Thursday, September 13, 2007

My Little Green Machine

By the beginning 1999, the company I was working for was in its death throes. Every employee knew it. By mid year, we all had our exit options and the financial ramifications of each spelled out. Being in no hurry, and seeing a larger payout if I stayed, I was one of the last employees to leave on 15 November 1999. I had secured a new job with a start date of 29 November.

In February of 2000, I took a chunk of my severance and put a large down payment on my first car, a certified pre-owned forest green 1998 Ford Escort wagon. The whole transaction was conducted online--selected, financed, insured, all of it. It was one of those autocratic decisions on my part, as I didn't (and still don't) have a drivers license. We went down to the dealership to sign the paperwork and pick up the vehicle. I envisioned road trips, vacations, trips to the grocery that didn't require delivery. Ahhhh, freedom.

The first time we dinged her up was during what can only described as a pissing contest between my husband and the driver of an SUV, while jockeying for position in a car-wash line. The car was in our possession for a month. We were all unhurt, but my son saw both of his parents at less than their finest. Since then, a friend riding in the backseat inadvertently opened up the car door into oncoming traffic, my husband misjudged a pickup on 21st Street in Astoria, we were rear ended on the Clearview expressway, and Brian dozed behind the wheel on the BQE. At no time was anyone hurt, but the front driver's side of the car has taken some damage!

My husband can be an impatient driver. He hates getting stuck at a red light when the car in front of him goes just slowly enough to make it through, but he can't. He is also convinced that those who drive larger vehicles hold his in contempt. While he is not reckless per se, he is adamant that he not be taken advantage of on the road. He will NOT cede the right of way unless other drivers are polite or he is in peril. He said that I should have his epitaph read "I was in my lane."

Yesterday, while driving from his job to pick up our son from school, my husband was proceeding through a fairly busy intersection. He crested a hill as the traffic light turned yellow. He still had the right of way. Already in the intersection was a 1978 Cadillac waiting to make a left turn. He was supposed to wait. He didn't. My husband hit the brakes, steered towards the right so as to not hit him head on. The Green Machine driver's side quarter panel, wheel well and tire are severely damaged. Thankfully my husband is fine. The driver of the Cadillac is fine. The Cadillac, aka a TANK, sustained a broken headlight. The drivers exchanged information, the Caddy drive off, our Escort was moved to the curb, where we were written a ticket for not feeding the meter enough.

Since the Caddy violated the right of way, the accident is his fault. His insurance company, Allstate, is in no hurry to settle the claim. In fact, they told Brian they want to settle, to which he responded, sure, for the price of repairing my car. I told him to go file a police report. Not sure there were any witnesses that will be any help. By the time people saw what was going on I am sure the light had changed to red, and people might very well say Brian ran the light.

I saw the car loaded up on a flat bed. From the running lights to the drivers side door, wheel to hood, the car is crunched. I held up traffic taking pictures with my camera phone. Now all I need is the cable to download them. In the meantime, we are without a car for at least a week, if not two. We may even be faced with the prospect of taking any insurance money we get and putting it down for a new car. With a new school year and increased tuition upon us, the last thing we need is a car payment and the higher insurance rates that go with it.



Marty: said...

My husband is a Road Rage Victim waiting to happen. He is 5'8", asthmatic and diabetic, and thinks he can honk at and ride the tail of giant, inked, gang-banger looking people because they cut him off back several miles. Some guy in California, a very scary looking dude in a convertible, pulled up next to us and yelled that Dee was the worst driver he'd ever seen. My little-old-man sickly husband flipped him off!!! Otherwise Dee is wise and controlled, but behind the wheel of a 10-year-old Subaru station wagon he's a demon.

SOUL: said...

that really sucks R. like you don't already have enough to worry about.
hmmmmm.... maybe a down pmt on a newer car tho would be a better option. dunno.
repairs cost almost as much.
good luck though.
good thing the weekend is almost here...sounds like you need it!

eastcoastdweller said...

Ouch -- how awful! Not much is worse than when things go bad for the car.

seagrape said...

so sorry to hear that. good thing no one's hurt in the accident. sending hugs your way :)

The Real Mother Hen said...

And I hate insurance company!
Yeah encourage him to go file a police report. Police may not care since no one is hurt, yet they can't stop you from filing one and getting things straight in black and white.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should place a down payment for a new husband, instead

Rebecca said...

Seagrape, thanks for the hugs :)

RMH, I have suggested he go do this, but doubt he has yet. Now we have the son of the driver of the Caddy calling us. Can't WAIT to find out what this is about!

Anonymous, hey, now!

The World According to Me said...

Hi Rebecca

Really sorry to hear about the accident. But, as annoying and worrying as it is, things could have been a lot worse. That's what I always think when things go wrong!

I hope you have a peaceful weekend.

Maria said...

Ah. Road rage. Bing is the queen of road rage. She is one of the most laid back people I know...until she gets behind the wheel of a car and then if you better not even THINK of messing with her.

And if the truth be told: She is a very bad driver but has been extremely lucky (in my opinion, which she doesn't really want to hear, thanks anyway) and has only been in one accident and that was a fender bender.

I hear you about the insurance. We have two vehicles,one is a 2000 and the other is a 2004. NO WAY will we get new.