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Bumper-to-Bumper Traffic - The Book of the Celestial Cow

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June 23rd, 2007


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11:59 pm - Bumper-to-Bumper Traffic
All I did was reverse the same way I have done for months and months, except this time, there was a truck in my way.

THUD!

It's so unsettling, that brute opposing force, the rejection of your claim to motion.

To be honest, my first instinct was to move forward, reverse out the other way, and leave. I couldn't have done much damage to the other guy, right? I just wanted to go watch Slither with Lisa and Rick. But the owner of the truck, who had parked his vehicle in a spot that was not a parking space because NOTHING HAS EVER BEEN THERE IN THE NINE MONTHS I HAVE LIVED HERE, came out asking bemusedly if I'd hit him.



Yeah, I really let him have it!! That picture was taken after he had cleared away the glass from his bumper. The red-and-yellow glass. I thought it was his. But, no.



!



He said I could glue it back together. I...was doubtful.



WHY IS MY BUMPER MADE OF STYROFOAM? MY CAR IS A DEATH TRAP.



My kooky old French landlord said he had seen cases like this before, and the law said that regardless of the fact that someone wasn't parked in a proper space, it was still purely my fault for hitting them, since they counted as a pole or any other sort of obstruction.

"Do you like white wine?" he asked.

"No," I said, "but I have friends who do."

He retrieved a bottle of white wine. "I'm going to give you this wine since something terrible has happened to you, and you are going to give it to your friend, and maybe you will get something in return." I think he meant sex. If so, the wine was unsuccessful.

I don't even know what to do. I don't know how much it costs to get this fixed. I don't know if it's illegal to have a broken taillight cover if the light still works. I don't want to deal with this.

In conclusion, I suck at life.
Current Mood: distressedrattled
Current Music: Aimee Mann - I Can't Get My Head Around It

(39 memoirs | Describe me as "inscrutable")

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:zetetyc
Date:June 24th, 2007 07:13 am (UTC)
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*hugs*

first time i was in a car accident, i also discovered that my bumper was made of foam. at least there wasn't substantial damage to his car either. most bodyshops will give you an estimate for free.

fixing the light won't be a big deal, except for the body damage. i'm not gonna list what my guess as to a price would be because there's a pretty big range. a dealership or a place like service king is a decent place to get a highball estimate. (estimate assuming parts from your car's manufacturer, etc) if you have a garage you trust, you can often get the work done for less than a dealer estimate. but at least from those two you know the most you should be paying for those repairs

good luck
[User Picture]
From:latropita
Date:June 24th, 2007 07:42 am (UTC)
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Aw, that sucks! I'm sorry. I've had good luck with car stuff (read: I haven't really driven much since high school) so I don't have good advice, but I think you can get estimates before you have to actually commit to a garage. So, you know, check that out if that's actually the case? I am just on the ball with good advice, lately.
[User Picture]
From:syderia
Date:June 24th, 2007 07:55 am (UTC)
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WHY IS MY BUMPER MADE OF STYROFOAM?
It's done on purpose, so the bumper will cave in in case of a shock and absorb the energy, protecting the people inside the car.

I agree that it sucks.
*hugs*
[User Picture]
From:duchessdogberry
Date:June 24th, 2007 08:06 am (UTC)
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*hugs*

Backing into someone is one of my great fears. Just because I wouldn't know what to do once it happened. I so feel for you right now.

He retrieved a bottle of white wine. "I'm going to give you this wine since something terrible has happened to you, and you are going to give it to your friend, and maybe you will get something in return." I think he meant sex. If so, the wine was unsuccessful.

Maybe he just just talking about karma.
[User Picture]
From:tibicina
Date:June 24th, 2007 08:10 am (UTC)
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The bumpers are made of foam because you actually want bumpers to crumple. That's part of what they're designed to do, because it mitigates the force and means that the /rest/ of the car doesn't get bent and you don't get whiplash.

It's... sort of illegal to drive around for very long with the broken taillight cover. (Though if you get a ticket for it, it will be a 'fix-it' ticket. So you get it fixed, take it to the sherrif or police, they will inspect it, and sign off on it, and it will either just go away or be greatly reduced.) That said, you can go to an auto parts store and get special tape/gels which are designed to temporarily go over your tail lights while you're waiting on getting them replaced.

I'm not sure how much it will be. Probably annoyingly much. Such things usually are. I would, sadly, guess at least $1000, possibly more. At least if you want it looking better and not just functional/not illegal.

And yeah, one of the big problems with trucks vrs. cars is that their bumpers are so much higher, that they generally end up hitting the body of the car rather than the bumper. If you'd actually been bumper to bumper, your car would be fine. Because he went over your bumper, there was signifigantly more damage. Stupid trucks.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:June 24th, 2007 03:30 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for the tip on the tape/gel!

And, really, I just want functional/not illegal at this point. I see no point in dumping a load of money to fix that cave-in. It wouldn't be worth whatever value it adds to resale, you know? It's a 1991 Nissan Sentra. You don't drive it for the looks.

The only issue I see is that it affects the trunk seal, so the opening is more of a quarter-inch than a centimeter. Which could be a problem when it rains.
From:jabadanelia
Date:January 11th, 2011 01:20 pm (UTC)
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I see no point in dumping a load of money to fix that cave-in. It wouldn't be worth whatever value it adds to resale, you know? It's a 1991 Nissan Sentra. You don't drive it for the looks.
Mom owns an old Nissan Sentra and, several years ago, I've find the perfect way to get her spare parts for the car: I've bought a damaged Sentra from Nissan Philadelphia for less than $200 (no seats and no lateral front windows) so I have a lot of spare parts. The only inconvenient is the damaged car is black and mom's Sentra is red so she has to repaint the body parts whenever she needs one.
[User Picture]
From:par_avion
Date:June 24th, 2007 08:22 am (UTC)
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I spent $400 fixing just a headlight 10 years ago. :(

It will be cheaper if you can get the part used, from a salvage yard.

Gluing is worth a shot, and like the person above said, they make special tape. The problem is that the light needs to be red, not just light up. If gluing doesn't work maybe try using the special reddish tape to hold it together. Or even clear packing tape.
[User Picture]
From:aprilbegins
Date:June 24th, 2007 09:20 am (UTC)
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Much love, my friend. I...well I need not share my own experiences. But I'm sorry :(
[User Picture]
From:ora_wai
Date:June 24th, 2007 11:27 am (UTC)
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It doesn't look too bad, you could just get away with replacing the taillight and avoid the body work until later. Stupid truck.
[User Picture]
From:kissyboots13
Date:June 24th, 2007 12:51 pm (UTC)
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Awww...I've only ever been in one car accident, but as I am a horrific parker I have hit many a car. Luckily, when parking (or backing out) I drive at about ROLLING miles-per-hour so I never do any damage.
[User Picture]
From:cindywrites
Date:June 24th, 2007 01:09 pm (UTC)
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I'm sorry, Sunil. Find the name of a reputable auto body shop (ask around at work, or whatever). Take it there, get an estimate. If the estimate is significantly more money than whatever your deductible is, file a claim with your insurance. If the estimate is only a couple of hundred more, think twice about filing the claim with your insurance. Talk to your insurance agent, and see if you are going to receive a surcharge if you file this claim. Sometimes, they'll add something like $50.00 a year for five or six years, if you've had an accident for which you're at fault.

(Hey, the other night we went for a ride, and I saw a Patel Rd. or Patel Dr. in the next town over. Needless to say, I thought of you.)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:roniabirk
Date:June 24th, 2007 03:16 pm (UTC)
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Oh, poor you. I think it's time for a different car. It is very true that some cars are bad luck. My mom's white cars, all of them, bad luck. So she really shouldn't own white cars anymore.

[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:June 24th, 2007 03:25 pm (UTC)
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I was just thinking about that today. Since I got this car, I've had it towed, had to replace the fuel pump because it wouldn't start, skidded on a curve, and now this. It hasn't even been a year.

It's my first car, though. I have years of bad carma to account for.
[User Picture]
From:afrocurl
Date:June 24th, 2007 03:35 pm (UTC)
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I'm sorry Sunil. That is an unfortunate thing to happen.

I'm fairly sure I've seen people drive around with tape over their taillights, especially red tape before they get it fixed (if at all.)
[User Picture]
From:bspalek
Date:June 24th, 2007 03:48 pm (UTC)
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Eeek. Luckily the damage doesn't look to bad. It shouldn't cost that much to just pop another tail light cover on there, I would think.

I like white wine! I had one glass of wine this weekend, and I was feeling good. I am such a light weight. I am pretty sure I am one of those floozies your landlord was hinting of. =)
From:harriettheelf
Date:June 24th, 2007 05:01 pm (UTC)
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It's a good idea to get your bumper fixed and your alignment looked at, just because whacking into something can do unseen damage to the alignment.

Or so they told me when my bumper got crumpled.

The tail light, you should get fixed. I don't know if you'll get pulled over, but the cops are within their rights to pull you over if it's out. And they might not even ticket you (esp. if you tell them you have an appointment at the car doctor whenever), but it'll be a hassle.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:June 24th, 2007 05:33 pm (UTC)
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Racheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeel. Don't make me freak out even MORE. ALIGNMENT? My car is going to be CHAOTIC EVIL now??? I wasn't even going that fast! And the bumper isn't really damaged so much, is it? Look at it. It's just exposed a bit. It's not any less protective with its magic styrofoam.
From:harriettheelf
Date:June 24th, 2007 06:04 pm (UTC)
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I understand, but even if you were going slowly, you can mess up the alignment. The bumper damage may be minimal but you can still have alignment damage.

But I'm not one to chastise about this, because the last time I whomped my bumper, I waited 6 months to get it fixed.
[User Picture]
From:miniglik
Date:June 24th, 2007 05:30 pm (UTC)
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From now on, when bad things happen, we should all give each other random bottles of white wine. Evidently it will solve all of life's troubles.
[User Picture]
From:kygirlupnorth
Date:June 24th, 2007 05:45 pm (UTC)

crud

(Link)
yesterday, it would seem, was a bad day for car, or at least for the nice indian guys driving them. Partha and I got into a fender bender in the grocery parking lot when he and the guy behind him backed out at the same time. They must have looked backwarda and to the sides at the exact same time, because they were both flustered.

Sorry about your car. I don't know the legal issues in California, but I busted my tail light before and found out they make a red tape especially for that application, that you can see the light through, and that would at least get you through until you decided whether to fix it or not.

hang in there.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:June 24th, 2007 06:14 pm (UTC)

Re: crud

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That is one amusing coincidence.
[User Picture]
From:mutinousmuse
Date:June 24th, 2007 07:03 pm (UTC)
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I was going to be all useful and tell you can avoid a fix-it ticket with red tape they make for such events. But I see that several others have already done so. Instead, I will suggest that next time you attempt to trade alcohol for sex, vodka seems to have a superior track record to white whine.

What a crappy day! D:
[User Picture]
From:toughcookie42
Date:June 24th, 2007 08:49 pm (UTC)
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Ohhh honey... welcome to the club. There are a lot of members.

I doubt it would be worth fixing your bumper. Depends on your deductible, but look at it this way- has the broken bumper decreased your car's worth more than you'd have to pay to fix it? On a 2006 Lexus, yes. On your car, probably not. My Neon only traded in for $1500 after 7 years. Without the sizable ding in my back bumper (I backed into a pole at the Frieze Building) I might have gotten $20 more for it.

The taillight should be fine as long as it still works- if anything, you can just tape a piece of red plastic over it. And you should get the alignment checked every so often anyway, so don't worry about that either. Alignment check costs maybe $50.

In short, don't worry about it, it's not a big deal.
[User Picture]
From:holly96
Date:June 24th, 2007 10:20 pm (UTC)
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Eek! That sucks Sunil, I'm sorry. Luckily there's not really any damage to the truck. It stinks that your car got damaged, but it's so much easier to deal with when you don't actually cause any damage. I hit a car once when I was 16 and didn't cause any damage to the other car, but smashed my own headlight. My parents made me pay for that, but it was only $100 or so. Not horrible. Anyway, hopefully this doesn't end up being too much for you.
[User Picture]
From:catatonia00
Date:June 25th, 2007 02:28 am (UTC)
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I just wanted to go watch Slither with Lisa and Rick.

I was going to say that watching that movie would be a crime. But then I realized you meant "Slither" with Nathan Fillion and not "Sliver" with William Baldwin.

Hope the repair costs don't go up much.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:June 25th, 2007 02:32 am (UTC)
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I saw Sliver when I was, like, fifteen.
[User Picture]
From:catatonia00
Date:June 25th, 2007 02:51 am (UTC)
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That's not why watching the movie is a crime though.

Hearing Billy Baldwin say "pantis" instead of "panties" makes me cringe everytime.
[User Picture]
From:shpyum
Date:June 25th, 2007 03:27 am (UTC)
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If it makes you feel any better, last year I got in an accident and did $10,000 worth of damage to my mom's $9,000 car. Perspective!

PS, I was at a temple today doing some worshippy things and there were cute Indian girls, and I didn't have time to talk to any of them, but if I keep going to that temple I'm going to try to meet some of them for you. ; )
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:June 25th, 2007 03:33 am (UTC)
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Damn, woman. You dangerous.
[User Picture]
From:shpyum
Date:June 25th, 2007 07:32 pm (UTC)
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Well, I was making a left-hand turn and got in the way of an SUV who just needed to run that red light -- SUV, meet Hyundai. Hyundia, meet your doom.

Anyway, I may be dangerous, but I'm on your side. ; )
[User Picture]
From:glasseseater
Date:June 25th, 2007 04:44 am (UTC)
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If it makes you feel any better five minutes after I got my license, I hit the McDonalds next to the DMV because my mom made me go through the drivethru. I still have the scratches on my car!
[User Picture]
From:zimshan
Date:June 25th, 2007 06:31 pm (UTC)
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ACK. I know the feeling. I did the same thing last year, only someone had forgotten to take their HITCH off their truck. Saved my headlight but bumper's all ugly now. But if you aren't planning on fixing the bumper, just remember you will have to do something with the exposed metal so that it will not rust. I had some of my car's old paint which I used around the metal edges and used duck tape over the remaining large hole of styrofoam (with the hot sun, the duck tape melts and nicely covers the hole to protect the rest of the bumper from getting moisture inside). As for the headlight portion, if you're worried about the trunk closing, some shops can do a method of suctioning the metal outward, which can be considerably cheaper.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:June 25th, 2007 07:30 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for the tips!
[User Picture]
From:harper47
Date:June 25th, 2007 06:43 pm (UTC)
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Ack! Sounds like you and I had mutual "our cars hate us" weekends. Sorry to hear about your accident. I know I got a ticket when my taillight was crunched in a similar way when I sort of, kind of, backed into a freaking bus which was parked right behind my driveway in my blind spot. Stupid bus!

From:(Anonymous)
Date:June 25th, 2007 07:21 pm (UTC)
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You can also buy a tail light on eBay, if that's more your thing than junk yards.

-Someone who reads someone's friend list which you're on
[User Picture]
From:upanashad
Date:June 25th, 2007 10:22 pm (UTC)
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All the more reason to get a bicycle, dude.
[User Picture]
From:lodessa
Date:June 26th, 2007 06:07 pm (UTC)
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As long as the light works you should be okay.

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