Thursday, January 19, 2017

Being Rear-Ended

So while I was driving to to school earlier today, I got hit by a car from behind. I wasn't hurt or anything, but the dent that collision left on my car's rear bumper was a bit of a doozie. As I realised that I got rear-ended, I looked to see who had done it by examining my rearview mirror. It was a grey Unser, and it signalled to the left to pull over by the roadside. I was thankful that they didn't decide to drive away and make it more complicated than it had to be.

I pulled over too to allow other cars to pass us and go about their day. In my teacher's attire of long-sleeved button-up shirt and slacks, I got out of my car and reminded myself to be as calm as I could, given the circumstances. The main goal was to settle what had to be settled as quickly as possible, and go about our day. I still had school to go to.

The driver of the Unser was alone, and if I had to guess, was about my age, if not slightly older, since he had more of a stubble than I could ever pull off with my current facial hair situation. He was apologetic and acknowledged that it was his fault for hitting my car. I asked him if he had ever done this before, as in hit another person's car before, and he  answered in the negative. I whipped up my camera and took a picture of the damage to my car and the Unser's plate number. I then asked him for his licence and ID and took a picture of those. He did the same for me, after my insistence.

As calm and level-headed as I tried to be, I wasn't very experienced in handling road accidents myself. I knew what to do in case of car breakdowns, but not vehicular collisions, so I asked my mother-in-law (who happened to live 2 minutes away from the incident) by calling her. She told me what to do and I set in motion her plan, which was to tell the driver of the Unser that he was to pay for the damages, or else a police report had to be made.

The driver of the Unser complied and was happy to do what he needed to in order to get the thing settled so that the both of us could move on from what had happened. We shared the same goal, which was to get it over and done with as quickly and as painlessly as it could be, and for that I appreciate him. He gave me his phone number and I made sure he gave me the right one by calling him on the spot to see that his phone was ringing.

Before we parted ways, he apologised again, and I said no worries while getting back in the car. It wasn't the warmest of goodbyes that I could have given, and in hindsight I could have been a little warmer to receive his apology properly. He seemed genuine in his sorries and seemed like he really wished he hadn't hit my car (but of course, who ever wishes otherwise?).

I think the way the Unser driver handled it was exemplary and made the effort to seem like he was sorry for what he had done and cooperated with me to get what had to be settled done. He made sure that it was all over within a day so that we could both move on with our lives. He was very calm and was as warm as one could be given the situation at hand. I have a thing or two to learn from that person, and I hope that if the roles were reversed one day and I were the one in the wrong, I would be strong enough to deal with it the way that he did. He made a mistake and owned up to it, took responsibility for it and made sure I was compensated for the damages.

Here's to that guy, for being a nice dude.


sh said...

I once hit a car in front of me because my eyes were glued to the GPS instead of the road. It was really just a minor accident, but it was a first for me, and I was the offender, so I was shaking in fear. The guy whose car I hit was really kind to calm me down and tell me the steps I should take like you outlined in this post - take pictures of the damage, IC, plate number, etc. He even made sure that I was alright to continue driving to my destination. Settled everything within a day.

God bless kind people.

afifah said...

if only everyone were like, the world would be a happier place. sometimes people gets too defensive.