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Re: Accident post mortem...

At 02:35 AM 1/11/96 -0500, you wrote:
>Since there appears to be a prurient interest in the details of my accident
>earlier today, here goes: I was the last car in on a four-car pileup. I was
>in the process of preparing to change lanes to go around slowing traffic in
>front (it's a two-lane road and there was a left-side exit just ahead), was
>driving at the posted limit of 45mph and had a 4-5 car cushion ahead.
>I checked my mirrors, then turned my head to look over my shoulder, started
>to ease right (waiting for a fast-closing car to pass) then turned back and
>saw the Toyota Land Cruiser in front of me slew sideways as the rear wheels
>locked up and the tires hazed.  I started to dive to the right but caught a
>glimpse of another car alongside and went for the brake pedal instead ... I
>had maybe 1 to 1-1/2 car lengths left at this point and aimed for the small
>gap between the two cars (attempting to split the lanes) and almost made it
>except for the fact the Land Cruiser got REALLY wide as it went sideways.
>I hit its right rear corner with the driver's side headlight at maybe 30 or
>so and trashed that corner back to the wheel.  As best I could tell looking
>at the car while waiting for the police to arrive, the frame rails were NOT
>bent and the strut tower is only slightly rippled, which it already was due
>to the accident it suffered at the hands of its original owner 6 years ago.
>It'll need a hood, fender, nose panel, bumper cover, radiator and condensor
>and lots of trim pieces ... since it cost $6k to fix similar damage that my
>father inflicted upon my '91 100 earlier this year and book is $4,500 tops,
>I figure it's a total.
>Amazingly, I *didn't* receive a ticket!  The police said I wasn't at fault
>since the LC was "improperly stopped in the road" at the time I hit it.  I
>never heard of this before but I certainly wasn't going to argue about it!
>In the back of my mind, I always figured that I could "drive my way out of
>trouble" in a situation like this thanks to my racing experience but I was
>obviously wrong ... even at 45 mph, you're covering 66 feet per second and
>that works out to about four car lengths.  It's sort of ironic how I tried
>to be cautious (looking over my shoulder instead of relying solely upon my
>mirrors) and ended up being in an accident as a result.  Live and learn...
>BTW, one of the passengers in the Toyota was awfully cute ... I wish I had
>the poor taste to ask for her phone number but my parents brought me up to
>be a gentleman and it just didn't seem like a very good idea at the time!
>     _             _              _
>    / l       l o l  \       l o l  \  _   _ o  _   _   AudiDudi@delphi.com
>   /__l l l / l l l  l l l / l l l /  / l /  l l \ / _  Jeffrey Goggin
>  /   l l_l \_l l l__/ l_l \_l l l  \ \_l \_ l l l \_l  Scottsdale, Arizona


Sorry to hear about your accident. But at least you weren't hurt. And just
think, how noble "she" was to give up her life to save yours..... (apologies
to the females in the group for the typical female-car reference).

Well, regarding your driving prowess. Sounds like you did all that you could
do. And unfortunately, it wasn't enough. Fate got the better of you this time...

I had a similar experience once, but luckily (and VERY luckily) managed to
miss making contact. On a dry, sunny day, I was on Rte. 128 southbound (for
those who know Boston/MA, you know how bad that road is) and was following,
at a safe distance, an elderly woman in an AMC Concord. Well, when the old
"left-lane-screeches-to-a-halt phenomenon" occurred in front of her, she
slammed on the brakes and the back end of her car started doing the TWIST.
Yep, locked 'em up and the the car turned sideways. I was headed toward her,
ready to broadside her at 65 mph!! Talk about a wake-up call!! Very little
time to react. I too, did as you did, checked the mirrors and turned to look
to the right.  I saw a car approaching but had no time for indecision. I
just barely swerved around her, and fortunately, did not hit the car coming
in the next lane. VERY scary... in fact, I think at the moment of my
swerving, I may have closed my eyes for a split second (kinda' thinkin' I
was doomed)!! I only looked back to see if anyone else broadsided her.
Luckily, nobody did. I can remember the look on her face, the poor thing....
she was horror-stricken!!
I think she locked up just like her brakes!!

All the while it was happening, I was anticipating what might happen, but
you hope in those split seconds that it doesn't. I kept saying "C'mon, lady,
take your foot off the brake, take your foot off the brake.....". Mental
telepathy didn't work.

No matter how strong the coffee, none has woken me up on the way to work
like this incident!! YEESH!!

I guess I'm glad that I was following at a safe distance. Just think if I
was tailgating her!! CRUNCH!!

Well, thanks for reading this far.... I guess the moral of the story is:

1. Sometimes, despite how good we can drive or what we do (i.e defensive and
safe driving), we are subject to uncontrollable circumstances....   after
all, they are called ACCIDENTS. As long as we come out unscathed, we are
ahead of the game.

2. KEEP A SAFE DISTANCE, especially as the speed increases!! (Of course,
then you get some jerk that sees an opening, and squeezes in, or flashes to
pass.... ARRGGHH!!!)

Drive Safely... 


                      Jim Griffin

                  Quattro List Info:
                        '92 100S
          Titanium Grey/Black Leather
         A             U       D           I
         ccelerate   ntil    eath is   mminent

    "Perception is often stronger than reality!"
             (my own words of wisdom...)