Car accident


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I was driving home from lunch, and I managed to smash into a guy in an intersection. I have no idea how it happened – I thought I had a green light, but as I hit the guy and we spun, I looked up and saw a green light facing his direction. I wasn’t distracted in any conventional way – my cell phone was in my pocket, I wasn’t reprogramming my GPS or anything else. I just didn’t see the light.

The car is a mess. I had to really body check the door to get it open, and it looked like both the gas engine and the hybrid synergy drive box were knocked off their normal mounts. I don’t think the front wheels would turn. I don’t know if the car will be totalled, but I wouldn’t be surprised. They hauled it off in a flat bed.

The other guy’s car looks ok. It’s a Jeep Cherokee, and I hit the door behind the driver. Afterwards, that door opens and closes fine and the electric windows go up and down. So unless I bent his frame, he’ll be ok.

The worst thing is that it has badly shaken my confidence. How could I have not seen the light? There is another light about a hundred metres south of that one that I went through just fine. I have no recollection of thinking of something else, or looking elsewhere. I just blanked. And while nobody is hurt, I’m just glad I didn’t do something like that when I was flying.

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6 Responses to Car accident

  1. Frank Ch. Eigler says:

    Yikes. For better or for worse though, blanking out in flight for a few seconds doesn’t get you materially nearer anything else.

  2. Paul Tomblin says:

    Frank, unless you’re landing or in the clouds. One of the reasons I gave up IFR flying was a time when a moment of inattention put me in 60 degree bank.

    • Frank Ch. Eigler says:

      “One of the reasons I gave up IFR flying was a time when a moment of inattention put me in 60 degree bank.”

      And yet, a momentary 60 degree bank is not critical – and not unheard of for bumpy air in a light aircraft – except as you say during landing.

  3. Jack says:

    I hit an invisible car once. Like you, just went right into the side of it as he continued through an uncontrolled T-intersection.

    It was stunning to have not seen an entire car in broad daylight, and although I was in an unfamiliar area, it was still a very straightforward bit of driving which I failed to negotiate.

    Best of luck with the resolution.

    -Jack
    (who’s had thirteen or so years of good driving since then…)

  4. mari silverstein says:

    So scary. I’m relieved you’re all right. And I totally understand how this would shake you up. I’d feel the same way.

  5. gordon says:

    Well, at least you’re ok and it’s just a car that’s hurting. I wouldn’t let this get into your head. I’m sure that everyone at one point or another while driving has zoned out, but it definitely can shake one’s confidence.

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