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The first rule of driving is...
2005-02-11

... no touching. Violated that rule today, or rather, had it violated for me. See, there's a reason to be glad I don't have a new car, or I'd be really pissed when someone hit it.

The accident was fairly typical for high traffic. In the left lane of 101, everyone starts slamming on their breaks, I just avoid the car in front of me when I'm hit from behind, causing me to hit the guy in front of me. Real cause of the accident is a ladder in the left lane about a quarter of a mile in front of me.

CHP arrived while I was still on hold with 911, not sure if someone else got through to them first. Interesting, they were very concerned about getting us all of the highway as soon as possible, for safety reasons. One car was in the middle of the accident but avoided it, and the CHP officer told the driver that he was standing in the "worst place", that he was likely to lose his legs if a car hit him while standing there. Weird. I tried to point out that there was something in the road ahead of us, and the officer asked if it was right here, when I said no, look, he was very dismissive about it. They took us off the highway to gather information. As we drove to the off ramp, I could see the ladder, and the break marks from someone else who slammed on their breaks. Apparently they saw it too, and I guess they sent someone to clear it off. First question was "were you wearing your seat belt", second was "were you on your cell phone".

Apparently, they'll send me (or I have to get from them) the information about who was there, etc, from some Collison Report Form that will be available in 10 days (and costs $10!). Of course, I have to fill out a DMV SR-1 form within the next 10 days, so I guess a bunch of it will be blank. Got into work, downloaded the SR-1 form from the DMV website, filled out the online accident claim form for my insurance company.

I'm guessing, if there has to be fault, that the guy in the BMW who hit me from behind is going to get it. Following too close, violation of the basic speed law, something like that. Its weird, I was so encompassed in avoiding hitting the guy in front of me, and when I finally stopped and hadn't hit him, I had a sigh of relief, and then bam. But the bam was like "and now the guy behind me hit me", I was practically expecting it.

I get into the elevator at work, and this other guy goes "How's your day?" and I go "Pretty shitty so far."


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