Posted 13 November 2009 - 13:06
"the driver prepared for the hit (I would have accelerated away)."
Yes, if you look in the mirror and see the vehicle behind you is not stopping, you probably do not want to be on the brakes. In my accident, I was in my F-150 stopped at the light, the last car in line. I could hear the skidding Nissan pickup truck for (what seemed like) 5 seconds. He had plenty of time to get off the brakes and steer over to the edge of the road, but instead he just stood on the brake pedal and held the steering wheel in a death grip, I could see him aiming straight at my truck. There was a Mustang in front of me at the light, about a car's length of space between us. I could see the Mustang driver look in his mirror, he could hear the skid too, I was hoping the Mustang would move forward, but he didn't move. I was staring at my mirror, trying to time the impact, and just before he hit I eased up on the brake to where my truck was creeping forward, then bang. I guess I was hoping that I could be just starting to apply more brakes when the bang happened, but I didn't quite get it right, and he moved my truck forward that whole car lenght and I whacked the Mustang. The Mustang got moved forward about a foot, my front and his rear bumper got scratches. My back bumper was bent, not too bad. Nissan guy's little pickup was smashed in front, the radiator came loose and it got chewed up by the fan. Nobody was injured. Mustang driver decided that it wasn't worth an insurance claim, I got all of his contact info and license number and then he left. So my truck was still in good shape, because I got off the brakes. My point in relating this is that if you do this, you might not want to tell the Highway Patrol officer that you did it, and whatever you say, make sure you use the same story with your insurance company. Apparently if you do try to get out of the way, this changes it from an accident where moving car A hits stationary car B, to a much more complicated accident with two moving vehicles. The officer was nice enough to explain all this to me, and then he asked me again if I was sure I had released the brake, and I said that upon further reflection that no I must have been mistaken, it all happened so fast, no I don't think I ever did. The accident paperwork was simple, my insurance company had no problems.
There was one humorous thing that happened. Nissan driver turned out to be an illegal immigrant, no driver license or insurance. He spoke Spanish and a few words of English, the Highway Patrol officers spoke GoodOlBoy and a few words of Spanglish. After the officers were done filling out all the paperwork, they called a tow truck to come and haul the Nissan away. The Nissan driver was handed a pile of paper, they explained that they weren't arresting him but he was going to have to appear in court. He just kept smiling and nodding. Then they told him he could go. So he tried to get in the Nissan, to drive it away. "No no no, you can't drive." "I go?" "Yes you can go"...tries to drive. "NO, you can't drive the truck." "I go?" "Yes you can go"...tries to drive. "NO you can't drive the truck." "I go?" This went on for a while, they were still trying to explain it to him when I left.