I was in my Alfa Sprint waiting to turn right at a T-intersection just near my house. I was waiting because a blue Mitsubishi was coming from my left along the street I wanted to turn into. The blue Mitsubishi has it’s right-turn indicator on. She’s going to turn into the street where I’m waiting.
I’m the orange car and she’s the green one in the diagram to the right.
Suddenly, she’s heading straight for me! She’s cutting the corner and obviously hasn’t seen me! There’s absolutely nothing I can do as her Mitsubishi badge is heading straight for my RHS headlights. It happened so suddenly, so innocuously and there’s no time to reach for the horn in the Alfa.
Thankfully, she finally sees me and comes to a halt. She’s just inches from the front of my car. There’s nobody behind me so I back up to give her room to go around. Her window goes down as she draws up next to me and she’s extremely apologetic. She has a pre-teen in the front and a smaller kid in the back.
“I’m sorry. I don’t know what happened. I must have been in another world!”
In my head, I’m nodding furiously and shaking fists in her general direction. In real life, there’s no damage done and she’s been very conciliatory straight away, so I just smile.
“No problem”, I say. “Everything’s OK.”
We go our separate ways.
I’ve only had the car registered for a week and already it was nearly taken from me! I count my blessings as I pull up at home.
Saturday (today), 7:30pm
I’ve just called in to our local shopping centre. Chicken potato chips and a Coke. Nothing unusual. The Sprint is gleaming in the car park as I’d just washed it in preparation for a small photo session I planned for the next morning (Mark McC, take note 🙂 )
I reversed out of my parking spot and I was changing out of reverse gear when I saw a red object, car sized, moving towards me. It was the lady who had parked on the other side of the car park and she’s reversing out of her spot – right towards my front RHS guard and wheel!
This time I had just a second longer so I thrust my arm out to the centre of my steering wheel to sound my horn and let her know I was there.
This was not the best time to learn that the Alfa Romeo Sprint’s horn operates not via the central pad on the steering wheel, but via one of the stalks on the steering column 🙁
Her red Ford Focus proceeded at a slow pace to meet with my RHS front guard. A very small amount of damage is done, which I’m mightily annoyed about because while it might be my cheap, fun car, the body was accident-free and dent-free and that’s no longer the case now. I do want it fixed but I’ll be relying on her to some degree to do the right thing and lodge a claim with her insurer. My insurer won’t do anything as I only have this car covered for third-party damage. I’ll be contacting her insurer first thing Tuesday morning (Monday’s a public holiday here).
My tiny bit of damage, that I DO want fixed.
Just like the previous lady, this one was a 40-something mother with two kids in the car. What do 40-something mothers have against Alfa Romeo Sprints??!!
Interestingly, her Focus has both a backup camera AND parking sensors and yet the car gave her no warning that I was there as she reversed towards me. And as you can see from the white paint I left on her car, the parking sensor is right near one of the white patches.
She made a point of mentioning all the technology in the car that should have helped her avoid this incident and it got me wondering about whether people rely on this technology too much. I’ve often thought that too much tech makes people a bit lazy about the old-fashioned manual checks they should do when they’re driving. Today’s incident doesn’t do much to dispel the theory.
So that’s two 40-somethings ladies. One hit. One miss.
I’m getting a little fearful of taking the car out at all now. Sure, it’s small, but I didn’t think it was that small.