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Old 02-17-09, 06:58 PM   #1
cccorlew
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Oh, oh, how our kids scare us.

NO BIKE CONTENT.
My 19 year old daughter called yesterday morning from a police car on the freeway. Driving in a huge rain storm, she'd spun out my Mitia and put it into the guard rail. She's just fine, the car not fine at all.
She was so rattled she could hardly tell me where she was to come get her. It even took way too long for her to explain she was OK.

Straight road, big rain, no one around (thankfully) the car bounced and ended up spinning twice and wacking the median rail.

My heart just about explodes every time I think about it. What if there had been traffic? What if it had hit something and flipped? OMG...

All day, and still today, I regularly find my heart racing.
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Old 02-17-09, 07:14 PM   #2
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My 23 yr old has been in two car accidents in the past 2.5 years. Had 8 broken ribs in one of them. In one she was the passenger when a car struck the car on the passenger side. On the other one, after an ice storm in Vancouver BC, a car slid through an intersection and struck her in the crosswalk as she was walking.

My heart-stopping moment happened about 10 years ago, when Daughter #2 was attending an out-of-state college. I called late one night and she hadn't returned to her dorm room from the day before and her roommate had no idea of where she was. I'll never forget hearing that. She had always been a homebody and never went anywhere without telling people where she was.

I started calling everyone she knew, waking them up past midnight. After about 5 calls, I was already starting to pack to take off in my car for the 15 hour drive. Finally someone gave me a lead and I was able to find her at 1:30AM. I had already contacted the dorm and was about 10 minutes from calling campus police. She had visited a friend and stayed over, and was about to stay over another night. I suggested that she let her roommate and RA know the next time.

I had no problems with what she was doing. But when your freshman daughter disappears without a trace on a college campus, you don't wait 24-48 hours to begin your search.

I think I took about 15-20 breaths of air over those 90 minutes. It took 2-3 hours to go to sleep.
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Old 02-17-09, 07:15 PM   #3
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The last winter that I worked in Chicago I had the car immediately in front of me on an expressway spin out - on 3 separate occasions. I don't miss those experiences.

FWIW, if you're ever in that position, I had been told to aim at the spinning car because by the time you get there it will be somewhere else. It worked for me.
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Old 02-17-09, 07:25 PM   #4
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I knew I'd find similar stories and sympathy here.
Yikes.
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Old 02-17-09, 07:28 PM   #5
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I had the car immediately in front of me on an expressway spin out - on 3 separate occasions.
I'd find a different car to follow.
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Old 02-17-09, 07:31 PM   #6
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Glad to hear your daughter is okay...the car can be replaced.
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Old 02-17-09, 07:42 PM   #7
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I knew I'd find similar stories and sympathy here.
Yikes.
Been there ... done that. Almost exactly six years ago my elder son was driving home from Mira Costa college in my 1989 Dodge Spirit, westbound in the #1 lane fairly near the end of Hwy 78 in a heavy rainstorm. A big pickup truck merged from the #3 to the #2 lane, overshot, and sent him spinning into and bouncng off of the concrete center divide barrier. Both vehicles then spun and skidded across all lanes of traffic, ending up facing the wrong way on the outside shoulder. My car, 14 years old but in creampuff condition with only 60k miles on the clock, was totaled, but the front end collapsed somewhat, absorbing energy in the process, just as it was designed to do. I have often wondered whether I, as an experienced driver, could have done any better, but he also pointed out to me that he had been driving in the "bubble" I always advocate and had thus avoided any secondary collisions.

I was working insane hours at the time, including back-to-back 80 and 85 hour weeks, but fortunately he was essentially uninjured and untraumatized. The good news is that both boys believe me when I tell them why defensive driving (or cycling) is so essential.

A few months after I bought the Spirit, my brother-in-law bought its Plymouth Acclaim twin, which my niece eventually ran into a wall, totaling it but leaving her unhurt. Both cars ended up taking a hit for the team.
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Old 02-17-09, 08:04 PM   #8
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Is it the weather? The moon? Our kids' youth?

Our 22 y.o. son rear-ended someone in San Francisco on a downhill in the rain sometime Saturday. Both drivers unhurt, son's car probably done for (it isn't worth what it'll cost to repair it). The rear-ended car, a newer model, needs about $2K in repairs. Thank goodness for insurance. The downside is that since our son is on our policy, our rates are going to go up -- again.

I'm glad your daughter's okay and I'm glad our son's okay. We parents are the ones suffering now.
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Old 02-17-09, 08:43 PM   #9
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Curtis,

Yes, you had a big scare, but just keep remembering that everything turned out okay.

While not my own child, a coworker lost a daughter not too long ago to an automobile accident. According to the state troopers it appears she reached back for something in the rear seat while driving down a rural interstate, took her eyes off the road and pulled on the steering wheel slightly...right into the oncoming path of an oncoming fully loaded dump truck.

Glad your kid's okay. Give her a hug from us.
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Old 02-17-09, 11:06 PM   #10
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Two weeks ago my 3 grandchildren ages 17-17-15 were on their way to school and while stopped at a light were rear ended by another student. The other driver was talking on a cell phone - the speed limit is 35mph - totaled both cars - no injuries. Talk about being lucky...
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Old 02-18-09, 07:05 AM   #11
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I recall when my oldest daughter had just gotten her license. She made a comment along the lines that everyone has an accident in the first couple years of driving. It's just normal.

She didn't get a chance to drive for quite a while after that crack!
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Old 02-18-09, 07:10 AM   #12
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I had that phone call from our daughter twice. Too many times at one. Glad to hear she is alright Curtis.

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Old 02-18-09, 07:33 AM   #13
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They say you really become a parent the night you are up all night coddling a sick baby and cleaning up diarrhea and vomit. I say it's the day you get that phone call from the side of the road after the accident.
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Old 02-18-09, 07:52 AM   #14
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Really glad she's OK. The single most dangerous thing most of us do is get into a car and drive. As cyclists, we sometimes forget that.
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Old 02-18-09, 09:25 AM   #15
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Be thankful you didn't come up on the wreck while driving yourself. My wife and I had that happen when our oldest daughter spun and flipped her Ford Explorer Sportrac last year. We left for her house about 20 min after she left ours. I had heard the Medics go out, we are right around the corner, and never thought for a second that it would be for her.

The Truck took a liking and she had many cuts scratches and such, but no broken bones or other problems.

I'll tell you it scared the life outta me coming up on that Truck in the ditch and then realizing it was my daughters. Something I don't want to go through again.
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Old 02-18-09, 09:29 AM   #16
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I'm just glad she is fine.
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Old 02-18-09, 10:01 AM   #17
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Glad your daughter is ok, that's all that really matters.
My 17 yo son has only been driving a few months, I still get jitters when ever he leaves in the car alone. I'm waiting for the call.
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Old 02-18-09, 10:33 AM   #18
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Reading this thread I am again reminded about our perceptions of risk. Everyone I know who doesn't ride thinks I'm crazy for getting on a bike, yet almost every one I know has been touched by an auto wreck. For some reason many people just accept the dangers of driving as the cost of doing business. And too many fail to understand the physics involved in multi-ton objects moving at high speeds.

If I were in charge of this country I'd put traffic safety, with a HUGE dose of driver education, at the top of my list of things to do to keep Americans safe. Lst time I checked it turned out the most dangerous activity fo rchildren was riding in cars. It isn't posion, abduction, the internet, or buckets. It's cars.

On separate note, we now have a new car. We got a Yaris. Front and side air bags, good safety rating for a small car. Our daughter is going to be driving the Subaru Outback while I commute to grad school in the Yaris. She won't be going anywhere but school and work for a while. As in, not until my heart rate drop to normal for a full day.
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Old 02-18-09, 10:39 AM   #19
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Joining everyone here with empathy for your scare, and relief that it wasn't worse. Cherish her and help rebuild her confidence (as I'm sure you will).

My 2, boy of 22, girl of 20, haven't been interested in learning to drive. That's easier in Europe than US, as public transport is pretty accessible. But they'll probably start to learn soon, and I'm glad that they've been bike riders and pretty good ones - I think that they've a sound sense of caution and vulnerability from the 2 wheeled thing.

But I'll be a worried man when they start.
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Old 02-18-09, 10:40 AM   #20
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First, I'm glad your daughter is alright.

Second, now you know what your parents felt like... In fact, they probably warned you that someday you'd feel like this.
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Old 02-18-09, 10:42 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cccorlew View Post
Reading this thread I am again reminded about our perceptions of risk. Everyone I know who doesn't ride thinks I'm crazy for getting on a bike, yet almost every one I know has been touched by an auto wreck. For some reason many people just accept the dangers of driving as the cost of doing business. And too many fail to understand the physics involved in multi-ton objects moving at high speeds.

If I were in charge of this country I'd put traffic safety, with a HUGE dose of driver education, at the top of my list of things to do to keep Americans safe. Lst time I checked it turned out the most dangerous activity fo rchildren was riding in cars. It isn't posion, abduction, the internet, or buckets. It's cars.

On separate note, we now have a new car. We got a Yaris. Front and side air bags, good safety rating for a small car. Our daughter is going to be driving the Subaru Outback while I commute to grad school in the Yaris. She won't be going anywhere but school and work for a while. As in, not until my heart rate drop to normal for a full day.
You might consider spending a few hundred dollars and sending you daughter to an enthusiast driving school. She will come out of a 1 week racing corse with a better understanding of vehicle dynamics and driver decisions than 99% of the other drivers on the road. This is what driver training should really do.
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Old 02-18-09, 01:32 PM   #22
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I can relate to your pain, haveing spent way too many hours bedside in the hosptial with mine. But they're well worth the fears and worries.
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Old 02-18-09, 03:32 PM   #23
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Reading Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do. It's worth your time, both as a driver and as a cyclist.
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Old 02-18-09, 07:10 PM   #24
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Don't think that I'm anti-small-car (I drive a Toyota Echo) when I ask this: When you replace the Miata, are you going to get something larger?
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Old 02-18-09, 07:43 PM   #25
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Curtis,

I also agree with everyone in saying that the important thing is that your daughter is ok. Cars are expendable..... our children are not! I have two daughters whom I adore, ages 19 and 16, so I can relate. They ARE my life! So, here is an idea you may consider. You and her go to a local auto-cross for some driving experience/instruction. Local car clubs sponsor these events, are relatively inexpensive (ours are $40 per days events - usually 8 runs), and have instructors that are there to ride with and teach you proper techniques. Not to mention it's a great father/daughter day. My daughter "races" here mini cooper at these events and has become quite good! (last time out she was within .5 second of my time and I was in a new corvette!!!) (brat!) She swears next time out she is going to beat me! Her driving skills, attentiveness, and reactions have improved greatly! .....just an idea

Sorry this was long, but hope that it may help!

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