A Photo Essay
At the end of January, 2004, I was rear-ended while waiting at the light on Bangerter and 7000 South by a driver who had fallen asleep at the wheel. The driver fled the scene on foot as his car was badly damaged as well, but he was apprehended. He did not have insurance. My first car lost its trunk, and I lost it. I was unconscious for at least 8 minutes as a result of this collision.
On 12 October, 2005, my dad picked me up from the airport returning from a business trip to Japan. Southbound on Bangerter Highway, we were rear-ended while in motion by a driver trying to pass a third vehicle. The driver made an attempt to make his vehicle fit into the space already occupied by ours, which propelled us across the median. When we came up the other side, a torque moment was created due to the net weight difference between the passenger side and the driver side. We rolled across the northbound lanes, at least three times. Some say it was less, but the first time was when my window broke, the second time was when I looked down out my broken window and saw the asphalt thinking, “If the car keeps rolling I’m going to die!”, and once more to land upright. The position and orientation of the car made it look as though we had merely pulled off the road, but for the car. The other driver fled in his car. They had to use the jaws of life to get my dad out. The mark of the jaws of life? No doors.
My brother was headed to work, driving an ancient (meaning built tough) Suburban in early January 2011. He was heading down the off ramp to a green light. The intersection was clear. He proceeded eastbound into the intersection. The driver of a southbound Ford F-650 failed to stop at the light on Redwood Road. Thus my brother hit the F-650, damaging his Suburban, previously nicknamed “tank” by some. The insurance company wanted to say my brother was at fault, but it was clearly he who had the right-of-way, and the other driver that was cited for running the red light.
In the merry month of May, 2011, my wife was waiting to turn left from a two-lane striped road into our driveway. The driver of an H3 failed to realize there was no room to pass on the right due to a car parked on the side before it was too late. Yet she still tried to pass, but was not successful in the attempt. She was a mere mile or so from home herself, but would reach her destination much later than desired. I had just pulled into the garage myself and was waiting until my wife pulled in to open my car door when the initial report of the damage reached my ears.
A year later my wife was headed to the freeway on ramp, in the right-turn only lane. The light turned red, so she stopped, as required by law. The driver behind her either was intending to get on the next on ramp, which happened to be on the same side of the road, and was in the wrong lane; or she did not realize she also needed to stop. Either way, she hit my wife’s car and fled. A witness provided her license number. Granted this one is not so spectacular, but I like to dot my i’s and cross my t’s.
This year, the day after May Day, my mom was returning home from my brother’s house. She was eastbound on 4700 South east of 4800 West, when the driver of a vehicle on the side of the road decided to swerve out into the lane, probably without checking her blind spot.
June 4th, 2013, I was headed to work and had another adventure in wrecked Honda Civics. Today I heard from the insurance company. They consider it a total loss. I pick up the check in a few minutes; I’ll be purchasing a new car soon.
The common theme in all of these is not that they all happened with me in the vehicle. Not even half of them fit that criteria. Nor is it that they all happened to me or my family—well, they did all happen to us, but that’s not the point. No, the common theme in all these accidents is that they were not our fault. They were the fault of other drivers, but we suffer the brunt of the pain and inconvenience. The next time I get hit, because I’ve already shown that statistically it is more likely that I will git hit given that I have already been hit (if you are a statistician, shh… just let me say it), I would like to not have to see the chiropractor as a result. I would like to not have to repair or replace my car as a result. This is why my next vehicle should be a tank converted into a street-legal armored vehicle. Anyone know where I can get one, legally?