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I was in a car accident and had just borrowed the car.

Updated on December 18, 2010

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.

I guess it saves parking space!
I guess it saves parking space!

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.

  1. 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.
  2. exchange information.
  3. In some countries you must notify police even if there are no injuries.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.


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    • profile image

      payton weisweaver 

      6 years ago


    • earnestshub profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      The ones in wheelchairs are a real hazard when the limb they're out on breaks suddenly!

    • attemptedhumour profile image


      8 years ago from Australia

      Sound advice Ern, especially the granny bit i'll be watching out for one of them.

    • profile image

      Car Accident Injuries 

      8 years ago

      I appreciate with you- Car accidents don't happen they are caused... Mostly it is our fault.

    • earnestshub profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Sorry to hear about your accident. You are so right. Car accidents hurt people and their lives. It is very important to avoid them and when you can't to be a decent human being about it.

    • the pink umbrella profile image

      the pink umbrella 

      8 years ago from the darkened forest deep within me.

      I have been in three seperate accidents in my life, where i was the only one in my car, and they were all not my fault. People in NJ are crazy. The one and only time i got out of the car to ask if the other guy was alright, (he t boned me, it was a mericle i was unscathed aside from bruises from the seat belt) He looked at me and said "no matter what happened, you will take the blame, my dad is a monster" which wasnt exactly the smartest thing he could have said to me. he ran a red left arrow at 80 mph.

      i couldnt sit up from lying position w/out help for a few days, but i consider that unscathed being t-boned. I hated him for that, i had no money and just put new tires and a full tank of gas in the car, and all i got for my p.o.s. was 800 bucks, and i owed my dad 1000 for the insurance. I was on my way to my first day of work which was pretty far, so i was out of a car, the money for an new p.o.s., and the job that was going to save me from being poor. That guy did more than wreck my car, he literally crippled me for a long time. My finances and my freedom to go wherever whenever was taken. I just got a car last year, and this accident happened 4 years ago.

      people dont know how important it is to be careful, not just for yourself, but for others whos life functions around their ability to get from a-b. good hub.

    • earnestshub profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Thank you.

    • P Morgan profile image

      P Morgan 

      8 years ago

      GOod tips, stay safe - -and glad you are recovered!

    • earnestshub profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Hi spiderspun! Great name, I am fascinated by spiders in general, so I like it!

      Sorry to hear you have not had a good ride for a while, I am overdue myself!

      So true about the rock chuckers...

    • spiderspun profile image


      9 years ago from Utopia, Ontario Canada

      I am a motor cycle rider too. Never had an accident, but one thing that always happened was when I was waiting to make a left hand turn onto a side road, vehicles pass me on the gravel shoulder and throw back stones. Even big transports race by on the shoulder.

      I haven't had a nice ride on my 78 honda twinstar in 4 years scince I was rear ended at a stop light in my honda element. Wrecked my shoulders and neck up.

      Lovely Hub

    • earnestshub profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Thank you all for your comments.

    • mintinfo profile image


      9 years ago

      I have never ridden a motorcycle on my own but from all the bad stats I know it can be dangerous. I guess it all depends on the rider though. Great advise. I have only been in one car accident but it was during a snow storm. Ripped up the whole right fender of my car.

    • earnestshub profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Thank you Carmen. Young motorcyclists are a real danger to themselves when the testosterone takes over, that is for sure!

    • Lee Boolean profile image

      Lee Boolean 

      9 years ago

      Good advice, as a biker always assume others are out to kill you, that's your best chance at getting there in one piece.

      Weird thing I heard once:

      The one thing that we all have in common is that everyone thinks they are above average drivers.

    • Carmen Borthwick profile image

      Carmen Borthwick 

      9 years ago from Maple Ridge, B.C.

      Well said and written. Drivers don't give enough respect and/or leeway to motorcycles, but on the other hand I've seen some cyclists do amazingly reckless things on a freeway at 90+ kilometers... wheelies... what is going through their head besides testosterone? Just a rhetorical question that even the guy doing it couldn't answer. Good hub.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Great hub...and so glad that you are okay. great information in the hub!

    • earnestshub profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Thank you efeglo!

    • efeglo profile image


      9 years ago from Nigeria

      I experience it, so it was a great teacher. God delivered me from motorcycle accident, it was a terrible one, but i thank God on that faithfully day precisely 12th February 2007. Nice hub Daddy.

    • earnestshub profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Thank you ZWorkz, I am very happy that you are an aware rider, it really is a matter of life and death.

    • ZWorkz profile image


      9 years ago from Florida

      Your advice on motorcycle safety is great. You really do have to be a defensive driver 100% of the time while on a bike. I practiced this while riding my sport bike and in doing so avoided many catastrophic situations. People simply don't see motorcycle riders. Part of it is negligent driving and part of it is that motorcycles simply aren't as visible as an automobile.

    • earnestshub profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Update. i used skype to call my friend who owns the Booma, he was very understanding, I wonder if I would have been so nice if it was mine....


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