January 27, 2007

I haven't been adding much to the fray this week because I've been occupied with personal matters. Tuesday evening a young lady was kind enough to run a red light and total my car for me as I was driving my children home from my son's swimming lesson. Thankfully, my kids and I are generally in one piece, though they got to experience the fun of an ambulance ride to the emergency room for some precautionary tests. Needless to say, the resulting paperwork, acquisition of rental car, and related fun tasks have occupied much of my non-working time the last several days.

For now, I'd just like to thank the good folks from the Snohomish County Sheriff's office and Snohomish County Fire District #1 for their rapid response and gentle treatment of my children. Much appreciated.

P.S. Airbags hurt. Not as bad as a steering wheel in the face I'm sure, but a feeling something like a sledgehammer in the chest is a nice consolation prize.

Posted by Eric Earling at January 27, 2007 10:23 AM | Email This
1. Eric,

Glad you're all okay! I hesitate to stereotype, but was the young lady on the phone per chance?


Posted by: suzihomemaker on January 27, 2007 10:11 AM
2. Glad you are all ok. Something like this always makes one appreciate the little things in life.

Our FD's and SO's deserve more praise than they receive.

Posted by: Chris on January 27, 2007 10:13 AM
3. Ouch! :P

Best wishes on everyone's quick recovery.

Posted by: brent on January 27, 2007 10:14 AM
4. Suzi -

She may have actually been changing her shirt. I noticed she was only wearing a bra at first when she was sitting in her car right after the accident (she later pulled on a light jacket). I didn't think much of it since I had more important things on my mind at that juncture, but my son mentioned the same thing unsolicited the next day so my wife's theory is the in-car wardrobe change. Either way, there were lots of witnesses and the Sheriff gave her a ticket with the accident report without hardly talking to me so that's all I needed.

Posted by: Eric Earling on January 27, 2007 10:26 AM
5. Glad that you and your kids are ok, Eric.

Just a couple of weeks ago I was sitting first in line at a stoplight. Since there are so many red-light runners these days I always pause just a bit when the light turns green. Sure enough, one of those huge gravel hauling dump trucks blasted through the intersection. It would have been like colliding with a freight train. I would not have survived. Suddenly life's little worries didn't seem very important.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on January 27, 2007 10:51 AM
6. For shizzle, swizzle!

Posted by: hinton on January 27, 2007 11:09 AM
7. Eric,

Glad to hear you and yours are OK.

Use caution and remember the old adage: The only thing that traffic signal is telling you is that it's working.

Posted by: jimg on January 27, 2007 11:40 AM
8. Glad you and your family are O.K., Eric. I've been through that. Not fun. As jimg suggests, you drive differently forever after that happens. You never assume anybody else is going to do what they're supposed to.

Posted by: stu on January 27, 2007 01:58 PM
9. Ditto, Glad you are all OK! Jikes, that is something we all hope to avoid. You had an angel watching out for you, and I am happy the Kids are OK. You get a pass at SP until you are feeling up to it again...

Posted by: GS on January 27, 2007 02:10 PM
10. Best Wishes.

Posted by: WVH on January 27, 2007 02:56 PM
11. Glad you and the kids are OK. Isn't it funny how something like that always provides fun and excitement like riding in an ambulance for the first time (and hopefully the last)?

It reminds me of when our family flew back east for my grandfathers funeral just a few months ago. We had to fly on Thanksgiving Day, which was a drag to begin with. We were scheduled for a connection flight in Detroit. When we arrived in Detroit, we found out that our connecting flight was cancelled, and they weren't even sure they'd have anything available to get us there on time. So we were stuck in Detroit for the night, and possibly another whole day. My 5 year old was thrilled, however to have her first night in a HOTEL ROOM. It doesn't take much to please these little ones.

Posted by: Michelle on January 27, 2007 03:17 PM
12. Glad you are all OK.

Don't discount any "minor" aches you may feel. Today they're minor, in a month or two you'll be wondering what the heck happened.

When my perfect little 1997 E320 became a filling for a Mercedes sandwich between 2 great big pick-up trucks 16 months ago, my son and I felt fine even though my car was totalled and the air bags did not deploy. The young woman (on the phone) who kept going 40mpg right into me as I sat at the light was driving her daddy's car. Yep, 4 insurance companies involved, which was 3 too many to handle. We spoke with an attorney who advised we make the claim with OUR insurance company and let them deal with the other 3... "that's why you've been paying them, to be your advocate".

Good luck.

My son went on to participate in sports that season and yet her insurance company has offered HIM a settlement on his injuries. It's all a drag.

Posted by: Ragnar Danneskold on January 27, 2007 05:13 PM
13. Glad everyone came out of it okay. Is it true that the airbags emit a really strong solvent smell?

Posted by: Michele on January 27, 2007 09:55 PM
14. The powder that is used to depoly the airbag is an irritant and can cause a smoke or haze in the car. Glad to hear that everything went well and that you were all uninjured. The light runners throughout the area are getting worse and worse. But the drivers who get in front on Fire Engines and Trucks, instead of pulling right and stopping, or the ones that shoot behind us and follow to beat the traffic are starting to get even more aggressive. One of the biggest dangers for firefighters, cops and our patients are the rubber neckers and the people who speed up through the lights. Anyways, off of my soapbox. Glad to hear everyone was ok.

Posted by: Union Fireman on January 27, 2007 10:07 PM
15. Glad to hear you are OK Eric. The driving test should be much, much harder than it is. I'm amazed at home many bad drivers there are on the roads. I do as Bill does, always pause a second a look both ways before proceeding into a green. Better safe than sorry.

Posted by: Jeff B. on January 27, 2007 10:22 PM
16. Glad you and the kids made it out ok!

Posted by: Patrick on January 27, 2007 11:30 PM
17. best wishes too all--politics aside, we're all still walking that tightwire called life. good to hear family is well. scary.

suzi @1 is right--70-80% of drivers i see are blabbing away. i cant imagine what the heck is so darn important to discuss these days that wasn't just a decade or more ago or couldn't wait during a (focused, attentive & defensive) drive.

Posted by: jimmie-howya-doin on January 28, 2007 04:42 AM
18. Michele @ 13 -

Yes, it's a strong smell...still in the car the day after when we cleaned it out at the tow yard. Union Fireman's description also fits my experience.

Posted by: Eric Earling on January 28, 2007 07:34 AM
19. Godspeed. I'm glad you and yours are okay. That's scary business.

Posted by: zappini on January 28, 2007 10:07 AM
20. Sorry for your accident, Eric, and glad to hear there were no serious injuries. I work in a field connected to the insurance industry, and am exposed daily to details of auto accidents. There are some important things for everyone to remember when involved:
1. ALWAYS go through your own insurance carrier, not the other person's, even if the accident is not your fault. Most people think their rates will go up, but that's not true. I even had a police officer tell me that recently. Absolutely not true. Your rates will not increase if the accident is not your fault. You have a contract with your own carrier to represent you. Other carriers are not concerned for anyone but their own client.
2. Do not move your car unless it is blocking a major thoroughfare, until the police arrive, and always call the police. Insist on an accident report from the police.
3. Get the names, addresses and phone numbers of any independent eye witnesses. Ask them to stay and make a statement to the police.
4. Do not really discuss the accident with the other driver. Wait for the police to take their statement.

Posted by: katomar on January 28, 2007 12:12 PM
21. Eric, I'm glad to hear you're okay.

Posted by: John A. on January 29, 2007 10:06 AM
22. Eric, very glad to hear that you and the young ones are OK. Collisions can be traumatic, even when there are no injuries.

About 5 years ago, while stopped for a car in front of her that was turning left, a 73 year old relative of mine was rear ended by an 18 year old girl. The skid marks made by the teen drivers' car were 47 feet long, and 7 feet after impact (speed limit was then 50, since reduced to 45). Neeless to say, both cars were totaled.

Unfortunately, the youthful driver was not paying attention, and was cited for same.

Since then, my elderly relative no longer works the 30 hours a week she used to, nor can she take the long walks she used to enjoy; she's never been the same since the collision. A collision can change your life in the twinlking of an eye.

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