Monday, September 26, 2011

On vehicles, and the value of Paying Attention

So, on the way to the USPSA match yesterday and going to pick up my friend Rob for his first match, I was minding my own business. Stopped at a red light with a car to my front, a car (A Kia Sportage) to my rear and a Police car ahead in the left lane with a car behind it.

The light turns green. The officer floors it, and the car behind her proceeds in her wake. The car ahead of me pauses, considers and takes its sweet time deciding to move, and then finally begins to roll forward. I take my foot off the brake, and I'm about to hit the gas and


The whole RAV4 jumps forward and I'm pressed against my seat belt from the impact.

The lady driving the Kia Sportage decided not to wait for the traffic in front of her to move.

This, I think, is about to suck.

So we pull over and I indicate we should get off the main road so we make the turn rather than going through as planned.

Flashing lights then appear. The officer actually heard the bang and came back. So we all pull into a parking lot and get out to inspect the damage.

Amazingly, it seems by RAV4 is unmarked.

It appears Mrs. Kia rammed into my tire cover on the rear of the car. The tire cover must have flexed to avoid cracking or denting, and once I get a car wash we'll see if there are any scratches. Both the flexing and the dirt likely acted as a buffer to the impact. I had figured on massive damage given the sound and the feeling but there is nothing really visible at first glance.

Her Kia however looks quite the worse for wear - the plastic grill is badly cracked and the hood has a nice fold in it. Did I mention she's got plently of prior dents in the vehicle from what look like plentiful prior accidents?

So she tells the officer the following story:

She's on her way to church and saw the light turn green, then looked down and reached down to get something while hitting the gas.

She also mentions she's originally from Chicago and couldn't believe the guy in front of me didn't hurry up and go when the light turned green.

Brilliant. This kind of driving attitude and attention to detail could explain a lot of the pre-existing damage on her car.

So we all hand over our licenses, registration, insurance and I produced my CPL as required, no big deal.

The lady begins to claim she can't find her license or insurance or registration.

Another police car shows up and the officers confer.

After awhile, losing all the time advantage of leaving early for the match, the second officer comes up, hands me my paperwork and a copy of the accident receipt in case I need to pull the accident report and says I'm free to go.

She gets to stick around a while longer.

So the score is now RAV4 - 1 Kia Sportage - 0, with an own-goal no less.


Scott said...

You should consult with a reputable body shop or the dealer to see what the chances are of hidden damage (like popped connectors or broken or damaged wires).

I had a rear-ender 2 summers ago that was much like yours - I expected much more damage than was apparent. The body shop folks noticed some mis-alignments of the trunk lid that my laymans eye didn't notice that indicated there might be more damage than was apparent. It's worth it to at least have it inspected.

At least your driver stuck around. Mine left the scene. And got away with it because I couldn't identify her nine months later when her trial came up.

Murphy's Law said...


But seriously, what Scott said. Glad you're ok.

Oh--and you got rear-ended and didn't immediately start yelling about your neck and back? What kind of a lawyer are you, anyway?

WV: Doxin. One of those long little dogs.

Anonymous said...

Uh, gee, isn't your neck getting sore? If you know what I mean...

Aaron said...

Nope, so far no personal injury from the impact. I was shaken but not stirred.

What can I say, I'm one of the 10% of lawyers that the other 90% are giving a bad name :-).

I will follow your good advice and have a body shop give it a look-over.