Friday, July 28, 2006

Another reason I hate cars.

My daughter borrowed my car last night to spend some time with her friends (not an unusual occurrence). On the way back, an animal run out in front of her, she swerved to avoid it and struck a bank of mailboxes. She was really upset about it but I couldn't be that angry with her. While I would prefer that, in those situations she brake more and swerve less, I've list control of my vehicle and taken out a mailbox before myself. It happens.

No, what upset her most, and me as well, was the sheer amount of damage done to the car. The front quarter panel was seriously caved in. The passenger side rear-view mirror was torn off completely and a number of scrapes spread across both doors.Many, many years ago, we were involved in an accident while driving my Grandfather's 1979 Bonneville. We hit the other car which had spun out in front of us on snow-slicked roads. We were going at perhaps around 30 mph, hit the other vehicle full on and had only minor damage. A bent bumper and some fender dents that could be bent out without much trouble. The car was a ton and a half of American steel.

Today's cars are built much like my bicycle helmet, designed to completely disintegrate in an impact so that all the kinetic energy of an accident goes into destroying the car and not into the passengers. But the downside of that is in very minor accidents, the damage instantly racks up a very high repair cost . My wife's car was rear-ended a few weeks ago. She had to point out the damage to me because I couldn't see it and that repair cost nearly $1000 dollars. For me, it could easily cost several times that. Certainly more than I still own in payments on it.

The car hit a mailbox, for crying out loud! A PLASTIC mailbox. OK, it was actually several plastic mailboxes, but still, the ratio of threat to damage is way over balanced.

No comments: