For the third time since March of last year, my poor little Sonic has been involved in a vehicle collision that was not my fault. With this latest repair cost (for the at fault insurance company, anyway) looming, I am almost certain that the twelve-month repair cost total will reach or exceed the original purchase price of the car.
Sitting in line at the fast food drive through always seemed a precarious endeavor to me. What is taking people so long, while you are trapped in a narrow lane of cars? Would it have been easier or quicker to just park and go inside? Why is that truck in front of me backing up while in the middle of a line…
So I guess the woman driving and her husband got into an argument about their choice of breakfast stops, and the woman just put ‘er into reverse, without taking note of the line forming behind her. Karma dictates that I should be directly behind their enormous vehicle, undoubtedly hidden behind a high-rising tailgate, since I probably shouldn’t have been their in the first place; using a coupon that barely afforded me any discount, for a meal that my waistline could barely afford. Alas, there I was, and que sera, sera.
Even though the damage was minor, my front end is dented and broken in enough spots where they will probably have to replace all of it, leaving my driver’s side door the only part of the car’s exterior as an original piece.
Where am I going wrong here? Is my car too small and too dark in color for people to notice it? Is it because I, unlike many Americans, have lived in a personal culture of abstinence from the horn, so that I am now too slow to hit it when I need it most? I can’t imagine bad luck is the only blamable factor, since I had never been hit while driving my orange Bug, or my Mazda pickup, or my Century sedan.
While I worry about the future, as I am working towards giving this car to my wife, my experience opens up another question that I have long asked: why are there so many auto body shops? I mean, dang, they’re everywhere, in every city, dozens of them, all in rows like competing county fair food vendors.
The answer is clear to me now: because the business is there. Thinking back on it, the three times now that I’ve gone to body shops for body work, they have always had several cars completed, being worked on, and pending. My community college has a huge body shop program. Business seems to be booming, which begs the question: does the world need more body shop technicians, or better drivers?
Luckily, auto insurance is a requirement by law. Unfortunately, its an easy law to break. The first two people to hit my car had let their insurance expire. Makes me wonder if my insurance company sued them for damages. Probably. Karma on the loose, once again.
My experiences with insurance companies have always been positive. Even when I caused an accident in my youth (that poor clementine orange Bug) the insurance company took care of everything without hassle. With these recent forays into the seedy inner-workings of the insurance industry, I’ve had to do little more than receive phone calls and go where I’m told.
I know this isn’t always the case, and that most people don’t share my glowing view of insurance companies. Does quality of insurance company have something to do with it? I’ve always had Allstate or AAA, and the guy that hit me yesterday had Farmers. All of these are big names in insurance. How many of those negative experiences surround companies that advertise extremely cheap rates by using minimum wage sign shakers and supermarket parking lot car fliers?
Regardless, my poor Sonic is up for another plastic surgery job. Here’s hoping I can keep her safe for the next seven weeks, so she keeps her annual trips to the doctor at a hat trick.
If things keep up the way they’re going, I’ll have a brand new car soon enough.