice if Calgary drivers actually understood how they worked. Still, could be worse: we could have roundabouts (aka traffic circles.)

Anyway, glad to hear you're ok even if the purple people eater isn't.

Comment by Adam [Visitor] — 09/22/05 @ 10:35

# Actually, this wasn't the Purple People Eater - it was my own rusty ol' Escort.

That's too bad on getting the short end of the law there. I know by such 'rules of thumb' they're going by a 'likeliest cause', but the other driver was clearly in the wrong in your case. No other witnesses, I guess?

I was under the impression that it was car-responsible-for-car-in-front as well, but after talking to the adjuster, when they corroborated stories of what happened, the folks from car in front may apparently be talking to the car in back instead. Perhaps some fairness rules happen after all? I didn't think "I wouldn't have hit them if I hadn't been rear-ended" trumped "After I stopped, there wasn't enough space to push me forward without bumping the car ahead".

I'll probably take it to A-1 Autobody when all things are sorted out. They're eminently reasonable folks there.

Comment by nimble [Member] — 09/22/05 @ 11:24

# I am happy to say that the purple people eater is intact (and is now the only one of three vehicles that is)-- it was Ritchie's escort that got the crunch. :P

So now it is a sure thing that the people eater is the wedding car. The decorating for *that* promises to be fun! :D

Comment by Dena [Visitor] — 09/22/05 @ 11:29

# Sorry to hear about the accident Ritchie. I dislike merging onto Glenmore West enough to usually take the road behind Chinook Centre that tees up with Glenmore when I have to. It's got a somewhat better merge with a longer approach and no crazy blind spot with people trying to cut in to turn right. Oy.

My first (I know, I know...) accident involved merging as well. Turning right from Crowchild West onto Nose Hill North, back in the days before there was a dedicated merge lane. Traffic from Crowchild East was turning left onto Nose Hill at the same time, and a truck decided to take the right lane instead of turning into the left as they should have. I was watching the truck so that I could merge in behind it, assuming the car in front of me was going to keep on going. Ooops... I still think the car driver could have merged fine if he'd pulled his thumb out and went. Oh well.

Comment by ElTwo [Visitor] — 09/23/05 @ 01:53

# I most always used to take that back road behind Chinook, but they've been doing construction on that back area and it hasn't been a through road for quite some time. My bad luck.

Short merge lanes onto high speed traffic roads will kill us eventually... gah!

Comment by nimble [Member] — 09/23/05 @ 09:51

# It's been quite a while since I drove through that area. I imagine it's a disaster now, with all the construction. I think I'll keep away from there for another year or two. :)

Comment by ElTwo [Visitor] — 09/24/05 @ 00:56

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