When you are taking driving lessons everyone tells you to watch were you are going and to SHOULDER CHECK.
I live in Canada, here everyone knows that once snow hits the pavement everyone will suddenly 'forget' what to do, where the lanes are, and what that magical blinker does. No joke, this happens.
It is well in to the winter season and we still have about a month or two left to go before spring comes. Snow is slowly melting/freezing, causing all kinds of problems around town. There has been a ton of accidents being reported in the last few months here where a live but todays incident takes the cake. It has absolutely nothing to do with the icy road conditions, low visibility because of the snow or fog, or whatever else you can think of. No. This is just because people don't shoulder check... or just check before merging in to a different lane.
I was on my way home from work and it is a 10-15 min drive depending on traffic. Yes, 15 mins is traffic/ rush hour here!! That's crazy right? In Guadalajara it was 1-2hrs to get anywhere during rush hour!... Anyways I am digressing from the story...
I was no my way home on the same route that I take every day, it is usually busy around 4pm which is when I was on the road. I was minding my own business listening to the radio staying on my lane...when suddenly the driver on the next lane moved in to my lane, no signal and no shoulder check. By the time I honked because he was getting close, it was too late! He drove right in to the side of my car and left a GIANT scratch from the back door to the front driver side door and took off my side view mirror. I never thought I would rant about driving, let alone rant about shoulder checking. After he hit me he KEPT driving! Can you believe it?!...He eventually stopped about 10ft from where I stopped, I honestly thought the person was going to drive away so I got even more angry.
Once I saw him step outside of his car, I didn't know if I was pissed or felt bad for him or what I was thinking! But I walked over to his car and he said, "I am sorry, I think you were in my blindspot. I did not see you" and proceeded to stare at me with a blank face. LIKE WHAT?! ... any I asked him for his information and he did not know I was asking from him. Eventually I got the information I needed and gave him my information... that whole transaction felt like it took about 30 mins in my head but it was about 10-15mins.
This man was asking me what I was going to do... if I was going to claim it, if I had insurance because he was sure he had, if I was going to make the call today, if I was going to give his information to the insurance place. I said yes to all of his questions but I swear that he did not look like he understood what had just happened.
I have never been in a car accident, I was super raddled... confused, mad, sad, honestly every emotion combined. I don't know why but my brain decided to focus on the fact that he was an older man... I started to think, maybe he couldn't turn in order to check, maybe he's at that age where he needs help but no one is able to give him a hand so he has to drive himself. I honestly thought that maybe I shouldn't make the claim, what if they take his license away because of it?? What if that is his only way of transportation, driving himself around?...
That is all I thought about on the way home. I wonder what he is thinking, how he is feeling. I really hope that he made it safe to his destination.
I obviously did the claim, it also helped that my mom and my boyfriend were there to help me when I made the claim. But I can't help to feel guilty about making it and I know that is irrational because this man literally ran into my car without a second thought. He obviously did not see me...but I know that is no excuse.
Now all I can think about is, there is a reason why it is so important to shoulder check! I always thought, "why must I be able to have the owl like ability to turn my neck around without moving my shoulders in order to check if there is a car beside me when I can't see anything in my side view mirror... And now I know why.
Moral of the story drive safe, make sure you double check before changing lanes, and... please, use our blinkers they might just save you or someone else from a collision that will cost you much much more than using your owl-like talent to shoulder check.