Yesterday evening, about 7:30, I was driving home from a weekend show that was full of rain, cloudy days, lots of mud, and not many buying customers. Needless to say I was not in my usual happy-go-lucky state of mind, but I was trying to work through my frustrations and move on. As is my habit when driving on a long stretch of highway, I put my truck on cruise control, turn on some music, and relax.
Suddenly there appeared behind me a vehicle going at least 15 miles per hour faster than I, with no apparent awareness that I was even there. At the last nanosecond, the driver decided that he should go around me on the right. Unfortunately, his decision came about two nanoseconds too late. Yes, he hit me with a glancing blow to my back bumper.
There is not a great deal of damage to my truck, even though the back bumper will have to be replaced. And, thankfully, I was not injured. So, the whole incident could have been a lot worse. At the time, however, I was not considering how fortunate I was.
Now for the good part. As we pulled off the busy highway, this twenty-something lad got out of his vehicle and said, “Sorry, man, I didn’t see you. I was talking to my woman.” Yes folks, that is a direct quote. I looked toward his vehicle in total disbelief to discover that his “woman” was actually another twenty-something, or maybe less.
Obviously, I made a few choice comments summarizing the fact that if he is going to drive 15 miles over the speed limit, he really should pay close attention to where he is going, and what vehicles are around him. I don’t think I said it that nicely, but I won’t go into the exact words right now.
It gets better. When he got out of his vehicle, he had in his hand what I hoped was current liability insurance information. I was wrong. He handed me a piece of paper that indicated insurance that had expired almost a year ago, but said he was sure his father had the correct insurance information. He gave me his father’s phone number.
Meanwhile, due to the “squirley” nature of the situation, I began to collect all the information I could – license plate number, make of vehicle, driver’s license number, etc. As I perused the names I was given, it became apparent that the father’s last name and the “boy’s” last name were not the same.
I then got back into my truck to call his father for the insurance information. Not only was the insurance expired, the father told me that he had switched insurance companies, and he would have to call me back in about 45 minutes with the current information, but assured me that everything would be covered. The delay was due to the fact that his wife was gone in the Mercedes where the insurance information was kept. Oh, this was just getting better and better.
I decided, at that point, I might need some legal proof of this accident, so I called 911 and requested a police officer. Before the police arrived, the “boy” informed me he had to be somewhere in 20 minutes. I said, “You can’t leave, the cops are on the way to verify this accident.” He informed me his father had told him he didn’t have to talk to anyone else. I said, “If you leave, I will send the cops after you.” He left, saying, “Sorry, buddy, I gotta go.”
But here is the best part. When the police arrived minutes later, I gave them all the information I had gathered, with the expectation that they would pursue him and punish him for being stupid. The officer said to me, “Accidents happen all the time. It’s not like he was purposely trying to kill you.” Yes folks, another direct quote.
And that is what is wrong with our system. No punishment. This kid broke the law on several levels, and was able to drive off without any consequences, and I am left to deal with insurance claims and repair work, having committed no offense whatsoever. Father never called me back, and will not return my calls. Luckily, he divulged the current insurer, and I have been able to establish a claim for repairs, but that doesn’t seem to abate my anger.
It’s a good thing I believe in karma.
Been there done that. The guy that hit us was drunk. The police cover it up except my mother in-law worked for the state in the accident department. The report came across her desk. So Karma
Smile and say “cheese”
I would sic my mother-in-law on him, but one item I did not get was his address. Guess I’ll just have to trust karma. Thanks for the comment.
So glad you are OK and hope the insurance settlement works out. Seems like everyone is in such a hurry and there are way too many distractions and it seems to me that people should be made accountable for their actions! I have experienced and seen many near misses!
Actually it looks as if the insurance claim may not go through. Seems like the kid was not an insured driver of that vehicle. The story just keeps getting better. Thanks for the comment.
My adult son got hit by a driver in a car who was rushing to pull into a parking place and allegedly did not see him. Her car insurance had a limit of $15,000, which is way below what the cost of his medical care has been (even after his health insurance benefits), much less the cost of lost wages, pain and suffering, and the repair of his bicycle,which was close to totaled. But because she doesn’t have much in the way of money, my son is SOL because$15k is all her insurance company is responsible for. I agree, there is something wrong with our system. Oh, she did get a misdemeanor citation for almost killing our son.
Unfortunately, this kid got no citation. I doubt that his father even chastised him, since the old man seems to be protecting him. Sometimes life is just not fair. Thanks for the comment.
I guess you still haven’t heard back from the father, huh?
No, I haven’t and really don’t expect to.
This is one of your best because I think every reader has a “Road” story. Having put over a quarter million miles on my present twelve year old van, I have many which also make me believe in karma. Driving home through Pennsylvania a guy with a boat on his car, pulling a trailer with a motorcycle on it and loaded with his wife and three children passed me at least twenty over the limit. It was but a few miles down the road he was pulled over by a state cruiser. I smiled as I went by. Shortly thereafter I crossed into Ohio and not long afterwards the same guy passed me again in the same manner. You guessed it. It wasn’t but a few more miles and there he was pulled over by an Ohio state cruiser. Now when I passed him a second time it was quite awhile before I could stop laughing. Hello karma. Whether good or bad, there will always be a reward. You choose.
Some people just keep pushing the limits, because they continue to get away with it. I wish I could witness the karma payback, but that is not always the case. I want him to suffer, and I want to know about the suffering. I want to laugh and enjoy. Thanks for the comment.
I so relate to your last sentence in your reply to the comment above. It is such a human reaction and one I have felt many times; and I’m impressed that you not only felt it, but openly stated so. In both your post and that last sentence you expressed the frustration so many of us feel when caught in unfair situations. I tell myself that a person as selfish and self-centered as the young man you describe, one whose parents have always covered-up for and denied his wrong doing, will never have solid relationships and the gratification of a job well done or of doing the right thing; in other words, he is not and will not be a happy, fulfilled person. Daddy can’t fix unhappy.
As it turns out, the boy was excluded from the insurance, which means that his father’s insurance is not going to pay. Now, he is obviously trying to get my liability insurance to pay for the damage to his vehicle, as he has completely changed his story to an out-right lie, saying that it was my fault for pulling into his lane. He stated that I was weaving in and out of traffic. Luckily my insurance representative said they generally side with their insured. Since I was the only one to call the police, and I was the only one to ask for insurance information at the time, and I was the one who stayed on the scene until the police arrived, I think it is a simple thing to assess who was guilty. The saga continues.
Keep us informed; I’d like to know how it works out.