Walter Mays

My Stupid Accident

For those of you who see me every day (or, in the case of my parents, had to deal with this mess), you already know the story. For everyone else: I got in a car accident on February 13th. It was the stupidest accident I’ve ever heard of.

I wasn’t hurt, and the other drivers weren’t hurt. It was about as fortunate as an accident like this can be.

First off, some backstory: I noticed a few days earlier that my wheel was wobbling somewhat when I drove. I thought this was something to do with a wheel that was mis-aligned, and so I set up an appointment to have it repaired and moved on with my life.

Fast-forward to the day of the appointment: on my way, driving on a multi-lane divided highway, it came to light what was causing the wobbling: a few lug nuts had come loose from my wheel. I realized this when my front driver’s side wheel fell off.

Not eager to drive without a front wheel, I pulled off to the side (as much as I could) and assessed the damage. I decided that the best course of action was to call a tow truck; after all, they could just tow me to the repair place and I wouldn’t be any worse off. I turned on my hazard lights and made the call. About 20-25 minutes after I called the tow truck, the driver arrived. He took some time to start filling out the paperwork that had to be filed. About 3-5 minutes after that, I was rear-ended.

Let that sink in. I was rear ended, while parked, with my hazard lights on, with a tow truck in front of me, with its lights on. I was about as visible a target as possible. Unfortunately, the car that hit mine was moving fast enough that my car rammed into the rear bar on the tow truck. Guess who came away relatively unscathed? Hint: it wasn’t my car.

And so the police were called. An officer came and filed an accident report and made sure that everyone was safe (everyone was). There was a lot of typical activity – parents were called and reassured, insurance agents got involved, and we had to of course deal with the immediate aftermath. The funniest (?) part of all this was that since the tow truck I had called wasn’t from the lot the police used, we had to call two more (!) tow trucks to tow the two cars involved.

I talked to the kid who hit me afterward. He wasn’t a bad kid, he had just made a mistake, he wasn’t on his phone, and was normally a good driver. Of course anyone would say that, but I could tell he meant it. He was more broken up than I was (I was driving a car from 2003 that had several small problems; I was looking for an excuse to get a new car anyway). It seemed the cause was just a moment of distraction, albeit a major one.

I finally got a new car two days ago. It’s certainly an upgrade from my previous car. All’s well that ends well, I guess.