Saturday, January 06, 2007

Accidents Will Happen*

Yes, it is safe to come out now, as the topic of My Trip To Lapland is practically erased from my memory having been totally eclipsed by events of yesterday and I have something else to talk about.

Thursday evening found me giving my 17 year old son who is about to embark on driving lessons the 'How easily accidents can happen' speech. Friday morning I booked his first lesson. Friday lunchtime I proceeded to demonstrate how easily accidents can happen.

I am driving along a road I know very well indeed chatting to a colleague. It is a straight road - no junctions for several miles in the direction I was headed. It is a 30 mile per hour speed limit and I was keeping to that. It wasn't raining. There is a lorry in front of me. I realise it has slowed right down, but that is OK, I start braking. I realise it has come to a complete halt - I know not why, but I am still not worried as I am aware and I am braking. I should have been worried as my brakes didn't stop as sharpish as I might have hoped and I go into the back of the stationary lorry which as we all know makes the accident completely and utterly My Fault. The lorry drives off into the sunset, completely oblivious to what has just occurred. I drive into the nearest lay by and survey the damage - which is extensive -and says in the clearest possible terms to me 'Jane, you stupid cow. You have just written this car off.'

Age of car + mileage + damage = write off. And when I called about my insurance, a man all the way away in a call centre in Scotland agreed it was a write off by the time I was halfway through describing the damage done to my poor car.

I knew that having done 180,000 plus miles the car could go at anytime, however, having spent nearly £400 I couldn't afford on a new exhaust and catalytic converter in December, but at the time being advised it should then last me for another year, I really could have done without writing the car off four weeks later.

So yesterday I saw the bank, rearranged various loans, and the upshot is I borrowed enough to buy a Y Reg Astra from my village garage. I should get it next Tuesday, and for the first time ever I will have a CD player in my car so I am quite excited about that.

I keep trying to explain to people how I felt when I saw what I had done. It was very strange. I didn't go to pieces or anything like that. I stayed quite calm and didn't shout at myself much as I deserved being shouted at. I think I was just kind of instantly resigned to the fact I had done something very stupid that could not be undone; I had no one to blame but myself (I hate it when that happens don't you?!); I had to sort out a new car as I can't do without one; and obviously number one feeling - overwhelming relief that no one had been hurt.

Oh sod it!

* Elvis Costello (with apologies for blatant rip off of Reidski's blog.)


Spunky Trunks said...

Glad you're ok JJ.

Crashing a car is a weird experience.

It's great having a CD though eh?

Lisa Rullsenberg said...

Am sure there must be cheaper, easier and far less terrifying ways to acquire a CD player in a car. Just pleased you are alright!!!!!!!!

arthur clewley said...

I think I remember that sinking ' oh fuck, now why did I do that?' feeling JJ. Glad to hear you came out of it rather better than the car.

Anxious said...

Shame you've got a new car already as I've just put mine up for sale! It's got a CD player too! ;)

Glad you're being philosophical about it. It's the only way to be - at least you weren't hurt.

Foilwoman said...

Well, if the brakes weren't working well, thank heavens you found out in an accident in which you were not hurt and in which the car was a write-off, enabling you to (I hope) purchase a vehicle with the fine feature of fully functional brakes. Glad you're ok.

JoeinVegas said...

Yes, as with Lisa, there are easier ways to get cd players.

Elle said...

Glad you are OK. And statistically you will be safe for the next couple of years. But this comes from someone who had three car crashes in 2 years (none my fault I hasten to add!) so statistics are rubbish anyway.

I hope you're not going to act out on every 'How not to ... '-speech you are giving your children....

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Thank heavens you're safe and it will now be so nice to drive around in a more modern car. You can also slap L plates on it for your son's extra driving lessons with mummy. Hold on tight!

J.J said...

Spunky, thank you - and yes, it is a surreal experience.

Lisa, the CD is my attempt at finding a silver lining - but you are quite right, there must be better ways to obtain one!

Arthur, that perfectly sums up the feeling when one does something realy stupid.

Anxious - curses! Hope you get a quick sale anyway.

Foilwoman, yes, you are quite right. Although I could have well done with out this, on reflection if the brakes weren't as good as they should have been I have possibly been lucky.

Joe - absolutely - and it wasn't as if I didn't have a perfectly good functioning radio!

Elle, thank you...but oh dear about your various accidents. Apart from anything else it is so bloody inconvenient when cars have to be fixed and insurance claims made. I will bare in mind what you said about demonstrations to the kids of 'what not to do!'

YP - driving lessons??? Oh god - I dead those!

J.J said...

DREAD! (Not dead!) A typo I could well have done without!

Moo said...

JJ, glad you are ok too!! I am going to be driving up to Staffordshire next week, very scared seeing as I havent driven a car since I passed my test in September! At least it will be a hire car and not my own, I suppose!!

J.J said...

Moo - my stronge advice to you would be to keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front! Safe journey dear.