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Shoulda stood in bed

We set the alarm for 630 this morning so that we could get C off to daycare by 745 so that I could go to an 8 o'clock eye exam and then shop for a replacement for the glasses that broke last week. (The right temple fell off, and it's sorta superglued back on, but the fit is not what it was and the writing is one the wall.)

It was cold overnight, and this morning was just above freezing, with the same thin pelting rain we had yesterday. And for some reason the truck that sands the parking lot, which slopes downhill from the road, had not made an appearance. So when I turned the wheel to head from the entrance toward the far end of the lot, nothing happened. With antilock buzzing we glided majestically into a couple of teachers' cars that were parked in the nearest spaces. Those cars in turn glided downhill, making a quarter turn and bouncing off each other a few times as they did.

The jeep was of course entirely unmarked; the other two cars had scuffs on the bumper, and one had a broken headlamp even though the outer plastic was unscathed. "We went bump," said C. "I said, 'Oh dear.'"

Aw crap. So I missed my eye exam, and spent the time instead waiting for the police to arrive (the first time someone called, there was no answer at the station, whee) and watching the other parents who weren't adequately waved off making similarly elegant curves. One of them slid right through the two spaces from which I had just ousted the teachers' cars. When a police car showed up, it very nearly plowed into everyone again. The officer blocked off the parking lot while he was writing his report, and I and a couple of spare staff scraped sand out of the big frozen bucket on the porch to pour out and make at least the semblance of a safe path for parents and kids to walk down from the street.

As I was leaving, about 840, the sand truck arrived, and I expect everything went pretty much back to normal soon after. So if I hadn't jumped on that cancellation for an eye exam, or had let C stay home having a leisurely breakfast until I got back to take him -- anything but being all enterprising and raring to go -- none of this would have happened. And some other parent would have been looking at scuffmarks and waiting for a police report.

There. I'll stop whining now for a bit.

Update: Got a letter from the insurance company of one of the other cars. Price for scuffs on bumper and (apparently) fender and driver's side door: $1300 plus car rental for however long the repair takes. Oy. I had hoped to be able to avoid unpleasantness.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 30th, 2008 02:59 pm (UTC)
There, There, *pat* *pat*

That must have been so miserable!

And so funny at the same time. Well, at least it's funny to read about it.
Jan. 31st, 2008 05:38 pm (UTC)
It would have been funny if I didn't really need a new pair of glasses. And if the insurance agent hadn't been so snippy.
Feb. 1st, 2008 05:17 pm (UTC)
well, that sucks. i hate, hate, hate icy streets, whether i am in the truck or on foot.
Feb. 4th, 2008 06:40 pm (UTC)
That is sucky. I hope the insurance people get over it--they should realize that if there weren't accidents, they'd be out of work.

Learned from Click and Clack this weekend/last weekend: antilock brakes take a longer distance to stop, since what they do is get the wheels all spinning at the same rotational speed--keeps the vehicle going straight, but slows stopping by speeding up the slower wheels.
Feb. 4th, 2008 07:28 pm (UTC)
I think (alas) that Click and Clack aren't quite right -- antilock with all wheels spinning at the same speed will take a longer distance to stop if only one or two wheels are skidding, because the non-skidding ones are now moving faster enough to let the skidding ones grip again. But that assumes there are nonskidding wheels. The general rule is that you get way more force transferred when a wheel isn't skidding than when it is, so if antilock can buy you more milliseconds of not skidding, it could give you a shorter stopping distance. (In my case, the car may have been going straight, but it wasn't exactly moving in the direction it was pointing. The next person in, who didn't hit the (moved) parked cars, succeeded in part by doing partial rotation so that their car was sliding sideways/backwards, and then applying a bunch of gas so that the little bit of tracton acted away from a collision.)
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )