I have been involved in four accidents that I can think of off the top of my head that have one thing in common. No one was in the car at the time.
The first one was a doozy. In a previous job that was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, I had a Chevy Lumina. Perfect car for a single mom with three kids.
I was in an important meeting, and was a low person on the totem pole in this meeting and didn’t want to come across as an idiot. My position was Assistant Program Director of Residential Services, which sounds a lot more important than it was and there were like six of us. But it did mean that I had to approve of, and be informed of, a ridiculous amount of things.
The secretary at the corporate office knocked on the conference room door and called me out of the meeting at least three times. I finally said to her “DON’T INTERRUPT AGAIN UNLESS THE POLICE ARE HERE.” About five minutes later, she knocked on the door again and called me outside. I started to voice my annoyance and she cut me off and said “The police are really here.”
Police: Your car was involved in a major accident.
Police: It is totaled and cannot be driven.
Me: But I’m in a meeting, not in the car.
While parked at the curb (and I’m a good driver), an 18-wheeler driven by a not very good driver, missed the turn and slammed into my car, shattering the windows and smashing in the side of the car. Crazy.
The other three accidents occurred in the last month and a half and were also crazy but not as serious.
- We have assigned parking spaces at work. They are on the small size. I was parked in the middle of my space and inside school. Not in the car. The person parked on one side of my car sideswiped me. Down the entire length of my car. Drive-able, but still. In her defense, she had a big car which also had a lot of damage. She now has a new SUV which is much smaller.
- The day after the work incident, my husband got off the train in which he commutes to work, walked to his car, and saw that the front of his car had been smashed. I’m not good at describing cars, but someone had obviously backed into his car. Fast. This person is proof that there are honest people left in the world because he left his name and phone number on the windshield.
- As I was on my genealogy hunt last week, I had a very frustrating day that ended up being fairly fruitful. I left a Town Clerk’s office feeling proud of myself and saw something in the road near my car. I picked it up so that I wouldn’t run over it, and saw it was a side mirror. Then I realized it was the exact same color as my car. I looked over and sure enough, probably a small truck knocked the driver mirror off. I drove over the Tappan Zee Bridge (a nightmare on the best of days) petrified because I use my mirrors for everything and I was afraid to change lanes.
Caveat: I have been involved in other fairly minor accidents. None have been considered my fault to the police or insurance company. Several deer have received citations, however. And I don’t mean to minimize accidents which have caused catastrophic tragedies for families.
Conclusion drawn? Parking your car and not being in it is a dangerous activity.
Parked under the influence of emptiness.