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Monday, December 1, 2014

Friday I picked up our new car. Sunday an alleged impaired driver smashed into it

The before:



This car saved my life.

I was hit from behind by a driver in a 2014 Ford Edge who was traveling 70-80 km/hr. I was stopped behind a person waiting to turn left. The speed limit was 70 km/hr.

I saw the Edge coming. I always check my surroundings, especially when stopped in traffic.  I do not take these opportunities as a good time to check my phone and I get upset when people do that at stop signs or at lights, or just stopped in traffic.  You're a sitting duck.

I saw the Edge coming and I looked for an out. I couldn't move into the oncoming lane and I said out loud to myself, "He's gonna hit me". I had only seconds to prepare and years of conditioning took over. The sidewalk wasn't an exit strategy either, because of a concrete pole.  So I took my foot off the brake, I had room, I always leave room between my vehicle and vehicles in front of me. I took my hands off the steering wheel. I let the car absorb the impact.  And boy did it ever.

The entire backend of my 2014 Flex took it like a boss and the damage at first glance looks like the car simply said, "Meh", but it's pretty extensive.

I walked away with a sore back but the occupants of the car who hit me sustained injury. The wife of the driver was not wearing her seat belt.  The air bags deployed in their car. She had smashed her head against the wind screen and was unconscious when paramedics arrived. The driver was dazed and in shock.  He complained of leg pain. I just stood there trembling while witnesses talked around me. I was so grateful to be okay. I was thankful my daughter wasn't in the car. 

Today I took the day off work to settle the bullshit that comes next, getting the car to the shop, waiting on the adjuster, arranging the rental and trying to calm my nerves. My thoughts are all over the place. 

I want you all to take something away from this.  If you're someone who checks your phone when you're not moving, please break this habit.  Always be aware. Always be alert and know how to prepare for a crash. It will save your life.

The aftermath:


The back up camera was destroyed.  All of the bumper clips are gone. The lower left rocker panels are misaligned and the two rear doors don't open as they are wedged under the panels. Inside, the frame for the lift gate is cracked. The bumper plate is wedged over the folded rear seats and they can't be moved or engaged to a seated position.  The left exhaust pipe is bent. I'm told the whole backend of the car will be ripped apart and repaired.  But I'm still here. 

29 comments:

Dakota said...

OMG! It sucks that you just picked the car up, but it is good to hear you are ok.

Bicky said...

Holy crap on a cracker, CJ! So glad you're okay, rattled nerves aside.

Hope they charged numbnuts who hit you with a slew of charges.

And for the record, once I'm behind the wheel of my car, my phone stays in my purse. If I have a passenger, they can deal with my phone, if necessary.

Poor new car though...

Squiggles said...

What a shame. A new baby and it is wrecked less than 48 hrs later. At least everyone is alive.

I wish I had known what to do when in an accident. I am still suffering the side-effects from whiplast - 16 years later. And it was the guy behind the guy behind me that was at fault.

To this day, I still slightly tense up if people are too close.

Valentino Assenza said...

Wow, good that you're okay, and good that you're an attentive and respectful driver in that you were paying attention to your surroundings when the shit got heavy.

Sorry about your new ride taking a beating when it was only two days off the lot.

What was up with dude that hit you? Drunk? Distracted?

You don't need to tell me about paying attention while in the car. I experience the after effects of it daily as a pedestrian. Living in the beaches, you're around several drivers that feel they're driving around their Audi's or BMW's are enough that they don't need to actually pay attention to actual act of driving. I see them texting, all the time.

If you ask me though car companies are enabling people to be less aware and responsible while driving. One of Ford's most recent commercials shows a testemonial from a female telling people "the system is letting me know that an accident is about to happen." Because if you were paying attention, and were any decent form of driver you'd know on your own that an accident is about to happen.

I have lived in Toronto, and have never owned a car. So long as I am in the city, I don't expect that to change. The population keeps expanding, and so does the demographic of moronic drivers.

George said...

CJ all you can do is thank the auto safety engineers for the good they do in the industry.
My wife got rear-ended on the 403 two christmases ago driving a Doge Caliber. Traffic bunched up and the guy behind her was looking for another radio staion and then kaboom.
Her vehicle got detroyed byt he impact abd then sent into another labne where sho got struck again and flipped over once landing back on the wheels. All she got was a scratch on her forehead and a sore right arm.
The car was bashed so badly that when we went to the impound yard to get her purse, we couldn't recognize it. We had to ask the person there which one it was.
The Dodge engineers got a nice letter from us and they even responded with their thanks for the compliments.
The worst part was that she was coming back from a shopping trip and had porcelain dishes in the rear of the car. Nuff said about that.

paperpusher1 said...

Im so glad you are ok CJ - you handled the situation like a boss, and like you said, thank goodness your daughter wasn't with you!!! Speedy repairs and I hope you feel better (im sure the shock of it was horrendous). Best,
Paperpusher1

Sylv said...

How scary!! Thank goodness you're okay.

C.J. Smith said...

I'm so glad I am okay. The car will get fixed. I just want people to drive smarter.

C.J. Smith said...

I'm not sure what impairment, Valentino. The police officer told me criminal charges were pending and highway traffic act charges don't result in criminal charges.

C.J. Smith said...

Sorry, highway traffic act infractions... don't result in criminal charges

mark p said...

and also, always wear your seat belt...... and like a previous commenter mentioned how car companys like to sell the idea that todays cars are so advanced they can detect an impending crash, i scoff at these ads, while i like things like my backup camera, they are a tool you use in conjunction with common sense and being aware with your surroundings and whats up ahead (or behind in this case) , you dont ever EVER rely on a piece of technology in your car, its sad they have to put massive warnings when the navigation system boots or when my camera turns on warning to be aware of your surroundings,

Squiggles said...

"highway traffic act infractions... don't result in criminal charges"

Seriously? That just doesn't seem right.

C.J. Smith said...

Squiggles, you can kill someone in a crash, be charged under the HTA and be sent home with a $500 fine. It happens every day.

Squiggles said...

That is disgraceful!

I am now kinda wishing I didn't know that. What I am hoping now is that in a similar situation that other charges of the criminal variety can be applied. Which it does look like it can be, if that is what is happening in your situation. But still....

C.J. Smith said...

For someone to be criminally charged, such as impaired driving causing death or dangerous driving causing bodily harm, there has to be reasonable evidence to support laying the charge such as behavior that deviates from what is considered a "marked departure". In other words, drive down the wrong side of the 401 and slam into someone, that's just cause for a dangerous driving charge. Pass a snow plow and cause a headon collision, that's a fine. Hit a cyclist while making a right turn, and the cyclist dies, that's a fine. It's all fines if you're sober and didn't mean to do it. Now, if you're impaired, the landscape changes and that's when the cops can go to the crown and ask for upgraded charges.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you're ok. Did your car hit the one waiting to turn left? Where they okay?

C.J. Smith said...

No. I never made contact which I'm grateful for.

C.J. Smith said...

George
I plan on writing Ford a letter.

George said...

Let us know if you get any responses other than the usual canned type.

The only bad thing I can see from this is that when you try to sell the vehicle, it'll have a big red flag on the vehicle history. Oh well that's beyond your control.

C.J. Smith said...

That's the part that kills us. We're strategic with our car buying so we can avoid a net loss at trade in. So much for this car. Looks like we're driving it to the ground.

JulieBean said...

I'm so sorry CJ, thank god you are ok, cars can be fixed.
Aside from the criminal charges to the driver he is going to have to deal with the guilt of his wife's injuries as well, head injuries are serious and can be life changing. One stupid moment is all it takes. Who doesn't wear a seat belt?? that is just beyond stupid.

C.J. Smith said...

It's still surreal to me. Maybe it's the trauma. I hope the wife pulls through. Hard way to learn a lesson.

April said...

Dangerous driving carries a criminal charge, with or without injury.

I am glad you are ok. A car is just a thing.

My daughter was cut off by a driver on the 401 in the first snowfall of the season, she tried to avoid him and hit the guardrail and spun out and ended up facing the wrong way on the highway. I thank god the highway was empty and there was no one to hit her. Car was 18 months old. Just a thing. Daughter had not even a bruise. I love that car!

Be careful when you are putting on your coat in this cold weather, you don't want to disturbe the guardian angel that is clearly sitting on your shoulder. Could have been so much worse even if you were paying attention. Remember the Whitby woman, a politician, who got rearended a couple of years ago on Park Road, pushed her out into the east/west traffic where her car was struck again and she was killed? Nancy I think.

April said...

No, Pat Goslin was her name.

C.J. Smith said...

^ That was awful ... what happened.

Kristina said...

CJ, I discovered your blog a couple of months ago and love it. You have a die-hard fan for life.

Anyway, and more importantly, I'm so glad you're okay. That must have been terrifying. Please be sure to follow up with your doctor, as the effects of a collision can sometimes be felt for years to come. You mentioned back pain, so just make sure everything is on the up-and-up.

Again, I'm so glad you're all right. Sorry about the car. I hope it can be fixed with minimal cost to you.

Have a good night.

C.J. Smith said...

^ Kristina
thank you for your kind comment and yes, I do feel some affects and will be seeing a doc tomorrow even though I saw one Sunday and Monday as of right now there is pain and stiffness that wasn't as apparent yesterday or Sunday.

Kristina said...

No problem! Your blog has made my day many times!

Again, I'm glad you're okay. I hope you get a good report from your doctor, and I hope the pain goes away soon.

Kelly said...

Wow - so scary! So glad for the outcome. Yes, a pain in the ass dealing with everything but for you to be okay is the main thing. A teenager hit a parked car in front of my house, sending it over the curb and down 2-3 houses, he was on his phone. I had to call an ambulance for the passenger who was still sitting there and I don't know if she had a seatbelt on since it was parked. I had to go to court as a witness. Teenager pleaded and got $80 fine. MADDENING!