Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Car vs. Guardrail. Guardrail Wins.

We're fine. Just a couple bumps and bruises. That's the important thing. Now the rest of the story.

We were driving back from a visit to NYC tonight, and it was going well. It started raining in western Pennsylvania, but still, it was going pretty well. We got into Ohio and were getting off I-76W and onto I-71S. The leftward curve was fairly sharp. It was rainy. It was wet. The back tires lost traction. The car started to slide and Laura tried to turn into it. Maybe it was a lost cause already at that point, maybe she over-corrected, who knows. Whatever the case, the car suddenly spun clockwise, putting the front left of the car into the guard rail. This added to the spin, bringing the back left of the car into the rail as well. The spin continued until we came to a stop 270 degrees after the rotation started and we were perpendicular to oncoming off-ramp traffic. Luckily, everyone behind us stopped in time and only one person immediately behind us caught a little of the rail herself while trying to avoid hitting us.

Laura was completely freaked and I tried to point her in a direction to get the car off the road so we could calm down and avoid any more trouble. We parked. A lady ran up to see if we were okay and if we wanted her to call the highway patrol through her OnStar system. We declined and said we'd be okay.

The next knock at the window was the girl immediately behind us who also just barely kissed the rail, wanting to see if we were okay and whether we should swap insurance info and such. We did, and at that point I skimmed my cell phone book for the toll free highway patrol number (I programmed it in "just in case" several road trips ago; came in handy today) and reported the accident. The cop showed up about 20 minutes later. We'd swapped info already and the girl behind us stuck around to make sure her side of things was covered.

We surveyed the damage together. Both headlights were out of commission, one not even lighting and being pushed about 3 inches into the front end, and the other lighting properly but pushed at an angle that only lit things off the side of the road. We wouldn't be driving home tonight, regardless of the other damage, which we probably could have driven with on the whole. Also, the remainder of Laura's birthday cake (Happy Bday indeed) was crushed inside the trunk upon impact, unfortunately.

Everything's squared away with the cop, he radioed the tow truck, and luckily my AAA-Plus membership was on hand to trump Laura's basic membership, giving us 100 free miles of towing as opposed to 3. Turns out we had the accident exactly 100.2 miles from home, and the tow guy didn't want to haggle over $0.60 for the extra two-tenths of a mile.

So we're back home, not planning on going anywhere for a while now. She's got to figure out what she wants to/can do with her driving situation. I could drive her to her second job when I get off work during the week, or she's thinking of renting something for a week. We'll see.

In the end, we're home, my car is still fine, the apartment is still fine, and overall we're fine. Nothing a hot shower and a bit of alcohol can't drown out for the night. Just glad to still be here. Cheers, all.

No comments: