Out of the Blue

First off, happy birthday to MrsBlue, as my better half turns 29 today. As described below, I got her an unusual present.

So the payoff on my cliffhanger Into the Black last night is my first-ever auto accident. I was driving on the Taconic State Parkway yesterday afternoon after running an errand. This road is infamous due to the way it intersects local streets. It is also the scene of the notorious 2009 Taconic State Parkway crash that MrsBlue and I drove past. I was approaching one of the weird intersections that makes the Taconic so dangerous. The road is two lanes in each direction, with a median in-between, and there were cars waiting in the median at a stop sign to cross our lane and continue on a local road. It was only when I was ridiculously close to the intersection that the driver waiting at the front of the line made his move and pulled out right in front of me. It was a genuine wtf moment, as I couldn't have been more than 30 feet out when he did this. I leaned on the horn and stood on the brake pedal, but I instantly knew it was a lost cause, and I was just going to have to eat it. I t-boned him, and coasted onto the shoulder. His car spun and hit an SUV that was waiting to cross the intersection in the opposite direction.

The airbags went off in all three vehicles, but thankfully no one was seriously hurt. Ironically, the car that's the least likely to be a total loss is the guy who caused the crash. I obliterated his rear passenger door, but that's about it for him. The SUV took it on the nose, which damaged the radiator. But my car bore the brunt of it. The nose is pushed into the engine, the hood is crumpled, both front quarter panels are trashed, and the body is bent enough that it's hard to work the doors. The bot on the insurance company website says it thinks it can be repaired, but no one has inspected it yet, and I am dubious. Amid the misfortune here, I did have one stroke of luck. There was a cop waiting at the intersection in an unmarked vehicle. He was out of jurisdiction, but it means I have a reliable witness. To his credit, the guy I hit took full responsibility anyway. Interestingly, he was a cop himself, but he mentioned that later as an aside, so he wasn't looking for special treatment. The State Trooper who responded to the crash told me he had been issued a citation, and that would be sufficient proof for my insurance company that I was not at fault.

And while no one was badly hurt, I took the worst of it physically by far. I came out of it with a sore left arm, some scrapes/burns on my right wrist from the airbag, and some bad bruising to the right side of my ribcage. My arm only bothered me a bit at first, and I refused to go to the hospital (these people clearly didn't understand I was heading home to make an update here!). But the pain proceeded to worsen. Well, so did my whole body. As the EMT warned, the aches and pains came on pretty hard over the evening. But the arm is the only real concern. While I can rotate it and wiggle my fingers, I can't bend it fully without pain, and it's pretty weak and useless. Red tape prevented them from being able to X-Ray me at the urgent care place we visited later (apparently you need a "no fault compliance" specialist for care related to auto accidents). So I'll go back there today and try and figure out if I have a weird nondisplaced fracture or something. It's actually a little better now, so I'm guessing I just hyperextended my elbow bracing for impact. But dammit Jim, I'm a webmaster, not a doctor! Anyway, this all serves as a reminder of how much safer cars are now than they used to be. If I'd had this accident 35 years ago before mandatory airbags, I'd have probably been killed.

Banged-up Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

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