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Crashing and learning

At least I know to find a new route to work after wrecking my car

I had my first head-on collision last week. We don’t need to do that again.

The intersection has a sign that warns: High Accident Intersection. I think they need to change the sign to read: Warning, you are about to crash.

It must have been a slow news day, too, because the accident made it into the local newspaper. The story started out: No injuries were reported. ... A better lead might have been: Nothing newsworthy happened, but we’re going to tell you about it, anyway.

The worst part about being in the newspaper is that they used my real name. I don’t go by that name. I got to work and a copy of the article was taped to my office door. Now, everyone at the office knows who I really am. So much for witness protection.

The car was pretty banged up. The front bumper is destroyed and the radiator broke, so I had to have it towed. Apparently, this should upset me, but I’m not nearly as emotionally attached to my car as a lot of people. I like my car, but there are lots of them out there. The car can be fixed or replaced. I’m more annoyed than anything; I hate having to deal with insurance companies.

The other guy was ticketed. I had a green light when he tried to turn in front of me. I understand that it’s difficult to see oncoming traffic at that intersection, but he was at fault. But the insurance lady says she’ll review my claim and then decide whether they will cover it.

I know they have to do their due diligence, but I think there is a better way to communicate. They make it sound like they’re the decider .As far as I’m concerned, liability was decided when the guy crashed his car into mine. They should say something like, “I’m sure there won’t be any problems with the claim, but we do need to review the paperwork before we can pay out on it.”

This same car has been hit twice before but it was stopped both times. The last one was while I was stopped at a red light. The first time, I wasn’t even in the car. It was parked at a gas station. That insurance guy really rankled me. He made it sound like the claim was always in question — like he would be doing me a favor if he approved the repairs.

I wasn’t asking for anything extra. My car was only a few months old when his insured slammed into it. All I wanted was for the car to be fixed.

I think this car is cursed, anyway. I’ll soon have more in repairs than what the car cost.

This was really my first moving accident unless you count the time when I lost control of my dad’s car and took out the bushes in front of the Tuscola cemetery. What bushes, you ask? Exactly. They’re not there, anymore.

Even the time I hit a deer wasn’t really a moving accident. I braked enough that the deer passed in front of me. I was a little shaken up, though, so I completed my stop to take a deep breath. That’s when the deer turned around and ran into the side of my car. They are not the brightest animals.

There was another time when I almost hit three deer on Rt. 45 between Arcola and Mattoon. I was picking my sister up from the train station in Mattoon in the middle of the night. I saw what I thought were roadside reflectors moving across the highway. I thought I was hallucinating, so I started to slow down. When I saw that they were deer, I laid on my horn and stood on my brakes. When that didn’t move them, I stood on the horn and laid on the brakes.

I was trying to tell them to run, but they apparently thought that I wanted them to stop. They just stood there staring at me for what seemed like a long time. It was so long that the thought popped into my head that I could get out and pet them. The thought that it’s not a good idea to try to pet wild animals did not pop into my head. See, I’m not the brightest animal, either.

I was fascinated by them, so I opened the door. The click of the door broke them out of their trance and they took off running.

I guess there was one other moving accident. That’s when I was doing donuts on ice in my sister’s car and took out a street sign. Fortunately, there was already a dent in the car where I hit the sign and nobody noticed it for six months. By then, I had plausible deniability. That was over 30 years ago, so I’m hoping the parental statute of limitations has expired.

Anyway, I’m OK; thanks for asking. But from now on, I’m taking a different route to work.

© Copyright 2013 by David Porter who can be reached at All rights reserved and fully insured.

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