- Car Care & Maintenance
I was in a car accident and had just borrowed the car.
It is always your fault!
Avoiding car and motorcycle accidents.
I have always been sceptical when someone who has had an accident tells me it was not their fault. It is almost always the case that at least careless behaviour or lack of attention was involved.
I try to teach my kids that if there is an accident about to happen, don't be there. By which I mean that most accidents can be anticipated and avoided. I make no exception for my own car accident, the first in 30 years. I could have done better.
I had motorcycle shops for many years. Whenever I sold a motorcycle I would give the same advice to young riders. I also added that they should also watch out for grandmothers falling out of gum-trees, which was not just nonsense advice. I intended that such a bizarre warning would be remembered when they came close to death when some lunatic ignored them on the road, or some sleepy driver just did not see them and pulled out of a driveway right under their front wheel.
I warned about animals crossing the road at night, unthinkable potholes in little bush towns, T intersections without signs etc until I thought they got it.
I forgot my own advice. The Insurance company are happy I was not at fault and paid for the damage, but I know I could have avoided it by "not being there" when it happened.
You will recognise this scene. You are about to pull out to pass, but you are cautious. The next moment something appears on the road right where you would have been if you had tried to pass at that time.
You see someone or a car in a driveway and brake lightly just in case, and they come charging out on to the road in front of you. In both cases you are glad of the conservative decision you made as you avoided an accident by not being there yet!
On a motorcycle or bicycle any accident can be fatal, so the better you are at factoring the risk, the safer you are on the road.
I have seen a few unavoidable accidents, but if you have all the facts most accidents can be seen for what they are. The coming together of circumstances conducive to an accident, but it can't take place without you.
Play god and protect your own circumstances by being a thinking driver. The life you save could be your own.
how to behave after an accident.
I pulled out of a side street, she pulled out of a driveway on my left.
I hit her four wheel drive on the Rh rear with my front right.
First thought was for the car I was driving. A friend's classic BMW coupe.
I should explain that I was probably doing 10 Kph when I hit her.
She was driving a new expensive 4wd. Her side airbag did not go off, so I was pretty sure she was OK.
I walked to the woman's car and asked if she was OK. She calmly said yes thank you, are you all right? I said yes thank you. We introduced ourselves and exchanged licence numbers etc.
This happened in a fairly rich part of Melbourne, (Brighton) and I guess I was expecting some form of neurotic money based self interested response.
Instead she was friendly affable and did not try to blame. I did the same, and we shook hands again and said "nice to meet you," because it was nice to meet her, and she seemed to mean it too.
We decided to leave all the blaming to the insurance company as it would not help either of us to apportion blame, and we both left, her car was only showing my paint on her wheel and had a small scratch on the paint.
The BMW copped a bit of impact from hitting the alloy wheel and will need about 5k spent. It is drivable, and insurance will pay for it. I have not had many accidents in my life luckily, but this one at least demonstrated clearly to me that staying calm and being polite helps recover from the shock and is a minimum requirement if you want to have a good day tomorrow.
Things you should always do after an accident.
- Ask if the other person or persons are ok. At best this could save a life. At worst this has a calming affect and puts the damage to the cars in perspective.
- exchange information.
- In some countries you must notify police even if there are no injuries.
- Watch out for other vehicles before you get out of yours. This may sound too simple, but if you are in a bit of shock you really need to observe every move you make. We are not always at our best just after the impact of an accident.
- Never get angry. It will improve nothing, but it could do lots of harm to yourself or others, and we do not think properly when upset in this way. You cannot blame the other driver anyway, because you do not know enough. He may have had a heart attack, she may be pregnant and suddenly felt ill, you just do not know enough to justify being abusive or aggressive.
Police are trained to help in these situations and frown on angry motorists because they have seen the other person's circumstances do not always tally with your presumptions about them.
Car Insurance Tip.
Car Insurance does not always cover the car if the car is borrowed and the driver is not the owner.
If you borrow a friends car, get your friend to ring the insurance company and ask if you can pay for extra cover while you are driving the car.