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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.


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.


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

(37 memoirs | Describe me as "inscrutable")


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

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]
Date:June 24th, 2007 07:55 am (UTC)
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.
[User Picture]
Date:June 24th, 2007 08:06 am (UTC)

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]
Date:June 24th, 2007 08:10 am (UTC)
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]
Date:June 24th, 2007 03:30 pm (UTC)
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.
[User Picture]
Date:June 24th, 2007 08:22 am (UTC)
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]
Date:June 24th, 2007 09:20 am (UTC)
Much love, my friend. I...well I need not share my own experiences. But I'm sorry :(
[User Picture]
Date:June 24th, 2007 11:27 am (UTC)
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]
Date:June 24th, 2007 12:51 pm (UTC)
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]
Date:June 24th, 2007 01:09 pm (UTC)
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.)
[User Picture]
Date:June 24th, 2007 03:16 pm (UTC)
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]
Date:June 24th, 2007 03:25 pm (UTC)
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]
Date:June 24th, 2007 03:35 pm (UTC)
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]
Date:June 24th, 2007 03:48 pm (UTC)
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. =)
Date:June 24th, 2007 05:01 pm (UTC)
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]
Date:June 24th, 2007 05:33 pm (UTC)
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.
[User Picture]
Date:June 24th, 2007 05:30 pm (UTC)
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]
Date:June 24th, 2007 05:45 pm (UTC)


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]
Date:June 24th, 2007 06:14 pm (UTC)

Re: crud

That is one amusing coincidence.

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