By on July 1, 2012


Picture courtesy of


I was all of 22 years. College graduate. A young guy seeking nothing more than a nice Sunday drive with his girlfriend.

The entrance ramp to Route 17 was a one lane affair with an old Buick that seemed to be all too hesitant. Five seconds. Ten Seconds. An eternity of 20 seconds came and went before the vehicle started to creep forward and seemed ready for forward motion.

I had thought the vehicle was long gone when, a few seconds later, I pressed the accelerator and…

“Boom!” A nasty fender bender had taken place.

The Buick’s old style aluminum fender had been bent while my old Toyota’s bumper seemed fine. At least from the driver’s seat.

I inhaled a few seconds of stunned silence. Got out a little shaky, and went to the other car.

“Are you okay?” It was a lady in her 60’s.

“Yes young man, thank God. Are you?”

“I’m okay but I think I got your fender pretty good.”

The lady took a look at me, my car, and then said words to the effect of, “Well, my house is only a couple of miles away from here. Let’s get out of this  traffic and follow me.”

Like a Pavlovian lap dog I followed her straight to the house. I was shocked that an older lady, especially in North Jersey, would be willing to do this. But once I saw the mailbox stand in the form of a rifle, and plenty of cars on her driveway, I realized she and her passenger were more comfortable in that familiar place. Besides, there was a heat wave going on and a nice suburban street was a far nicer place to wait for public officials than a traffic laden highway that was near three different malls.

A police officer came by and took the report. No tickets. No drawn out crying or arguments. Just a simple straightforward affair. My fault. I pay. That was that.

Except for one little thing. No insurance company claim, thank God! I offered to simply pay for her repair at a nearby independent shop. It did cost a few hundred dollars but, compared to the four figured rate increase that comes with a blemished driving record in New Jersey, it was cheap. Real cheap.

That was my last at-fault accident. But what about you? Did you ever find yourself in a collision that was entirely of your own making?


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51 Comments on “Question Of The Day: Have You Ever Been In An Accident That Was… Your Fault?...”

  • avatar

    Yes, in my freshman year of college I was following a friend to a soccer game. Two states away from home. With my ’82 Subaru filled with rowdy college students. One of the back seat passengers crawled between the front seats and started messing with the radio. Distracted, I ran right into the back of my friend’s truck when she stopped for a stop sign. Not a scratch on the truck, but the Subaru went home on a tow truck, and I was walking for the rest of the semester. We also got to about freeze to death riding in the back of the truck the three hours back to school. And we lost the soccer match….

    Fixed the Subie myself over Christmas break – needed a radiator, fender and hood. That was 25 years ago this year.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Rear ended someone on the DC beltway. It happens. Both of us had insurance, state police showed up, wrecker took my away, he drove off to work. I got a ticket for following too closely. Not on cell phone, flipping radio stations or lighting a smoke; just misjudged traffic. My fault, my fine, my points.

  • avatar

    Yes, I borrowed a friends Diahatsu Charade (a not much missed POS tin box that ran on three pots), I was looking for the non-existant A/C button and ran into the back of a Bud Beer truck at around 10mph. Truck driver never noticed, Charade totalled. Friend brought me a beer (but not a Bud).

  • avatar

    On my way to class at the University of South Alabama in spring 1965, I rear ended the car ahead by not paying attention to my driving. I learned a lesson from that. In forty seven years, I did not have another wreck in a car or truck. I did hit a Honda Civic in the drivers door on my Suzuki 550. The driver ran a stop sign directly ahead of me. I slowed from sixty five to maybe twenty miles per hour before impact. My bike was totaled as was the car. The driver was hospitalized with injuries to her left side. I had a skinned knuckle and was sore everywhere for a couple of weeks. Those are the only two wrecks in my fifty one years of driving.

  • avatar

    When I was 17, I rear ended a car after some teens ran out into the street in front of him; I was following too close. His anger was directed at the teens who ran off and his car had maybe a scratched bumper. Mine was totaled – 88 Tempo.

    A couple years later I rear ended someone moving into my college dorm for the fall semester. This time I didn’t think I was too close – it had been raining heavily all day and the car simply wouldn’t stop. This was a routine light in average traffic too, so no surprises like the previous incident. Once again the car in front of me was undamaged. This time mine was still driveable. Continuing on my way with extreme caution after being rattled by the accident, the damn car almost didn’t stop at another set of lights. Mercifully there was no other traffic at this light. The accident 5 min prior had happened so unexpectedly with no contributing factors except the rain, so I still wondered whether I was following too close. The near failure to stop at the later light confirmed some kind of maintenance issue. I figure the tires must have been bald or maybe something wrong with the brake fluid. Obviously still my fault, but it is some consolation that it wasn’t the result of stupid driving.

    I’ve been tapped a couple times in the 13 years since, but nothing my fault. I guess I was lucky to learn both the defensive driving and maintenance lessons early, with no injuries to anyone. Both drivers that I hit were calm and pleasant toward me, and that’s something I always try to remember when people hit me. Accidents happen.

  • avatar

    Steve – I think you were very lucky she was willing to let you pay out-of-pocket and bypass insurance. I would certainly not trust most people to make that happen.

    Maybe a moot point, since damage costs go up so fast these days insurance help is likely required for most. Last time I was hit, the invoices for a simple plastic rear bumper cover totaled almost $700. I thought it was so obscene I semi-regret filing the claim. It’s no wonder insurance premiums are so high.

  • avatar

    April 27, 1972, 5pm. I picked up my 1964 Chevy Impala SS convertible from the body shop after it was repainted.

    Exactly one week later, with my room mate, on May 4, 1972, Thursday, about 5 pm, I pulled out of a side street, making a left turn onto 5th street in Marysville, CA. 5th street was a 4-lane road with parallel parking and I swung into the curb lane just as a Cal-Gas company pickup was pulling out of a parking spot and we kissed…er…smashed into one another wiping out the entire passenger side of my car from behind the front wheel well back. His truck had a crumpled fender and I didn’t care about what else, as long as he was OK.

    Both cars were drivable.

    I almost cried, but was so angry my roomie cautioned me as I got out of the car. I was calm as we exchanged info and went our way.

    …Somehow dinner didn’t taste so good a bit later…

    Car was back in the shop the following Monday. The paint job cost $225. The repair and all? $450 out of my pocket. All I had was assigned risk insurance as I was single and in the military. Worst of the worst. Plus I was 21.

    The driver of the Cal Gas truck sued me in small claims court. I was advised to counter-sue and I did. When our court date arrived in August, the judge ruled we both were at fault and were responsible for our own stupidity.

    At least I won…sort of…

    Next; November 2005. I was coming home from work and swung out to avoid getting stuck behind a slow-moving semi on Ohio Rte 4 in Middletown, OH. A lady in a Chrysler 300 had the same idea and I didn’t see her and our cars did kiss.

    That was determined to be my fault, but not ticketed. The insurance company paid her and I had to pay &485 to have wifey’s CR-V Fixed.

    Right after that, as I am legally blind on my left side, I got those little convex mirrors. They make all the difference and I don’t make rash moves like that anymore.

    All in all, lessons learned.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m curious about the “legally blind” part. I was the same until I had surgery when I was 19. Now, my left eye is far from perfect, but I have enough depth perception to avoid hitting things at speed. I have a higher than average tendancy to kiss bumpers when parallel parking though. Can’t easily judge that last foot of separation. Never felt the need for convex mirrors, but I do have to work a bit more to keep track of what’s behind and beside me.

      • 0 avatar


        I had a detached retina back in 2003, no fault of my own. Multiple detachments after that. My body produced too much scar tissue thus tearing the retina over and over. Plus I developed glaucoma in that eye due to scarring.

        The resulting vision is rather tunnel-like and compared to looking through a Coke bottle.


  • avatar

    I hit a mailbox in 1997 in my first ever vehicle. I hadn’t even had the damn truck 2 months. I’m such a dumbass. I’ve never been at fault in a 2-vehicle collision though.

    Heh, I remember State Farm had to pay out $1500 after my deductible to fix the truck. “Coincidentally” they put me on 3-year probation, with increased rates of $500 per year until probation was over (do the math, eh?). I switched to Nationwide immediately, for a lower rate.

  • avatar

    oh yes, july 1983, me cruising in the left lane of the highway in my berlinetta, traffic slowing up front, i check my right mirror to change lanes because I need to exit anyways. just the the subaru in front of me brakes, i look up to see him right there, i jerk the wheel to the right and my front left clips his right rear. i pull all the way over, while glancing in my rearview, and see his 4 wheels up in the air, with the car rotating on its roof. i sprint over to the car, some guy is sitting on the guardrail in the median, i ask him if the guy in the car is ok, he says that was me and i’m fine. how did he get out so quickly? anyhow, he was a really nice guy and did not sue my family for everything we had. how someone could be that understanding i do not know. a year later my car was totalled by a woman making an illegal u-turn. i tried to be understanding too. :(

  • avatar

    I’ve almost been in many accidents, twice my ’84 Mustang had tried to stall in front of huge trucks, but luckily they stopped both times.

    Recently, one close call was with my Tercel. I was crossing a very busy intersection at a fair speed and some idiot pedestrian walked right out in front of me, I stopped and honked and they didn’t even notice.

    I did have an accident in my ’69 VW Fastback, thanks to having no brakes and no torque I had to have some decent running speed before hitting the driveway, I pulled into the driveway a bit too fast and hit a few trash cans which bashed the bumper in. Not much longer ahead I sold that heap of junk.

  • avatar

    People have tried to tell me this one wasn’t my fault, but I still think it was my fault. It is a damn rare occasion when it snows in the Piedmont region of North Carolina; it was my senior year of high school a week before Christmas break, the call is for snow. I get out of class for the day, and me and me girlfriend convoy to the local Starbucks to see each other for a few more minutes before the weekend began and we stayed far away from each other. We saw snowflakes begin to fall heavy, and decided to make exit to our homes before the maniacal, non-driving rush hour traffic started piling into each other on the streets. As we exited the parking lot, who’s only exit ramped down at a 30 degree angle, her Hyundai Accent at the bottom of the hill, my Volvo 850 wagon at the top. As she waited to exit I just slightly released the brake pedal, and the car crested the top of the hill. That began an uncontrollable slide down the hill akin to slipping and falling down a staircase. I honked but she didn’t move, it was inevitable, I turned towards the edge of the ramp, but it was too late. The front left corner of my black brick, slid into her cobalt blue subcompact. I lost a headlamp lens and added some new creases to my left front fender. She got away with a cracked bumper cover. It was embarrassing. The only good thing I saw was the fact I wasn’t driving anything else much heavier or more expensive to repair for that matter.

  • avatar

    Yes, definitely.

    But my six (6) accidents split right down the middle: 3 were my fault; 3 were somebody else’s. Had no accidents that “acts of nature” or faultless.


    • 0 avatar
      Kevin Kluttz

      When you have 6 wrecks, I think it comes down to your not knowing how to drive, whether the wreck is your “fault” or not. There is almost always a way out of a crash if the driver is PAYING ATTENTION TO THE HAPPENINGS AROUND THE CAR.

  • avatar

    Knocked a driver’s side mirror off of a parked car with my car’s passenger mirror. Old Sables did not have folding mirrors, and the new(ish) Grand Am was too cheap to have them….that’s it in terms of unintentional impacts in 35 years of driving…

  • avatar

    My only accident wasn’t really an accident, so much as a parking lot fender bender.

    I work at a grocery store that has an attached gas station on the other end of the parking lot. At that end of the parking lot, there’s also a Wendy’s. The little service road that goes into this shopping complex is congested. Add to that the fact that our store aggressively prices its gas, and you have the combination for heavy, heavy congestion.

    One day I go on my lunch break and, since I had a date that evening, I wanted to go ahead and gas my car up so I could leave as soon as I got off work. I pulled into the gas station and was filling up. As soon as I finish, I start to back up. There was a Tahoe at the other pump, blocking my view up the parking lot toward the grocery store. I remember backing up a little too fast, and thinking I should probably check my mirror.” About that time, all I saw was green Honda Civic.

    If I’d been going much faster, I would have backed up on her hood. I got out and looked at my Cavalier. NOT A SCRATCH. I drive the little LS Sport variant, and I figured sure it’d knock the plastic bumper off. But it was fine. The Civic had a football sized dent in the door.

    The lady who was driving said “We just got this…” and looked at me with a frowny face. I felt terrible. The kicker? She didn’t want to exchange insurance information. I always figured she’d come back to the store and talk to my manager. I felt like crap, but it turned out okay for me, at least.

  • avatar
    Ron B.

    I drove into the rear of toyota camry once,while ttrying to stoop a fully loaded Nissan Urvan ( a bigger version of a hiace etc ) .Iskidded on the white road markings and bent his truck lid. I gave him my details and waited for the insurance compnay to send me the bill. $7000 !!!!. I questioned it and found that (here in Auastralia ) Insurance companies tell the body shops what to chatge and what work must be done. So all rear,front and side repairs are all billed at set rate and all work required is set out in a form supplied by the insurance comopany.
    In my case it involded stripped the car from the reaqr doors back, the bumper,lid and rear beaver panel were billed as new parts.
    The body was listed as being pulled into shape and the rear screen was listed as being replaced.
    Becuae i questioned the cost, I got a cvopy of the body shops job sheet. the rear lid was replaced with a used item ($400 charge but a new one was only $400) It was the same color so it wasn’t painted( i was billed for paint $1000) . bumper etc was OK but the panel shop had been paid for a new one. What really irked me was the charge for a new spare wheel cover ($50) which was alledgedly broken.
    Tail ights etc were all OK but again the panel shop was paid for new ones.
    As these shops turn over a lot of work every week,it ias not only very profitable but no one checks that new or used parts are fitted only that the car is restored to a new standard.
    Thus,Insurance costs are driven up and panel shops believe they now have a devine right to charge insane rates for work…because the insurance companies policy is allowing thenm to do it.
    If it doesn’t happen this way in other countries,it will soon.

  • avatar
    Ron B.

    ^^ Note to self… next time use spell check Ron ..

  • avatar

    Thanks to the 60/40 rule in Va, one of four accidents I’ve ever been in was considered my fault. Was coming to work one afternoon in thew summer of 94 and cut across some parking spaces, partially blocking my view was a big ol’ 80’s caddi parked next to the space I was traversing and while doing so a coworker was doing the same thing, cutting across the parking spaces with both of us trying to occupy the same space, I hit the brakes in a panic (bad idea with no ABS) and cut to the right, she just hit the brakes and froze. We ended up with glancing blows that did very little damage. One officer Paradise of the Hampton Va police department shows up, measures my skid marks, determines that I was the faster of the two and writes me a wreckless driving ticket. I did have to appear in court although the judge reduced it to improper driving with little more than a shrug as to why I was cutting across some parking spaces at the speed I was going. Laughably the driver of the other car went out on some medical leave and sued my insurance company for neck and back injuries that didn’t prevent her from hitting the club on weekends or taking a trip down to Georgia to see her family.

    The other three not my fault (and I’ll speak for the other guys);

    Harpersville Road, Newport News Va, kid pulled out in front of my clapped out Olds Starfire (Monza) – the brakes were woefully inadequate since the car was orginally a 4 cylinder and had a V8 transplanted into it with those good ol Cragar SST (IIRC) wheels here where just big solid chuncks of cast aluminum spoting a solid face making the brakes overheat at the slightest provication so no amout of stomping on the brakes would make the car come to a quick stop. I t-boned him and atleast got the satisfaction of totalling his S10 pickup (later saw the back half as a converted trailer)

    Kid rear ended my 02 Mustang GT near the Pughsville road exit on I664 – That was an a gaggle [censored], traffic inexplicably comes to a stop there due to rubber banding (this alone proves Virginia is worthy of all of Gods hate). Traffic is stopped and this kid in a t-bird with his friends cuts off a tractor trailer rips off the bumper of the tractor trailer, swerves in behind me – I try to get my car in fear and pull off into the soft shoulder, the kid submarines under my rear bumper then swerves to the right lane and damn near runs under another tractor trailer, this time ripping the passenger side door skin off swerves back over aand dents my passenger side front fender then swerves between a few more cars and tries to get away (ended up in a parking lot down the road with a a few calls to the police). The worst part, while my car is in the shop for what I had hoped would be a short visit instead, SeVa gets hit with hurricane Isabelle and what should have been a few weeks in the shop tunred out to be two months and stupid me declined a rental car because I only lived about 45 minutes from work while walking.

    Wolftrap Road, Yorktown Va – kid must have been getting a stinking finger messing with his girl friend or something???? I was making a left onto Allens Mill Road, only to feel a somewhat heavy impact to my rear, the kid in a Dodge Dakota slams right into the back of my car crushing the trunk and bending the sail panel down about halfway from the B-pillar.

  • avatar

    I was driving a 2002 Ford Expedition on the highway. I came up to a red light and quickly jumped from the middle lane to the right-most lane. A Motorcyclist hot me in the back. The truck was unscathed but the front of his bike was torn up and he was knocked to the floor. Musta hit me around 10 mph.

    I just peeked over the passenger side and was like: “you ok bro?”

    Then I just left – last thing he wanted was to report a rear end collision when he was on a bike. NO WIN POSSIBLE FOR HIM no matter what I had done.

    • 0 avatar

      I’ve been a reader for awhile, but your comment made me register. You cut a bike off, it ran into the back of your vehicle, and then you drive away? There are so many things wrong with what you did, but it’s the nonchalant attitude that really got my goat.

    • 0 avatar

      Seriously? You cut a guy off on a bike, and while he’s on the ground ask “you ok bro?” – then drive off? Lucky that dude didnt get your plates.

      • 0 avatar

        “and was like: “you ok bro?” Then I just left”

        I thought the self adsorbed idiots on Jersey Shore could not be real people, but you proved me wrong.

      • 0 avatar

        #1 I didn’t “leave the scene”. He got up, brushed himself off and he left first. Then I left.

        #2 Nonchalantly saying: “you ok bro” was the highlight of my day. Unfortunately, it cost me $75 to get a new light fixture since he cracked my right turn fixture – with his helmet.

        #3 I don’t live on the “Jersey Shore”. I don’t watch that show or know anything about the actors on it. I’m a good old fashioned “New Yawker” snob!!!

    • 0 avatar

      Typical SUV driver, cutting people off and flinging from lane to lane without a care in the world.

  • avatar

    I’ve had two accidents, and they were both my fault, and both the result of hooning, and they were both many years ago when I was young and stupid. Luckily there were no injuries, only damage (in both cases write-offs). And no police involvement. I incurred significant costs from both, the second especially. A $10k loss is a very strong learning experience….

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    I’ve had a couple, nothing catastrophic. I have a tendency to follow a little too closely; its meant as a friendly suggestion that you’re holding up my progress.

    I’ve been nailed a few times as well….the worst being a drunk driver not seeing me at a stop sign and proceeding to pile her MB into the back of my car at 70 mph. Broke my back and led me to 8 weeks of recovery. This being 1980 and it being her hometown, she wasn’t cited.

    A few years ago I was cruising out of downtown after 6 am Mass (really!), enjoying the timing of the sequential lights when I got broadsided by a suspected dozing detective as he came off duty.

    Hard to believe, no citation written.

  • avatar
    bill mcgee

    I’ve been driving since 1969 and there have been many accidents , mostly minor ones , sometimes my fault , more often not . Last one I was driving the company van , making a u-turn under the freeway, never saw the car but heard a hideous crash and saw one of those Saturn Ions, always thought they were the most hideous model of a car line not known for its looks , doing a figure eight . A younger middle aged woman and her kid , probably about 10 , got out . I knew it was my fault and since it was a company vehicle it wasn’t that much of a problem . The kid was yelling at her , saying she was driving too fast and had run the light , irrelavent legally as I still should have yielded . The van was barely scratched . The Saturn was really banged up all along one side – as a former Saturn owner whose car was totalled after being rear-ended at low speed I knew how well plastic cars handle a collision . But the lady never called us . I don’t know if she felt guilty or lost my information .

  • avatar

    Nope, not once. I’ve only been driving for 7 years though so that’s not saying much (at least I made it through my teens).

    I’ve been rearended twice, strange enough both times were in the car I’ve driven the least (a 2009 or ’10 Saturn Outlook). I only put maybe 1,000 miles on that car and got hit twice, while in the 100,000+ I’ve put on other cars I haven’t got a scratch.

  • avatar

    When I was in college, pulling out of a parking lot near a busy 3 way intersection. Concentrated on one direction too much, forgot to check left and got T boned when I pulled out.

    Last year, while backing out of the driveway into the alley of my dad’s house the garage door opener started acting up and while I pressing the button several times and fiddling with it while still slowly backup up, didn’t pay enough attention to the rearview and backed up into a truck. After I got out of the car, the guy said he tried to get my attention by waving and blinking his lights while he was stopped. Evidently, he just watched me back up into him. I actually asked him why he didn’t consider honking his horn and he just kind of looked at me like I had grown a third eyeball. While I still cop to that one and it was 99% my moment of idiocy, I don’t think this accident would have happened in any major city in the US or in any other country. That guy would have honked.

  • avatar

    I had just merged onto I-75N rush hour gridlock on the north side of Atlanta. This was in November 2005. I was still recovering from having a cervical spine fusion operation three weeks earlier and shouldn’t have been driving…especially since I had taken an Oxycodone a few hours earlier! It was very poor judgment on my part, to say the least…

    Traffic was stop-and-go and I was fiddling around with my iPod instead of concentrating on the road. Traffic in my lane had picked up to about 40mph then, in a split second, came to a dead halt….everyone but me, that is!

    I was driving my beloved 1994 Acura Legend that my grandfather gave me in 1997 when I graduated college. I plowed into the rear-end of a late model Chevy Impala. The nose of my Acura went under the rear end of the Impala and crumpled the hood and fenders, but thankfully the airbags didn’t deploy.

    I jumped out to check on the lady driving the Impala and, thankfully, she wasn’t injured. She was around my age (30-ish) and was the nicest person I’ve ever met! She was so concerned that I might be hurt after seeing my neck brace and bandages from my recent spine surgery. She was on her way home from her job at the Atlanta Zoo. My car was disabled and blocking a lane of traffic, but her’s was drivable, so she insisted that I sit in the car with her while we waited for the cops and tow truck to arrive. We chit-chatted while we waited and, to make me feel like even more of a jerk, she told me that she had been rear ended just one month ago and had just got her car back from the body shop a few days ago!!!

    When the police arrived, I got a ticket for a following too closely and was charged with accident. The damage to her car cost less than $1000 to repair, but my car had over $7000 worth of damage. I had to fight with my insurance company to keep them from totaling it. My brother-in-law manages a Honda/Acura body shop and he repaired it to good-as-new condition. He also gave it a new $3000 paint job that still looks amazing to this day! I still have the Legend parked in my garage but only drive it on weekends now. And I don’t touch my cell phone or iPod unless I pull off the road and park first!!!

  • avatar

    Thread needs a Jack Baruth intervention immediately.

  • avatar

    Just remember: accidents are never your fault.
    It’s always the other driver’s fault.
    Even when there’s no other driver.
    “I’m tellin’ ya, that tree jumped out in front of me.”
    “What idiot built that ditch right by the road?”

  • avatar

    Yeah, back in the 80s in NE Atlanta I helped sell newspaper subscriptions. Ran a red light, totaled a Rambler wagon with my Corolla–oops! no one one was hurt. But, that guy was not happy.

  • avatar
    Kevin Kluttz

    My only wreck involving another “car” was in 1978, and I was 21. It was a cloudy Friday around 2 PM and I simply overlooked the gray Vega at the intersection of Branchview and Miramar in my beautiful light blue 1973 Monte Carlo Landau. I pulled out right in front of it. Got me on the driver’s side at the front fender/door joint. Totaled the Vega, mercifully. $650 (1978 dollars) damage to the Monte. The main things I remember are that I first got out (after I woke up, I think; my head hit the window fairly sharply) after realizing my car was still running and cried while looking at the damage. Then I realized there was another car involved. (I didn’t really care about that at that point; I was just worried about MY car.) I ran back out to the immovable Vega (which probably would have been immovable on its own later) and saw that the passenger had been carrying a baby on her dumbass lap and the baby had a big welt on the front of its head. I was hit by a mouth-breather in a Vega. But, it was completely my fault. On that day, I vowed never to have another wreck that was my fault, and except for a very slow one-car bump with a fire hydrant in the snow, I have never hit or been hit by another car on the road. The one in my driveway last year is a different story for a different day. (It definitely wasn’t my fault because I was in the house, not in the Civic.)

  • avatar

    Steven – Sounds like the town I grew up in – Rte. 17 runs right through the middle with three major malls. The intersection of 17 and 4 was a nightmare until a few years ago when they made changes. Traffic is a horror movie come to life on Saturdays when the shoppers from NYC come to town. Learned quickly to navigate any and all side streets to avoid the highways. Good thing for the blue laws – stores closed on Sundays – that was the only day with no traffic.

    And I have been fortunate to never have caused or been in an accident while driving. Many near misses and close calls but luck is on my side I guess (knocking on wood).

  • avatar

    In 1983 I was driving home from work at the taco shop at about midnight in my father’s 72 Chevelle. I was rounding the sharp corner off of Via Capri in La Jolla onto the approach to I-5 South towards Pacific Beach when just off to the left shoulder was a parked MGB.

    Smacked it at about 20mph.

    Didnt have anything to write on to leave a note, so I came back the next morning and it was gone. Still feel guilty about that collision.

  • avatar

    I’ve been in both places in that “false start when merging” scenario.

    First I was a teenager. The car in front of me did a few false starts, and then — I thought — finally took off. I looked over my shoulder for traffic to yield to, saw none, and hit the gas. I hit the car in front of me that had stopped yet again.

    He was towing a boat, and the hood of my dad’s van was dented by the outboard motor. I couldn’t tell if he was damaged. The driver was a middle-aged man and told me to forget about it. Oh, I was probably not insured, either.

    Just one or two weeks ago I was in the other position. I started to make a right turn, and then thought better of it seeing a guy speeding up the road. I hit the break, and got hit by the car behind me. I at least exchanged insurance information with the man who was driving it, but I remembered the positive karma that I got from the other guy when I was half as old, and told him that there would probably be nothing coming of it.

  • avatar

    Two that were my fault, neither serious.

    I’ve been driving for 8 years, and my first at-fault was maybe a month ago. The highway exit to my job is weird – the exit merges right onto the road at about a 15* angle with two lanes. The right lane of the exit has it’s own lane, but the left merges across traffic. Traffic light is a red/green arrow. I was approaching the (GREEN!) light in the left lane. Camry ahead of me starts to go, so I just lightly hit the brakes. Then he decides to stop. I clutch out and slam the brakes, ABS kicks in, I realize I won’t stop in time, swing right, and just barely clip his bumper on the back right. Damage to my BMW: a few paint chips missing on front left bumper. His rear bumper cover is cracked to hell. Lesson here: beware Camry drivers? I was found at fault, but it was apparently minor enough that Progressive didn’t raise my insurance rates (yet anyway, and if they do I’m leaving them.)

    2) minor point of idiocy, but I spun the same car into a ditch one rainy night. Making a 90* right turn, second gear, traction off, and I realize that my ambition was much bigger than my talent. Quite sideways for a minute, then caught traction, overcorrected, right rear tire hit the dirt, slid down into a ditch and into a bush. If it had been dry out I could’ve driven out, but the mud was a no-go. Then again, if it was dry out I wouldn’t have been driving like an idiot. Had AAA tow me out, and except for two small dents (that PDR took care of) it was no worse for the wear. Getting the mud out was fun though. Haven’t done that since.

  • avatar
    bill mcgee

    Other stupid wreck stories: 2001 Allegedly hit a Mazda 929 ( or was it a Millenia ) in the company van on a crowded downtown block .Never saw any of , or heard anything . Drove around the block , noticing the passenger and driver switching seats . Local cop runs out before I circled the block acting like I was leaving the scene ( why did I come back then ? ), The “driver ” of the other car gave him and me so much verbal nonsense he quickly tired of her . As we were leaving he gave me a ticket , saying winkwink nudge nudge “If I were you I’d fight it in court .” As I left I noticed he didn’t sign the ticket . When I went to court neither the cop or the woman showed up and charges were dropped .
    Stupid wreck #2 2003 Waiting to make right turn in my lumbering 300D for some guy in motorcycle with new car tag . No traffic coming , guess he didn’t know how to ride yet as he must have stalled out , slightly denting his fender . He made such a big scene he quickly turned off the local cops who finally told him to ” shut the f*** up and back off .” It helped that I lived in this suburb where the cops never ticketed the locals and they refused to give me a ticket . My insurance paid $1000 to fix his stupid bike though .
    Stupid wreck #3 2004 Parallel parking company van in exact same location as wreck in 2001 insane black woman in several year old Pathfinder rear-ended my van . Dumbass rookie cop rolls up somehow decides it’s my fault- don’t know if it’s because like the crazy lady she’s African-American or she is unbelievably ignorant of traffic laws . Crazy lady claims my backup lights didn’t work which I demonstrated otherwise to the cop and her . Being it was the first wreck she had investigated she called a superior who told her of the local policy to not get involved with accidents involving less than $1000 damage and she split . Gave the crazy lady my insurance info – of course the insurance people told her to forget it and that she was lucky I didn’t sue her . The Econoline was untouched .

  • avatar

    17 years old, 3 girls in bikinis on other side of the street, head turned left, hand on wheel went right. Ate the curb at around 30 MPH. Fortunately nobody was on the sidewalk. Hazard of living at the beach.

  • avatar

    I rear-ended my own motorcycle in a gas station driveway. My girlfriend and I were out for a ride – me on an R65 BMW and her on my FT500. She was generally a confident and decisive driver, but she was new enough to riding that she was still sometimes unexpectedly hesitant. I was lined up several feet behind her waiting to pull onto the street. With both of us looking hard over our left shoulders, she started to roll forward, and then decided that an oncoming car was too close and stopped. I knew there was plenty of time for both of us to pull out, so I was still going while she was stopping. By the time I turned to look forward again, it was just in time to grab the brake and knock a few MPH off. I drilled the rear tire of the Ascot dead on, she tipped over to the right, and I tipped over to the left. No harm, no foul, we both picked up the bikes and continued on.

    Long afterward I realized how lucky I was that were were so perfectly in line. If I’d run up either side instead of hitting the rear tire, she would probably had ended up with some serious leg injuries.

  • avatar

    I was riding my bike (the pedals kind) to work in Germany. The end of my handlebar liberated a parked car of its side mirror.

    That’s all I’ve got.

  • avatar

    blackvue dr400g-hd

    This is how I will defend myself from a 50/50 fault in the future when someone with the same insurance company decideds to rear end me. The camera likes to be buggy operating in hot temps, but other than that it’s well made and easy to use.

  • avatar

    While in college I slammed into the just-opened door of a Chevy 3500 work truck while riding my bicycle on a busy city street. I was wearing a helmet but still passed out for a few minutes after cranking the door back and subsequently slamming into the ground. The driver was kind enough to drag my limp, bleeding body onto the sidewalk where he left me while he went to eat lunch.

    Luckily, a few concerned passersby called 911 and stayed with me until the authorities arrived. Aside from the cuts, a nasty headache, and a few lingering aches I escaped uninjured. The accident was deemed to be partially my fault for riding too fast in the bike lane even though I was well under the 25 mph speed limit. The unconcerned driver was not cited, not even for leaving the scene of an accident. I hope karma kicks his ass someday.

  • avatar

    I have been in three accidents, all of them my fault, as there were actions I could have taken to avoid them. First accident, I was 16, messing with the radio, and rear ended someone at about 5 MPH, this was my only legally at fault accident. The second, a driver turned across traffic into a parking lot just in front of me, and I T-boned him. The parking lot was adjacent to an intersection, the other driver saw a red light for traffic going his way, and assumed that traffic my way was red as well, but his side had a delayed green, and I timed my light, shot through the intersection at speed just as my side turned green. He got the ticket, but still my fault. The final accident, also at an intersection, green light my way, but I heard/saw an ambulance approach, so I stopped, the guy behind me did not. Legally his fault, but I should have looked behind me.

    • 0 avatar

      I think you are too quick to take the blame for the second two. The one with the parking lot and delayed green wasn’t exactly a defensive driving best-practice on your part, but the way you tell the story it sounds like the other driver may have ran a red light.

      As for the ambulance, what else were you supposed to do? Not yield to an emergency vehicle? The driver behind you needs to take note of that same ambulance and be ready to react to it. Not your problem that you were paying attention and he wasn’t.

      I was in a similar situation once that didn’t actually result in an accident, but came very close.I was approaching a four-way intersection, and there was an ambulance racing along the cross street preparing to take a left in front of me. In addition to the ambulance, my light had turned yellow. I was close enough to the intersection at this point that under normal circumstances, it would have made more sense to beat the yellow. With the ambulance about to cross in front of me, I decided to stop. The punk behind me almost didn’t stop in time, and was so pissed he actually started to get out of his car at the next light. That light turned green before he completely left his car, so he just got back in and sped off. I’m not sure what he expected me to do – floor it and t-bone and ambulance?

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