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a bangup job

camry boom

I had a car accident about 6 PM tonight. I hadn’t even made it all the way out of my parking spot at work.

The University of Utah police officer did not ticket either of us, but he did tell me that a car on the roadway has right of way over a car coming out of a parking spot, so the insurance company would probably blame me.

Here’s a rundown of what happened. I was parked nose out, because visibility is greater than when you park nose in. When I first started pulling out and to the left, I did not see anyone coming. When I got about halfway out of the parking spot, I saw the other car coming to my right. I quickly realized that she was coming pretty fast, so I decided to stop. By the time I got my intent translated into action and got stopped, I was sticking most of the way out of the parking spot. It was a good 2-3 seconds between the time I stopped and the time she hit her brakes, and she was only a little more than a car length away. The impact was between the front left corner of her car and my front passenger door.

If I had gunned it instead of stopping, there wouldn’t have been a problem, except for me driving too fast in a parking lot. I think one of two things happened. Either she was caught off guard when I didn’t gun it, or her mind was wandering and she wasn’t paying full attention. She realized too late that the car in front of her had stopped instead of getting out of the way, and boom.

The form we were given to fill out did not have the usual “draw a picture and describe what happened” section, so I didn’t write anything about what happened on the police report. The other driver wrote (in the “officer’s comments” section) that I pulled out in front of her and she couldn’t stop in time.

With luck, the insurance company will rule it no-fault, but I fear that the officer may be right and I’ll get the blame. At least nobody was hurt.

By elyograg

Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy with the proof.
-- J.K. Galbraith

4 replies on “a bangup job”

Man I love door hits. They’re so effortless. Looks like it didn’t even really damage your skirt, the fender is fine, and any damage is miles away from the quarter panel – those dents are a giant PITA.

Head over to the Pick’N’Pull, grab a replacement door, have it painted to match a chip from the dented door, spend a weekend replacing the door, get a front end alignment, and viola! Like it never happened.

I’m afraid you’re right about the insurance – even though it sounds like you were the careful driver in this case. Up side is you’re a couple of hundred bucks away from completely made whole, down side is it’s more than likely gonna be your couple hundred bucks.

If you want or can spend more time with it, grab a can of flat black rustoleum at the autozone or wherever, and take the opportunity to tape off and rust-resist the area where the body meets the door. Salt Lake City is aptly named and it is a lot easier to prevent rust than repair it.

-Gil

There is a very small dent in the bottom edge of the doorframe, and though I haven’t confirmed it yet, the bottom trim clips may have gotten broken. I probably do have to take some measures against rust.

At the scene, I was trying to be careful not to open the door, but eventually I forgot and opened it. It opens and shuts perfectly, though I am afraid to touch the window switch. It looks like it might actually go most of the way down, but I don’t want to risk it.

I have seen so many cars on the road that are identical to mine that I have little worry about finding a door that may come with a perfect paint match preinstalled.

Even easier! Cheaper too. Hey- I don’t know if you have a garage or not, but pulling off all the little fiddly bits – the door handle, retaining rings, undamaged trim and interior pieces, window mechanisms (including the motor) for storage could be a good idea. Of course – my fleet consists of two twenty year old cars, so I’m a little paranoid about being able to get parts – might not be an issue for you. Five more years to vintage, baby!

Bit of an update. The door, it turns out, does not actually function properly. It is now crushing the front fender when it is opened, and because of that, is difficult to open enough to actually get in or out.

I do have a garage, but because of an inordinate amount of cra^H^H^Hstuff stored therein, I cannot actually use it for the cars.

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