Yesterday morning when I was driving along a country road, a car appeared sideways from round a bend – the back end overtaking the front end as it drifted across my side of the road. I swerved to the other side of the road to try to get round it but there wasn’t enough room and the rear end caught my front nearside wing and wheel. Crunch. The other car drifted along gracefully for some distance, thankfully losing momentum, so that it finally settled into the grassy roadside rather than hitting it with a bump and landing upside down in the ditch. For the driver and his passenger, it must have seemed like an eternity before it came to rest.
Someone who saw it happen stopped to check that everyone was okay; delivered gratuitous male banter to the other driver, “You lost it there mate, didn’t you, ha-ha,” then went on his way. We then set about getting the cars off the road so as not to cause another accident, and exchanged details.
I phoned work and told them what had happened and that I would be ’working from home’, and everyone I spoke to asked if there were any witnesses. Yes, someone stopped. “Did you get his name and address?” No. The driver who skidded was a really nice guy. Ashen faced, he had taken a brush from his car and swept all the debris off the road, and given me a card with all his details on. “Did you take photos of the scene?” No. Our priority was to get the cars off the road and into nearby clearing as they were a potential hazard.
I knew they all thought I was daft, but sure enough, yesterday evening I had a call from the guy’s insurance company who said he had reported the incident and accepted full liability. So there! He’d probably gone and done his day’s work before going home and reporting it. I wish it didn’t have to be anyone’s ‘fault’. None of us really want to be driving on black ice in the weak early morning light – it’s just that we have to keep our hamster wheels turning.
Today I am ‘working from home’ again and will be collecting a hire car this afternoon that I will use until my car is fixed – but how silly is this: The car rental firm is coming to collect me to take me back to their office to complete the paperwork so that I can bring the car back here. Bearing in mind that the main road into the village is closed again due to flooding and we will have to go all around the Wrekin, why can’t they just deliver the car here and complete the paperwork on the kitchen table, saving everybody’s time and thirty-odd miles of fuel? No wonder all our insurance premiums are so high.
I really don’t like driving in this weather. I am glad you were all ok and nobody was hurt. As for the hire-car debacle, what a palava!!
Thanks Jo. Yes, the main thing is no-one was hurt – and you keep thinking “What if?” Amazing how many phone calls the incident has generated too. Just had a call to say the hire car people are on their way!
First of all, I’m glad you’re OK. That could have been a lot worse. I’ve seen, and been involved in, a few crashes (both car AND motorbike) and I know how easily these things can go bad.
I know why the people at work were worried that you didn’t get witness details, photographs etc. because some people are unscrupulous and will try and get out of these things. But your faith in humanity has been rewarded this time. I would say though, for the future, keep a pen, pad, and disposable camera in the glove box. That way, if you are unlucky enough to have another collision (which I obviously sincerely hope you don’t) then you can document everything. I know it’s hard to think straight when something like this has happened (again, far too much personal experience) but it’s something worth remembering. Great post again 🙂
Thanks Simon – I will take note! I do hope it doesn’t become a habit. You know, I really hate motorbikes and hate to think of you being involved in crashes on them. I know many of them are down to car drivers not seeing the bike but I get really uneasy when they perch on your off-rear wing, getting ready to overtake.
I actually did think about asking the witness for his contact details, and I know this sounds daft, but I didn’t like to ask in front of the other guy.
Thank goodness you were all okay! I love the calm, well paced telling of the anything but calm and well paced event. Although it does sound as though it was about as calm as those things ever can be. I’ve never driven, but can imagine how scary it must be to loose control of a 2 ton lump of metal on wheels travelling at 40mph. Not surprised the guy was ashen faced. You must have been a bit shaken up too, right?
Hope it all gets sorted without too much fuss. Stay safe, Jules!
Aw, thanks Dean x
Yes, you keep replaying these things in your mind – I bet you’ve had a few scary moments on motorbikes.
I still haven’t heard whether or not the car is to be written off or repaired.
As for my rant about the car hire place, I am used to seeing cars delivered and collected on the back of a trailer at the site where I work – but when I saw the town centre premises of this car hire firm I could see they didn’t have the space for that.
Meanwhile our new home internet service isn’t working so most of the weekend was spent (unsuccessfully) trying to get connected – and many sites are blocked here at work – but we hope to be back soon!