A blog can be a great place to write about first time experiences, sadly this one isn't a happy one!
The most important thing is that there were no injuries at all. I feel I need to say that before I even document my experience.
So, we had terrible weather here earlier this week. After a dry, fairly easy drive to work the weather turned very sour and the drive home was quite slick. It was wet, snowy, icy... just terrible driving conditions. I pride myself on being a very, very safe driver so I was trying to be extra cautious of course.
I didn't take my usual route home, as I was worried that the on-ramp to the highway could be slippery and I didn't want to have issues with cars going too fast on the highway. I decided to head over to another major road, hoping it would be plowed or at least well-traveled and a little safer. Along that main road, I felt that I was in bumper-to-bumper traffic. This made me nervous because with all the stopping and starting, I didn't want a rear-ending issue to happen. It was taking a long time to crawl along, so I decided to head West on a well-known street and work my way over to another major road that would lead me North to home and close to my neighbourhood.
I was driving along West-bound, and as I approached the intersection I merged into the right turn lane so I could continue on my journey North.
At the same time, a car made a left turn into a plaza... all I remember is thinking "No! I won't be able to stop!" (no room, slick conditions), as I pumped my break and just braced myself for the impact. The car had cut through two lanes of traffic to turn into the plaza, and I had merged to the right turn lane (as you do when you are going to turn right at the upcoming intersection), and it was just wrong place, wrong time. Also because of the weather conditions, I don't believe the car turned as quickly into the plaza as they may have on a dry day (the driveway was a bit uphill and was covered in snow). I couldn't swerve around them, because of the full lane of traffic in the lane left of mine.
Anyway, I collided with the other vehicle. The front of my car hit the back, right side of their car near their back tire (my car was much smaller, theirs an SUV). There was no visible damage to the exterior of their car, the front of my car is quite squashed. I wasn't travelling fast or dangerously, the air bags didn't deploy or anything like that.
We were able to pull into the plaza to exchange information. My car was drive-able, and later that night Mr. Lock and my dad went back to the plaza to drive my car back to a body shop up here. (I had Mr. Lock meet me at the plaza after the accident occurred as I was so shaken and needed his support). I've made my insurance claim, and now am just waiting to hear what the estimate is and all that. I had insurance coverage for a rental vehicle, so I got one so that I could drive to and from work this week.
It was such a scary experience. I was in so much shock, and then was sobbing uncontrollably that night. It wasn't my fault, the weather conditions were horrible and there were so many collisions on the roads that night... plus, the person should have been extra careful about making a left turn into a plaza (especially not at lights or from a left-turn lane or anything; cutting through traffic to turn left when the weather is so horrible for one of the first times this winter? Not a very safe decision).
The thing I have to remind myself is that a car is just an object though, this is why we have insurance, and the most important thing is that absolutely no one was injured in any way. It will continue to remind me of why I drive so carefully; and while we cannot control the other drivers on the road, it is important to personally remember to be cautious in a vehicle, especially in poor weather.
It was a first, and it is not an experience I would like to relive any time soon!