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Monday, October 17, 2011

That’s How the Car Accident Goes Squish! Goes the Jetta

What does Lida and a bouncy ball have in common? They both didn't see it coming…Ok, let me elaborate a little:

So last week I had an awesome day: came home from work, went for a run, took a nice shower, went to class. Kevin had the zaiki so I took the Jetta, our commuter car. Traffic was slow and heavy as usual. I’m crawling along the road in the left hand lane, sipping my hot green tea to invigorate me for an intense research session, grooving out to music. All of a sudden I hear a grinding noise, my head slams back and forth and I am being propelled into a car in front of me. Again and again. Bouncy-bouncy..

My brain short circuited and the following thoughts flashed through it:
- oh shit
- I can’t believe this is happening
- this really really really hurts
- this must be what a bouncy ball feels like
And:
- I’m definitely not making it to class tonight
(I know, I know, I expected something more eloquent myself but this is in a span of a second).

Somehow I managed to turn my wheel (I do have cat-like reflexes inherited from a military pilot grandfather who was able to catapult from a burning plane over Korea), got onto a curb, and surveyed the damage. The vehicle that hit me was behind mine with its mug smashed in and airbag deployed. The next few minutes are a blur, except I remember cursing. A lot.

The back of my faithful little car was crushed, it looked like crumpled paper. There was also curious numbness in my head and neck and I contemplated fainting for a second or two. Somehow laying on the side of 287 next to a roadkill deer didn’t seem at all appealing, so I focused on the moment and cursed some more.

Then a very young authoritative trooper came up, license-registration-insurance-sit in your car-are you hurt-what happened-I’ll be back-m’am. By the way, do all State troopers in NJ look like they are 15?

Kevin and the zaiki came to pick me up, drove me home while I cried and shook. My neck still lacks movement and I wasn’t able to run since. Recovery will take awhile, I have a feeling. Muscle relaxants and Naproxene flowed freely over the past week. So did the X-rays. L

I got really really lucky. I did everything right: I had my seat belt on, sitting far enough from the steering wheel, I was stopped a good distance from the car in front of me. If one of the above wasn’t present, I may have been writing this from a hospital bed and/or mumbling through a broken jaw. But even so, I can’t lift my kids, my movement is severely limited and I can’t sleep at night.  

Now we face an unpleasant and difficult task of searching for a new car, stress of dealing with insurance companies and overall uncertain financials due to this unforeseen expense.

This situation makes me angry: because someone else was careless, was not paying attention and should not have been behind a wheel of a heavy SUV on a major highway during rush hour due to their sub par driving skills, my family has to pay the price. Had I mentioned I am angry? I’m not going to comment (yet) on the actions of the other driver, but let’s just say that their reaction reinforced my misanthropic tendencies.

One thing about German das auto engineering: it did das wonderful in protecting the driver (me) as much as possible. The salon was left intact, few cracks in the window and jammed doors. It’s the rest of it that suffered. Oh, and the front symbol from the other car was firmly jammed in what was left of the trunk. We are keeping it as a trophy. HA!

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