So. Tonight I had my very first car collision. I was on my way to meet queenmaab
at Colonie Center to see Black Swan. I was pretty much on time, so I got to the Colonie parking lot and headed to my usual parking area by the Christmas Tree shop. Well, as I'm driving, I notice a car in the far right lane stopped with its turn signal on. I thought that was kind of weird since that was not a turn lane, but they are stopped, so okay...? I keep driving (several cars have passed this person already) and as I'm approaching, she decides she is going to make her turn!! ACROSS A TURN LANE!! WTF?!
I hit my brakes, but because the roads are still slippery from the melted snow, I didn't want to slam them, so I'm slowing down as much as I can and turning to the left to try and at least get along side her and not hit her head on. That sort of worked, I guess? I definitely hear a crunch on impact and I've hit her driver's side door pretty directly. We're totally blocking traffic, but I roll down my passenger side window and get over to that side and ask if she is okay. I've totally shattered her window and there is glass everywhere. She seems shaken, but is on the phone. I call my mother, but she's not answering, but after staring at my phone for a second, I dial 911. I tell the operator that I'm involved in a small car accident in the mall and he connects me to the Colonie Police. I walk to someone there and give them our location and he said he'd be dispatching an officer.
While I'm waiting, I call queenmaab
and let her know what happened and that she probably shouldn't head over to meet me. A mall security guy shows up and tells us we need to move out vehicles as we are blocking the road. The thought did occur to me that I should take pictures of the scene before we move our vehicles, but then I kind of forgot? I wish I had done it, though. Once the cars were moved into the parking area, I did take pictures of the damage to my car, her car, and her license plate.
The police officer showed up and talked to me first. I told him what had happened and he got my information. He also said that he could call AAA for me to have my car towed to Colonie Garage. He then went to talk to the other girl while I called my garage to let them know I'd be having the car towed there. I honestly can't remember what happened next, but I do know that at one point, I heard the officer telling her that there was no way I was behind her and just kept driving when she turned, that from the damage to her car, I would have had to been driving in the oncoming traffic lane. If I was behind her, I would have rear ended her. I'm glad the officer agreed with me and yeah, there was no way there was glass all over the double yellow if I had been in the on coming lane in order to hit her in the side.
Look, I made an animated gif!
So, in the above graphic, you can see there is one on-coming lane and then two other traffic lanes. The first one is a turn lane - I was in that because I was going to make a turn about 30 feet up. I'm the blue box, she's the red box. You can see how what she did was an EFFING PROBLEM.
Anyway. So I also took pictures of the damage to both cars:
You can see the damage to my Jeep is.. not minimal, but not tragic. The lower part of the bumper is bent inwards and my wheel wasn't really able to turn right. Her car got a lot more damage - the door is crushed in, the window's broken, and the side view mirror is also broken. I don't think she was actually able to open the door.
The girl's parents showed up and the next think you know, she's whining to them about how the accident was all my fault and that I was apparently behind her and didn't stop when she made the turn. Her mother is giving me a death glare and walks over to have a look at my vehicle. I try to ask her if her daughter is all right and she just mumbles something and says she only speaks French, no English. Awesome. At some points BOTH parents come to look at my Jeep and the mother is now like cursing me out in French while her daughter is all, "It wasn't me!" The mother then angrily asks me if I saw that her daughter was stopped.
At that point, the only thing I could do was explain in very short sentences, while checking she understood each one, that her daughter was stopped with her turn signal on in the outside lane. There are two lanes going in this same direction - I check to make sure she understands - then I tell her that her daughter was on the outside lane - NOT the turn lane - and that I was driving on the inside turn lane because I was going to be making a turn (WOW!). Now, maybe I just made the assumption, but if someone is stopped - never mind they are in COMPLETELY THE WRONG LANE - but if they are stopped, I kind of make the assumption they are looking especially since the two other cars directly in front of me have driven past her. The mother is still pretty pissed, but the father nodded and it seemed like he understood me at least. It was probably helping that I wasn't screaming and hysterical.
The cop finishes up getting all of our information and we each get copies of an exchange of information form. The accident report won't be ready for a couple of day. The girl's father decides not to get a tow and gets in the car to drive it back to Troy. The officer says AAA would be here, but he had no ETA. I ended up calling queenmaab
to keep me company and drive me home so I didn't have to stand in the freezing cold all night.
While waiting, I did ask the officer what the report was going to reflect and he said that he'd written down her story and my story and at the end he was just going to note that my story made the most sense from the damage on the scene. HAH! Suck it, you stupid cow.
Uh. Anyway. The tow guy showed up and took my car the 3 miles to Colonie Garage. queenmaab
drove me home and then I ended up on the phone for like two hours dealing with my insurance company and the girl's. Liberty Mutual was kind of confusing and not really that helpful, but Allstate was kind of amazingly nice considering I wasn't even their client.
As of now, I have to wait until Friday for either of the insurance companies to evaluated my car for damages before anything can be fixed. I'm hoping my mechanic can at least look at it tomorrow and tell me if it's going to awful to repair. Now that I think of it, I'm not really sure they do body collision repair, but when I called, Mike said that I can bring it in and they would look at it, so I don't know.
In any case, I'm stuck without a car for the next week or two, which is not at all awesome. Buh-bye everything I wanted to be doing!