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Thread: My first car crash

  1. #1

    Default My first car crash

    Well, today has been probably the second worst morning in my entire life.

    So I'm going down a busy street, that connects with another even-bigger street. So far everything's fine. I'm coasting along the right lane with everyone else who is going to turn right, and my brakes are not responding.

    Boom, I bump the car in front of me. Immediately I put on the emergency lights and get out to make sure she's fine, she also got out and asks if I'm fine. There was no damage, and she suggested we pull into the parking lot next to us to wait for a tow. Seemed like a good idea, seeing as how it was a crucial intersection and it was very busy. So I figured I could drive it slowly inside and it would tap the little wall at the edge of the lot. It didn't.

    The two front tires went over the little wall, and I felt things breaking underneath. I got out and saw so much fluid gushing from the bottom of the front. The girl (also a student from my school) said since there was no damaged to hers she was gonna take off unless I needed a ride to school. I told her I was gonna wait and call AAA. After she left I called them and started to cry.

    This was/is really bad, and it could've been solved differently. I knew I f---ed up, but I was mad at myself and at the car and wondering why it had to do this there and at that time when it was least convenient.

    Eventually the tow came, he got it out, even a firetruck came to assess the damage and clean up all the oil that had flowed into the street. Now the car is at a sears, and my dad picked me up and yelled at me and my incompetence while driving me to school. So now I'm here, I have no way home, my friend is gonna take me sort of close.

    What bothers me the most about this is that everything would've been relatively fine if I had not been such a dumbass and attempted to drive it again. I think of the damage I've caused, the people I inconvenienced, and I know it's not over, when I get home things are going to be apocalyptic. My dad is going to be so cross, my mom will be worried, and now I am effectively crippled without it. I'd rather have lost my phone than lose the car. Even after dad gets it fixed, he won't give it back to me i don't think. He doesn't care about the cost, that's not an issue for him, what he's pissed about is how I handled the situation, and about how I needlessly made it worse by acting without thinking it through.
    And everybody keeps telling me I'm lucky I wasn't hurt, though I almost wish I had been, it would've made this whole debacle seem almost worthwhile. But maybe that's just the depressed part of me talking.

    Can anyone shed some light on my current plight? Can anyone relate?

    I wish I was less stupid...

  2. #2

    Default

    There is no use second guessing yourself, it just raises anxiety. It can really eat a hole in you. You did the best you could with what you thought was a good idea. Learn from this, but don't let others help you hurt your self confidence with driving. I had an accident a few weeks ago. It was very wet, my brakes got water logged. Ended up accident hitting a cop truck. Did damage to my car, not to the police's vehicle. I was hearing them talk about piss test and such. I was diapered with a onesie on, I was seriously freaking then. Turns out they didn't, the cops were professional, the city insurance guy got me the accident report for free the next day. Went smooth, took me a while to not beat myself up about hitting a cop car and all. It could have been worse for you. Keep your chin up. We all have crazy days.

  3. #3

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by mattyd View Post
    There is no use second guessing yourself, it just raises anxiety. It can really eat a hole in you. You did the best you could with what you thought was a good idea. Learn from this, but don't let others help you hurt your self confidence with driving. I had an accident a few weeks ago. It was very wet, my brakes got water logged. Ended up accident hitting a cop truck. Did damage to my car, not to the police's vehicle. I was hearing them talk about piss test and such. I was diapered with a onesie on, I was seriously freaking then. Turns out they didn't, the cops were professional, the city insurance guy got me the accident report for free the next day. Went smooth, took me a while to not beat myself up about hitting a cop car and all. It could have been worse for you. Keep your chin up. We all have crazy days.
    If that had been me I would've had a heart attack or something from so much fear. But yeah I did what I thought was right. There was no way I was gonna leave it in the way, people have places to go and at seven in the morning it's usually places one can't be late to.

    And yeah it does, I keep getting those recurring feelings of worthlessness and incompetence that I usually try to keep at bay. Hopefully they'll go away.

  4. #4

    Default

    I would say the biggest issue was your brakes not responding. This is a serious problem, and yes, there is some luck involved that no one was hurt. Even so, I would say you actually responded well based on the situation, where you were going slow enough to not damage other vehicles and trying to find a way to get out of traffic (and avoid ANOTHER accident).

    Don't beat yourself up over it, learn from it. What would you do different next time? At what step could you have done something different? My first suggestion would be to use the emergency/parking brake, but that is a situation many people do not get trained for. Honestly, having your parents yell at you over it is ridiculous--in all seriousness, 90+% of driver training for young adults comes from the parents, so apparently they didn't make sure you had appropriate knowledge. This could have been so much worse in so many ways if you had acted different. All this takes is money to fix, and the attitude I have towards that is, "It's only money, I can always make more."

    Being a skydiver, training and learning from accidents is all-important. I've had one parachute rip on me on opening, and two other situations where I've had to use my reserve. All three incidents I walked away from, though my last one I admit I did make mistakes with my responses. I need to make sure I don't do that again, failure to make appropriate choices in a bad situation leads to death.

    You're safe and nobody else is hurt. That's what matters.

  5. #5

    Default

    Mate,

    Trust me: add it to the list of life experiences... be happy that no people were hurt, that yourself are unhurt... the rest is just mechanical stuff - sure it sucks, but it's not a big deal.
    I've totaled a car before, I got crashed by someone else... I had a car that failed middle of the trip... pain in the arse, but just suck it up and soldier on.

    The one thing that is curious though is that your breaks were not responding - this is something that basically should not happen unless the car was in a really really shitty condition to start with....
    Also never forget that a car has a few "redundancies" with the breaks: there's the hand-break (or in some older automatics a foot-break)... whilst no where near as powerful as the usual assisted power-breaks, it can still get your car to stop... albeit it only (in most cases) acts on the rear wheels.

    Now if your breaks fail because your car's low (ultra-low) on breaking fluid or theres air trapped in the system and you feel the pedal "going through" - you can quickly pump the pedal... this will often at least create enough pressure to stop the car (remember to shift down into a low gear and get off the gas, this will slow down your car too).

    Last but not least if all fails try to steer your car into a safe area to crash (gravel / green side, etc...) ...

    And remember: a car that has had a serious problem (breaks, motor, gearbox, etc...) should NOT be driven ANYWHERE... (but I guess you know this now).



    I'm sorry for the troubles you are facing - but look at it like this: its one more experience, and eventually will make you a better driver.

  6. #6

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by mattyd View Post
    ...I had an accident a few weeks ago. It was very wet, my brakes got water logged...
    eh? waterlogged brakes? were you driving a Model T or sumfink?

  7. #7
    acorn

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by ade View Post
    eh? waterlogged brakes? were you driving a Model T or sumfink?
    I'd have thought you should remember his car, did he not get you to service it about a week ago? All those surplus or spurious container thingies - for oil, water, hydraulics and whatnot, hard to tell what's what on those plastic cars.

    OP: What would have happened if you did not move the car? Where I live the "filth" can have moved any car that is causing an obstruction on the roads, also if they were to get involved they might try to find the cause of the brakes failure. Woe to you - if they suspected the car was not roadworthy.

    If the worst thing to come of this is yet another episode from a drama lama dad, then all is good - you live and learn. If you want to pay dear old dad back, nominate him for an Oscars or bafta award.

  8. #8

    Default

    Everyone who drives goes through this at least once in their lifetime. My son's Jeep Grand Cherokee was over heating, and he thought he could nurse it home. Instead, he blew the engine. My daughter did the same thing with a car we bought her for when she was in college.

    I was working on the brakes of my car, putting in a new master cylinder. I thought I had bled the brakes sufficiently, but when I drove it out of the driveway, it wouldn't stop and I almost hit a car. I stopped it by running it into a large bush.

    Any machine will eventually break and sometimes it's near impossible to cope with the problem. Your dad should have been relieved that no one, especially you, was hurt.

  9. #9

    Default

    I wouldn't sweat it too much as things like this happen. If it ever happens again though, just put it in neutral, and use the handbrake! I wouldn't recommend using the handbrake to slow at high speeds as this can lead to loss of control, but at low speed like you were it's fine. At high speed, select neutral, wait for it to slow a bit, and then use the handbrake (or emergency brake as some Americans call it, funnily enough) to slow. Also, don't yank the handbrake, slowly apply it until you feel yourself slowing. And hold the release button in!

    That may sound confusing so I'll leave it there, but may I ask what you drive?

    Kiwi.

  10. #10

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by KiwiBoi View Post
    I wouldn't sweat it too much as things like this happen. If it ever happens again though, just put it in neutral, and use the handbrake! I wouldn't recommend using the handbrake to slow at high speeds as this can lead to loss of control, but at low speed like you were it's fine. At high speed, select neutral, wait for it to slow a bit, and then use the handbrake (or emergency brake as some Americans call it, funnily enough) to slow. Also, don't yank the handbrake, slowly apply it until you feel yourself slowing. And hold the release button in!

    Kiwi.
    That may sound confusing so I'll leave it there, but may I ask what you drive?

    DO NOT - I REPEAT: DO NOT!!! Put the Car in Neutral in an emergency breaking situation...
    Whilst it can not accelerate with the motor in neutral, there's also very little going on to stop the car.
    if you put it in 1st gear (with an automatic or manual) and let go off the gas (make sure cruise control is off) the engine will actually sort of help with the breaking... it will "actively" slow the car down much faster than if you'd have it in neutral.
    if your breaks fail - 1st gear... not neutral!



    All aside:
    The one thing I can not put enough importance on is: REGULAR SERVICING...
    If you're skilled you can easily learn to do basic maintenance tasks on your own... if you're not mechanically inclined, let a professional do it.
    But whatever way you do it, SERVICE the Car... if you do that regularly, stuff like failing breaks should not be an issue.

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