Rear-ending a Writer


Let me say right upfront that I am fine.

Yesterday afternoon I was in my Prius at a red light,
and I watched a woman use the cross walk in front of me.
She was dressed in business clothes, dark blue form-fitting blouse
and blue slacks that showed off her full hips.
Her blonde hair was shoulder length and slightly kinky.
She carried a purse over one shoulder and held a Subway sandwich bag in her hand.
A six-inch sandwich.
I thought, "Wow, it’s pretty late for lunch."
I glanced at my clock and it said 2:55.

Just as I wondered if the woman always ate lunch that late or whether it was
such a busy day she couldn’t get out of the office any sooner, I was hit from behind.

Lots of adrenaline and shaking ensued.
I pulled off the street into a parking lot,
followed by the guy in the minivan who’d hit me.

More shaking.
I wrote down my name and insurance carrier and policy number
and gave it to the man.  He gave me his card so I could do the same
but I was shaking so much I asked him to do it.

I couldn’t read his name as written so he spelled it out for me.
He didn’t include his insurance carrier until I asked.

After he left, I realized his policy number was a bit scribbly,
and I wasn’t entirely positive I was reading it correctly.

As I sat in my car waiting for the adrenaline to wear off,
I felt some tightness in my back below my shoulder blades.
I decided to be smart and call my insurance company just to let them know
what had happened in case it turned out I was injured.

Here are some of the pieces of information they wanted that I could not provide:
Man’s license plate number.
Man’s phone number.
Man’s address.
Man’s vehicle identification number.  (VIN, really?!  How about a DNA sample while I’m at it?!)
Description of man’s vehicle including number of doors and presence of child restraints/car seats. 
(I told her I didn’t know about car seats but that there was a black dog riding shotgun).

So I guess the moral of this story is . . . what?
That Tracy should make a little checklist to keep in her glove compartment so she’ll remember to ask for the obvious next time?
That writers are incredibly detail-oriented up until the point of suffering a trauma?
That Tracy is never going to get a job as a detective?
That Tracy should cut herself some slack and give herself points for having the guy spell out his last name AND
include the name of his insurance carrier?  I mean, imagine the embarrassment if I hadn’t been able to supply that basic info.

Writers be warned: your brains might not function at their usual levels after getting rear-ended.
Cheat sheets are highly recommended.

25 thoughts on “Rear-ending a Writer

  1. First of all, let me say that I am relieved–and grateful–that you are okay. I trust the woman at the light is also fine?

    I think a lot of insurance companies provide templates to use in similar situations. You can Google those forms online, or if you want a really, really detailed form to use for recording information at the scene, here you go:

    Again, I’m glad you’re okay! And I appreciate your ever-present thoughtfulness, which led you to turn your horrible situation into a public service announcement.


    • I’m sorry, YES, the woman walking across the street was up on the sidewalk when I got hit.

      That’s an amazing form you provided. Wow. I had no idea (obviously). I’m going to print out an abbreviated version and keep it in my car. Thank you!

      Thank you also for the good wishes. I’m doing pretty well, I think. Had a cranial sacral session yesterday and iced my back and neck twice. Which reminds me, I need to ice today.


  2. I am so glad you are okay. I wish someone else had that license number at the scene, or that there was a camera at that intersection.
    Mostly I am glad you are okay.


    • I am okay, thank you, Laura. The damage to my car was minimal and I think my back is going to be fine. I’m a little nervous about sitting at lights now, though.


  3. Where I live every little fender bender is reported to the police. You should have done that prolly because it makes it easier on the insurance companies to determine who pays for what.


    • That makes sense about calling the police but I wasn’t thinking that way since the damage was minimal. I mean, really nothing. It was my back I was worried about, and I’m doing fine, I think. I ran this morning and felt no pain. I just wish I wasn’t nervous at red lights…


  4. Urgh 😦 I’m glad you’re okay! Adrenaline is a funny thing, and even though I’ve never been rear-ended (or in any accident like that), just seeing an accident or having a close call has made me all shaky and not-thinking-well. (((HUGS)))


    • I’m glad you’ve never experienced an accident, Robin, and I totally get what you’re saying about how just seeing one or having a close call can trigger a reaction in your system. I’m like that, too. I know it’s best to let that stuff work its way out of my system so I was glad I was shaking because that meant the trauma wasn’t trapped in me. Still, it’s hard to write/think when you’re shaking.

      Thank you much for the hugs.


    • It was scary but I think I’m going to be A-okay. I guess it’s probably pretty common to not think in those situations, but it’s kind of embarrassing after the fact to realize how out of touch I was.

      Thanks, Karen.


  5. You might feel “okay” today but tomorrow, after the adrenaaline is gone, you might feel as if you were hit by a bus. Do take care.

    oh … lucky you had a pen … many aren’t that well prepared!


    • I hurt more yesterday after a cranial sacral appointment, but then I iced a couple times and felt better. Today I feel great and went for a run this morning. Thank you for the kind words.

      And you’re right, I get big bonus points for having a pen! 🙂


  6. I’m glad you are ok. I have been in A LOT of fender benders. (My rearend has been replaced three times on my Honda. My two cars prior to this one have faced similar fates.) I say all this to say, I am a PRO at knowing the information to get. A lot of times insurance companies will issue you two cards, one for yourself and one to give to someone should you be in an accident. And police will take all the info down. I fyou don’t call police it is always good to take a picture of your damage so the other person can’t claim damage not a result of your accident. (People fraud car insurance ALL the time.)


    • Another good use for your cell phone camera! We learned from first-hand experience the importance of snapping photos of any potential damage–and getting a photo of the other car’s occupants, as well. Sad to say, sometimes people fib about who was in the driver’s seat–and the number of passengers in the car.


    • That’s right, I remember the story of your various accidents. Yikes. I guess you would be a pro at getting the right info. Fortunately, the damage to my car was very, very slight, and it’s not an issue. My back is doing fine and I ran this morning so I think I’m okay. Yes!!


    • Isn’t that strange how you can conjure up those shaky feelings long after the fact? It’s kinda trippy.

      Thanks for the good thoughts and hugs, Amy. I’m feeling good today and think all is well.


  7. I’ll have to follow that link to read about your metal mouth…but first, I’m going to bask in the newly emerged sun! Happy weekend to you.


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