I had a car accident today.
A few noders may know that I recently purchased a brand-spankin' new Ford Focus SVT. It's fast as stink, and would have eaten my old ITB Toyota Corolla alive. It also has all the amenities, including traction control, a sunroof and heated seats. I didn't know if I wanted them, but three weeks of winter in Ohio has convinced me that heated seats are a righteous indulgence.
I love my new SVT Focus.
Fortunately, I was driving my truck instead, which serves primarily to take me to and from work.
I was running up to Petsmart in search of cat food for my hungry children. It's very cold, but the roads are all clear, and in good condition. Except where I was. Apparently they have a sewer/water main problem at a local intersection because as I entered the braking zone behind a red light I went from good grip to glare ice. I suppose the "Steel Plate Ahead" sign might have been a dead giveaway. At any event, I realized I had less brakes than a hockey puck.
But if you can't stop, sometimes you can steer. Realizing I wasn't going to stop and the light wasn't going to change in time, I steered right and climbed the curb. Ended up sideways against a bush but mission accomplished. Stopped with no contact. I breathed a little sigh of relief. Then I hear this noise to my right. It was a K-Car.
A woman (with children) on her way to the airport chose that moment to enter the same patch of ice as I. I experienced about a millisecond of existential dread before she slid right into the right rear of my truck.
One bent rear fender. I feel a vibration when I drive it, but I can't tell if that's it's a hurt truck, or me just being a bit keyed up.
Police called. Documents searched for. Insurance card missing. Oh yeah, my new insurance cards were sitting on my kitchen counter. Now I'm worried. in Ohio we're supposed to carry the cards and mine was sitting in the kitchen. The police were cool though. I had evaded one accident, while the rather nice woman behind me had not. I guess not making it a three car event gives you some points. The gave me a number to call for a police report.
Lesson number one: Pay closer attention to the appearance of the road surface. In winter, the road can change from nice to evil instantly. I might still have been hit, but would NOT have had to engage in gyrations had I started braking before I hit the ice. Or if I had a place to go driver's left.
All in all, it could have been a lot worse. In the Focus I would NOT have tried to climb the curb. Not with 45 series tires and alloy wheels. Then I'd be grousing about a ticket, and knowing it was really my fault.