I had everything carefully mapped out, via Google. I had minimaps of all the twisty, curvy confusion of Santa Cruz streets. I was steeled and ready for Hwy 17 -- brand new tires! What better time for it?
Naturally, I rear-ended another car on the El Camino onramp to Lawrence Expressway. For those taking notes, this is the major intersection closest to my house.
What happened? I'm still not entirely sure. There was a line of six or seven cars; I think I was at the back. We were all accelerating smoothly; the two onramp lanes had merged together, I was deliberately taking it easy because I had a long drive ahead.
I checked my side mirror, looked up, and SHIT CAR STOPPED BRAKE BRAKE BRAKE skreeeeeee slam.
We both pulled off to the side, and were immediately apologizing to each other and making sure everyone was okay.
According to the folks in the other car, someone three or four cars ahead of them had stopped abruptly, and, well, dominoes. They were, themselves, right behind a motorcycle, so they really slammed on the brakes to avoid taking him out.
Nobody was hurt, though the passenger in the other vehicle hit her head against the headrest on her seat. She seemed okay, though I know better than to assume that in such cases, and told her that, if she was still having problems later, she needed to get checked out. The other car had no visible damage.
The Grape's snoot is visibly crumpled, and the hood is popped on one side. At least one headlight looks misaligned.
The CHP arrived on scene after, oh, maybe half an hour after we called, since there were no injuries reported. Since we had no problem exchanging insurance information, they said they didn't need to write up a report.
This is, for the record, my second vehicular accident in my driving career -- the last one was twenty years ago, or more. As I said to the officers, if this happens so seldom that I'm never quite sure what to do, I must be doing something right.
Because the Grape is kind of old and scroddy, however, we don't have collision coverage, so this is all gonna be out of pocket.
Note, however, that Coyote does, indeed, love me: "For all the bad luck we have, we have a lot of good luck." On a day that I'd planned a drive over Highway 17, a twisting, turning route over the Santa Cruz mountains, with long stretches that have no access or egress, and traffic reports regularly show extensive blockages because accidents and mishaps can jam up the whole route for miles... my accident happened a block and a half from home, and nobody was hurt.
Meanwhile... my stepfather's in the hospital today, getting tests run. He had some dizziness yesterday, and the doctor sent them to Urgent Care, who in turn started running tests. When I talked to mom this morning, they'd done an EKG and were scheduling an MRI. Hopefully, it was just a head rush, and neither heart nor stroke.
Poppa turns 80 on the 29th. My sister's been planning a surprise party for him on Halloween, since that's the closest Saturday.