February 24, 2014

#MyFirst... Car Accident

I got my license when I was 17 years old. That sounds simple, right? "I got my license when I was 17 years old." Except that it wasn't simple. For a start, I needed twenty-six lessons. This was partly the fault of my father, who a) insisted that I learn to drive on a manual (which is really, really hard), and b) refused to take me driving.

For another thing, I didn't get my license right away. Oh, my driving test went well. I worked all the gears, did my reverse park, and was going along swimmingly. Sadly, however, right at the end, as we were heading back to the depot, I missed a red light and went sailing through an intersection, forcing the quick witted instructor to employ the emergency brakes.

Apparently nearly causing a fatality means NO LICENSE FOR YOU. It was bitterly disappointing.

Still, I took the test a month later and passed with flying colours. Apparently not risking lives almost guarantees success. Who knew it was so easy? I was thrilled.

Two days later, my then-boyfriend visited my house with his best friend Andy, whom I'd never met before. Andy was super-cute - much cuter than my boyfriend - and I was very much wanted to impress him.

Oh. My. God. My dad was right.

My dad was home, and he asked me to move my (okay, his) car out of the driveway and park it across the street. My mum would be home soon and he wanted her to have the spot. I left the boys inside and ran out to the car. I put my keys in the ignition, looked in the rear-view mirror, and reversed out of the driveway and straight into Andy's car across the road.


"I'm sorry Andy!" I cried, as I ran into the house. "I smashed your car!"

My father came running out of his study in horror. "No!" he yelled. "Never admit liability!" (My dad, it may be gleaned, was a lawyer. Sadly, he was also a couple of seconds too late.)

"But... but..."

"Be quiet!"

Poor A looked a bit stunned as he regarded the wreckage of his fine automobile (which was probably just a Nissan or something, but still, he was 18 years old).

I don't remember what happened next. No doubt details were exchanged and arrangements made. I do remember that I never saw A again, and that my boyfriend and I only lasted another week.

But since then I've always been super careful backing out of driveways. Still knocked a couple more cars, though. Blame it on the gears.

Next week's topic: #MyFirst... Revelation (suggestions for #MyFirst topics welcome!)


  1. Ha ... I had a friend who reversed ... at speed ... straight into my car parked behind him in the driveway. He must have listened to your Dad ... cause he never admitted any liability ... and never paid for the repairs either. Notice I said "had" a friend.

  2. I was only 4 or 5 when I was in my first car accident — nothing serious — at least I didn't think so at the time — years later I discovered the truth, and it made me revisit the accident with fresh eyes: http://johnanthonyjames.com/post/77631588457/my-first-car-accident#.Uwpt7vmSySo

  3. I was on my L plates having a lesson with an instructor. I was waiting in the middle of one of those intersection thingies where there's a spot to rest while waiting for traffic to pass (I am crap at describing things) and doing everything the instructor told me. I am so lucky my instructor was worth my money because he told me that while I was learning I should have my handbrake on while waiting in the middle of four lanes (dual carriageway) in case someone tried to wait in the middle with me (which is illegal as there is only room for one vehicle) and smashed me into oncoming traffic. Well, someone shoved themselves into me, right after I applied the handbrake, didn't they. I was not far off going for my test and I think the incident shook me a little more than I admitted. I was very lucky, though - thanks instructor man!! The car had to go in for smash repairs (luckily not my car but sadly it was the poor instructor's) and we weren't injured. My instructor drove me home and I then had to continue my lessons in my own car which was a lovely little Nissan Pulsar but had no powered steering. I may have failed my first test because I went for it in the middle of my schoolies week, but that's another story haha.

  4. I just dropped my car at the panel beaters to have my rear bumper repaired. While I don't have a reverse camera, I DO have reverse sensors and they were going off one day but I assumed they were alerting me to the guy in the green souped up Commodore going over speed bumps at 0.05km/hr on an angle (you know the type) to my left so as soon as I could see he was finally out of my way I started backing out of a park ... straight into a little old lady in her jellybean car, complete with disabled sticker and all :(

  5. Hmmm.... Andy was clearly easily insulted. A near miss (metaphorically!).

  6. Oh man, driving tests. I failed my first one. All had gone fine, we were heading back to VicRoads (or wherever the licensing acquisition place is) and we got to a roundabout. The car opposite me entered it. No blinker. I entered it. The car that had entered it suddenly decided to turn right. I was suddenly in his or her way. Instant fail. GUTTED.

  7. As for other #MyFirst topics... childhood embarrassment, concert, celebrity crush, phobia, security item (teddy, blanket), hobby, moment of realisation that you were never going to be the next Kylie (sob)...

  8. Oh Kerri I don't know whether having a lawyer for a parent to live with is better or worse than a Secondary teacher parent... sheesh. I can't even talk about my first driving instructor, the freaking letch.

    I suspected this rule might have been the case. Otherwise what explanation beyond sheer brazen rudeness sees a woman back into the front of your car while you're sitting in it, hop out for a look and say nothing to you. Surely you can say sorry/ are you ok to the person sitting in the car you just hit if the whole thing has just been witnessed, nay, experienced by them?

  9. I did almost exactly the same thing one of the first times I drove the car by myself. Reversed out of my drive way and into the neighbour's car across the street. I had to go and tell them knowing that they'd recently had a death in the family. Not fun but luckily they were okay about it. And I still hate reversing!

  10. I did the old reverse out the driveway and into another car for my first accident too. A terrific rite of passage. But mine was into the back of a very expensive BMW belonging to a student at UWA. When I tried to swap information he assured me that wouldn't be necessary and left rather hurriedly. I assume he either had no license or was here on a not-quite-valid visa.

  11. Lana (Sharpest Pencil)February 24, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    I once turned up at my then boyfriend's house in huge fits of tears. His father opened the door to me and could see at once that I was not in a good way. I tried to explain what happened but I couldn't speak, instead I led him outside to where my car was parked, opened the boot and showed him the side of my car which had been so scrunched up it fitted neatly into the boot.

    I er, scraped past a truck.

    I am now married to that boyfriend and we spend a fair bit of money on car insurance.

  12. Ha! Couldn't have planned that better if you tried.

  13. Wow. Aren't you lucky the handbrake was on! Not so lucky about the rest of it....

  14. I love your dad's advice. Even though I probably would admit being at fault straight away! :D My first accident was while getting out of the driveway too...but embarassingly, I wasn't reversing. I was driving straight out and attempting to turn right but because of being vertically challenged and unable to see due to cars parked, I ran into another car. I'd previously blogged about it so I'm wondering how to 'freshen' it up for the prompt! :)

  15. My mom always scolds me and yells at me whenever I saved any accident. What if I meet an accident, she would scold me then also. People will think that it is my fault only. What should I do?

    Health And Safety Consultant Lincoln

  16. Ouch! That was quite an experience, but
    you know what they say, no pain no gain! I believe after all those
    inconvenience, you can now back up a car with no fret. However, it
    would still be advisable to acquire insurance just in case. Take
    Jayson Bass

  17. I know
    your dad was a tad too late on his "tip" to you, but you could
    really use this when you get involved in another accident, which hopefully
    never happens. Poor Andy's friend, though; the car must not have been his. At
    least this vivid remembrance of the accident must have made you "super
    careful". Who knows which car you'd bump into next.

    Hunter @ KhunterLaw.com

  18. I agree with your father. When you get into an accident, it’s best to keep silent, observe your surroundings and the wreck, call the authorities, and make your report. That way, you can have the detailed version of the story, and pursue the matter with a better grasp on things. Take care!

    Ann Taylor @ Hofmann Law Office


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