Car crash details

Published on January 5, 2010 by

At around 9:09:45 AM today I was involved in a car crash while on my way to work.

The following is reconstructed as best I can from my memory, the record in my GPS, and hearsay.

I was driving eastbound on 700 North in Lindon.  Approaching the intersection with State Street, I could see the light was red so I began slowing from 40 mph.  Before I reached the intersection, though, the light turned green.

Across State Street from me, several cars were facing west in the left turn lane, waiting to turn southbound on State Street.  There is no left turn signal for cars in that lane; they just get a normal green light and are supposed to yield to cars coming eastbound straight through the intersection. In the next lane, there were also cars waiting to proceed westbound straight through.

The driver of the first car in the left turn lane decided that there was enough time to turn left before I entered the intersection.  I felt he or she was cutting it a bit close, so I continued slowing.  My average speed over the final 8 seconds before entering the intersection was 26 mph, so I figure my speed when I entered was somewhat below that.

The first car finished its left turn and continued down State Street.

Meanwhile, the second car in the left turn lane, an SUV, had pulled into the intersection, but instead of stopping to let me continue through, the driver followed the previous car’s path.  Based on what the police officer later told me she said, she just didn’t see me until I was already in the intersection.

I slammed on my brakes.  My GPS shows me traveling 55 feet beyond the intersection at an average of 12 mph, but that did not actually happen.  Instead, I collided nearly head-on with the SUV and came to an almost instant stop in the intersection.

My airbag deployed, but I don’t think I actually hit it.  Instead, I think my seat-belt restrained me sufficiently.

After recovering from the shock of the collision, I tried to open my door and get out of the car before it blew up (I’m kidding–I wasn’t really concerned that it was going to blow up), but the door wouldn’t open more than a few inches.  So I continued to sit there for a minute.  I got out my phone and called my boss at 9:11 (interesting time, I just realized) to tell him I was going to be late.

A driver who had witnessed the accident came and asked if I was injured. I told him I didn’t think I was.

My next call was going to be 911, but either someone had already called the police, or else they spotted the accident while on patrol.  A police officer came over and asked if I was injured. I told him I didn’t think I was.  He asked for my license, registration, and proof of insurance.  I dug them out and gave them to him.

He asked me what had happened, and I told him.

As a sign of how shaken I still was, I mentioned that I didn’t think my door could open enough for me to get out of the car, and the police officer suggested that I could crawl to the passenger side and get out that way.  Normally, I would have been able to figure that out for myself.

Anyway, the police officer interviewed the driver of the other car and the witnesses and pretty much confirmed what I had told him.  He told me that his report would say I was not at fault and the other driver was.

Eventually both cars were towed, and I walked over to my office.

Here are pictures:

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Basically, I’m very grateful that things weren’t worse, and that apparently nobody was seriously injured (although I’ve heard injuries sometimes show up later.) I should find out tomorrow whether my car was totaled or if it can be repaired.

Filed under: General

3 comments on “Car crash details”

  1. Glad you’re okay, Eric!

  2. Yikes! I’m really glad you escaped without obvious injury.

  3. Wow, Eric, that looks like quite a fender bender.

    Hope you can make a full recovery. Also glad you didn’t get any TBI to go with the whiplash.