Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Defensive Driving Course

Okay, so did I tell you that I had an accident? I did. I backed right into a guy and smashed the crap out of his very old Ford Escort.

It was pretty comical really, in an awful sort of way. Here's the story. I tried calling my friend, let's just call her J. I tried calling her like five times, and let's just say she likes to screen me. Supposedly, another friend of hers was in crisis and she was on the phone with her and she planned to call me back asap. Really, she promised. (Just kidding, J.)

Anyhooooo.....finally I saw her. She was leaving our children's school just as I was arriving. I rolled down my window to wave at her and since she was on the phone (still!) she didn't see me until she was just about past my car. She stopped, but not until she was just slightly past me. I very absentmindedly decided to stop, throw it into reverse, and back up to bring my car even with hers.

Ooops. There was this little car behind me that I didn't even see. Honestly, when I heard the crunch I thought I had hit a trash can on the side of the road or something. It never even occurred to me that someone was behind me! I mean, the gall, someone having the audacity to be behind me when I needed to back up to talk to a friend! Sheesh.

Well, his car was definitely totalled. I mean the thing probably was worth about $600 and the damage was far more than that. My bumper fell off, but that's about it. I felt horrible for the guy though. He seemed young and he didn't seem to have a lot of money. I'm sure it was a definite hardship for him to be late for work and car-less.

I was nervous and quite shaken. It was my first accident as a real adult. The only other crash I had ever been in was when I was 18--driving my parents' car and still on my parents' insurance. They took care of all the details, of course, including making me commute from college every Saturday morning for over a year to clean their house to pay them back for the damages. They literally fired the cleaning lady so I could take over her job.

In any case, this time, I was supposed to know what to do but I didn't, so I just did exactly what it told me to do on the back of the insurance card. It took forever for the police officer to come and when he finally did, he wrote me the ticket. Duh. Guess you can't get more guilty than I was. The poor guy was just driving along and was probably going only about 20 miles an hour, when I just backed right up and smashed his car to smithereens.

So later, I'm reading over my options and I realize that one of the options I have is to attend Defensive Driving School and get the ticket removed from my record. That sounded like a sweet deal to me, so yesterday, that's just what I did.

I hired a sitter to watch the kids while I was gone. Then I woke up at the crack of dawn, and sat in a room with 60 other traffic law violators.

It was actually kind of fun. And interesting. The guy who taught it was totally Bill Cosby. He was pretty darn funny. Plus, the other violators were an interesting mix of citizens. There was a 65+ year old grandmother sitting behind me knitting. She even brought her own cocoa in a thermos and her own mug. When she was done drinking it, she put it all--spoon, dirty cup and all--into a ziploc. Then there was the 50+ something New Yorker lady who complained about how if she were back in NY, she'd have been walking to work and would have never gotten a ticket. There was the assortment of young punks, dressed in baggy clothes and ridiculous looking sneakers. A couple of professionals, a couple of students, young, old, middle class and poor. Just for the people-watching it was worth the $128. Plus, I learned everything there is to know about DUIs and seat belt laws, road rage and the main cause of accidents, which by the way, is not cell phone use, but rather eating while driving.

And best of all? I got my National Safety Council certificate in Defense Driving. Whoo hoo!


the dragonfly said...

Oh my! Glad no one was hurt...

My brother is the king of car accidents. No one's ever been hurt, except the neck/back pain I ended up with after my own brother rear ended me!


Mrs. G. said...

I think this counts as a degree. You can now add d.d. to the end of your name. Hey, you have a certificate.

jakelliesmom said...

My one and only car accident (knock on wood), I was eating. I was also very busy thinking and being pregnant, and I wished I had seen the guy IN FRONT OF ME instead of slamming into his very old station wagon. At least you didn't see your guy.

I'll never forget all I learned about drunk driving in traffic school, too!

dcrmom said...

Here from Chased By Children. What a nightmare! Hubs did that just a few weeks ago. He drives a big Dodge Ram pickup, so he never saw the car. Oooops! Happens to the best of us, I suppose. LOL about the remedial drivers training. That sounds like an interesting day.

painted maypole said...

well, you managed to make that all sound like a fun adventure!

Family Adventure said...

I'm glad no one was seriously hurt, but poor young guy with no old car left. Hope he gets everything sorted out OK.

Then go frame that certificate and put in on the wall. You know, next to your husband's M.D. :)


bermudabluez said...

Well, I don't believe I know anyone who has graduated from this particular school...congratulations!! Hope the guy forgives you for his car! Glad nobody was hurt!

Crystal said...

Oh man, what a bummer! But I am totally with you on the people watching. I love it. That kind of class sounds like the perfect people watching location.

Lisa said...

What a way to put a positive spin on things. I went to a course like that once to get out a ticket, and must not have went in with the same lovely attitude that you did :)

Jen M. said...

Yo - "J" here. I SO DO NOT SCREEN YOU!!! :) NOT!!

I am just really bad about taking my phone with me and remembering to return calls!

FLAKY - not screen-ey.


Candy said...

Plus it gave you something interesting to blog about! All in all, a successful result.

myminivanisfasterthanyours said...

You are hilarious! I took a defensive driving course about eight years ago, and the night before the class my lifelong best friend came out of the closet to me. I was so excited because I knew I'd have something to occupy my mind the following day. Yep, that's how I think :)

Todd said...

I can see that you put a lot of hard work on your blog, I’m sure I’d visit here more often.Great job, keep posting interesting articles here. All The Best.

Traffic School Online

NYS Defensive Driving Course Online said...

así, se las arregló para hacer que todo suene como una divertida aventura!