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Had A Rough Friday Last Week

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Critias

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« on: (12:42:57/03-01-13) »
My daily commute out to campus, on the days I lecture, is about an hour along Texas highway 67, as straight and flat as only Texas can make such a highway.  The speed limit is 65 or 70 the whole way, but it's criss-crossed with all kinds of little farm-to-market roads, and sometimes just the occasional long lonely driveway from someone's ranch or a budding construction site.

A week ago, a big Dodge work truck, hauling a trailer, blew through a stop sign and pulled out right in front of me, while I was driving Mrs. Crit's little Ford Fiesta.  It's a narrow little two-lane road, there was nowhere I could go to miss him (I tried), and while I missed the TRUCK, I couldn't quite miss the trailer, too.  I smashed headlong into him, braking as hard as I could but still moving damned fast.



My car didn't make it.  By kind of a lot, my car didn't make it.  In these first few pics, I can't get over how the metal is shredded (where one headlight is hanging out like Johnny Five's robot-eye or something).  Not crumbled, but physically torn. 



If it weren't for these airbags, Bull or Jason or someone would probably have made an [RIP] thread for me by now.  I like to think I'd rate a respectful forward in the Shadowrun Returns Anthology or maybe SR5's core book, as my last published work, but...well...I'm glad that's not the case.





I hit so hard, and the car crumpled like it's supposed to, that the back of my car got torn up.  Panels were falling off, the rear windshield was destroyed, and in some strange quirk of physics a book that had been sitting in the back seat flew out (while the car was spinning), and managed to land exactly under the rear wheels by the time the car stopped spinning and sliding, off to one side of the road.

This pic shows how far pieces of the car went flying from the collision.  Like, full-on, major, body-panel parts that were just torn off and flying around.  The road next to the car at like 12:00-6:00 is the road the truck was pulling across, the road going sort of diagonally across is the road I was driving on (going left to right, despite the car now facing mostly right to left).


So, anyways.  I'm mostly in one piece.  My hands got all beat up and some friction/chemical burns from the airbags deploying.  I've got a bunch of abrasions and contusions especially on my left hand, and maybe a hairline fracture in my thumb.  Typing full speed right now kind of sucks (which is a big deal to me).

I could have, and maybe should have, been a whole lot worse off.  The state trooper that inspected the sight asked who pulled me out of the car, because he couldn't believe I'd just opened the door and got out (I commenced to cussing out the driver of the truck that did this to me, but the trooper totally understood that part) on my own.  The wrecker that came to scrape my car up onto his flatbed had trouble finding solid pieces of frame to hook up his chains to, because the engine was falling out the bottom in pieces, and because so much was broken down there.  I'm...really lucky.  The Ford Motor Company is getting a letter and some pics from me, thanking them for making a car that will break so that my body doesn't.

I'm having a few issues with my daily drive (in an insurance-paid-for rental car right now), mostly because that exact sort of big white work pick-up is like 10% of the cars I see on the road, and because there's so many little side roads with stop signs and stuff.  So in addition to driving right past this very spot, I've got all kinds of very similar spots for my whole commute, and I kind of tense up at each of them.  It's rough.  I'm not in the best head-space at the moment where that's concerned, and the current suspicion with a few trained professionals is that I've managed to get full-on PTSD from it.  So, yeah.  That's not great news.

But anyways!  I just figured I'd post this, to try and remind people that unlicensed drivers are out there.  Cars bigger than yours are out there.  Terrible, awful, unsafe drivers are out there.  Be careful everyone, and be safe everyone.  Make sure you've got decent insurance, everyone.  Hug your wives and kiddos and stuff, everyone.  You never know what your daily commute might turn into, so tell folks you love 'em and appreciate 'em, everyone.

If I happen to be a little snippy or impatient in my posts, or if I just post less than usual for a little while, I hope everyone understands and doesn't hold it against me too much.  We're not dealing with the fallout of all this (with adjunct faculty and freelance writer pay), and I'm not sleeping too great and...anyways...mostly, just be careful on the road, folks.

I'm having a rough week, but it's good to still be here.  Never let anyone tell you a high Edge score isn't a good investment.

Patrick Goodman

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« Reply #1 on: (13:17:50/03-01-13) »
You and I have already talked about this, but for the record, I'm glad things came out like they did.
Former Shadowrun Errata Coordinator

CanRay

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« Reply #2 on: (17:32:52/03-01-13) »
So...  Ram Plate for your next whip, huh?  ;D
Si vis pacem, para bellum

farothel

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« Reply #3 on: (03:34:32/03-02-13) »
I sit in traffic jams every day and I see cars in the state of yours on a weekly basis.  I even lost a kidney back when I was 4 years old due to a car accident (I wasn't driving then of course  :) ) where the other driver was going about 1.5 times the speed limit.  I know there's a lot of drivers out there who could only have gotten their driving licence by offering 'services of an intimate nature' to the examinator.

Take care of yourself.  It might take some time, but you will get over your fears and enjoy your drive like you used to.
"Magic can turn a frog into a prince. Science can turn a frog into a Ph.D. and you still have the frog you started with." Terry Pratchett
"I will not yield to evil, unless she's cute"

CanRay

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« Reply #4 on: (15:47:40/03-02-13) »
Dad (no, the dead one, the one I got into an RPG) was a truck driver for a few decades.  The stories he told were bad enough, the ones he didn't...  ...  ...  Well, he knew better than to tell us.
Si vis pacem, para bellum

Comrade Wolf

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« Reply #5 on: (17:49:08/03-02-13) »
Christ up a tree, man. I'm just a random forum lurker, but I'm a fan of your work, so count me as one more who's glad you walked away more or less alright.

 I work on am ambulance, and I've got to say, modern automotive engineering is an incredible thing. We see a surprising number of crashes like this, where looking at the wreckage you'd think anyone inside would be cat meat, but everyone gets off with no more than a few scrapes. And I'm not an expert, but as far as I know, we essentially never see fatalities as long as the driver was sober and everyone was wearing a seatbelt. It may or may not make you feel any better, but your walking away from this accident wasn't a fluke, and I bet if one of those dumbass truck drivers pulls out in front of your rental car you'll walk away clean again.

Method

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« Reply #6 on: (00:17:33/03-03-13) »
Glad to hear you're okay, Crit.

Something similar happened to my wife about a year ago. We were very lucky that she wasn't badly hurt.  But we did get to.meet our second kid a little earlier than expected...

At any rate, hope you are doing better. And I hope the requisit car insurance bullshit isn't too painful.


Mara

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« Reply #7 on: (01:35:00/03-03-13) »
Critias, glad you made it through physically OK. I was in a bad accident like that years ago, and I still get jumpy when
someone else is driving and not slowing down when the vehicle in front is slowing/stopping. And, yes, if not for the airbags,
I would probably not be here, either. Airbags may cause a number of injuries, but they also save alot of lives. I would rather
have a broken arm then a broken skull or neck anyday.

$/@mm-0!

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« Reply #8 on: (12:34:26/03-03-13) »
Glad your alright, yay for edge.
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The_Gun_Nut

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« Reply #9 on: (15:20:33/03-03-13) »
Congrats on walking away, Crit.  Some don't make it even with all the safety features.

As an odd sidebar, was there anything sitting in the passenger seat next to you?  Pile of books, papers or a laptop?  Odd thing about impacts, with a mass in the passenger seat, both driver and passenger are less likely to be injured.
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Xzylvador

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« Reply #10 on: (18:02:51/03-03-13) »
Wow, glad you're okay man! That looks like it could've ended a whole lot worse.

Wolfboy

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« Reply #11 on: (19:33:34/03-03-13) »
I'll add my vote to being glad your alright, I've seen some nasty ones out there around DFW, and worse when it snows or hails. The worst part is that the drek head driving the truck probably seriously considered not even stopping. Its really bad out there sometimes.
May god grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, to change the things I can, and the firepower to make the difference.

Suicide is never the answer, now homicide on the other hand, that has posibilities.

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Snake Eyes

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« Reply #12 on: (17:56:34/03-05-13) »
Wow, that is a serious wreck, glad to see you're ok......
Knowledge is power, guard it well.

Critias

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« Reply #13 on: (10:49:42/03-08-13) »
The comments are appreciated, everyone.  I'm still having a few issues typing at my usual speed (which sucks), but the thumb's getting better.  The drive's still got me pretty messed up, but I'm working on that, too.  Car woes, insurance woes, blah blah blah...it'll work out.  Just gotta give it time.

Thanks for the well wishes, gang.

CanRay

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« Reply #14 on: (14:45:28/03-08-13) »
Hope the issues with your typing solve themselves soon, man!  Learning new tricks to typing due to injuries suck majorly!!!
Si vis pacem, para bellum