I was in a car accident last week. If you live in Houston then you might have seen me standing along the I-10 median in a black and white speckled jacket while stuck in commuter traffic on your way home. At about a car length away, the driver in front of me came to a complete halt and as I slammed on my brakes they locked up and I instead slammed into her—yes, the accident was completely my fault.
She and her passengers were fine—thank the Lord!—and I was as well. While her car had two minor indents on the back bumper and a loose bumper reflector light, the hood of my car bent back like a creased fold-up map. After sincerely apologizing, handing over my insurance information, and discussing everything with the police officer she had called, I was able to drive away unharmed and a little shaken up. In other words, I was very lucky.
I quickly gained back my driving confidence after having my brakes replaced and feeling the difference in brake reaction time (lesson learned). The damage to the car came to $720 (this included replacing/painting the hood, replacing one of the headlights, and pulling the hood latch about six inches up from the impact), and our trusty mechanic had me back on the road in two days. I have never carried collision insurance on my used vehicles because it does not seem worth it to me as each car has cost between $1,000-$3,000 and I always paid cash. Considering we would have had to pay the extra premium each month as well as a deductible, I thought we made out well having an emergency fund instead.
There are so many parts of this experience that could have been far worse. In a week centered on acknowledging what we are most thankful for, I wanted to share with you the kind of gratefulness that money cannot buy. I am grateful to not have injured anyone, and to not have injured myself. I am grateful that the other driver was not angry or otherwise unpleasant, especially given the circumstances. Our bosses allowing us to rearrange schedules, work from home, etc. saved us from having to rent a vehicle (or use personal time off), which was wonderful. I am also really thankful that I have a trusted mechanic, and that the repairs were reasonable given the circumstances. Finally, I am grateful for perspective on this accident. It could have soured my week and upcoming holiday. I could be mulling over the unexpected money that I had to spend in fixing my vehicle. But instead of feeling negative, I am feeling thankful, which is a wonderful place to be.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones!