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March 3, 2008

March 3, 2008 – Fender Bender

            Got into a little fender bender today.  Just a minor one – no damage.  Everyday around rush hour (between 3 and 6 p.m. here in Cortez) there is a giant traffic jam.  There are two main roads in and out of Cortez.  These roads take the brunt of the traffic in and out of the city during these times.  They’re a mess.

            You have A street that takes you over the bridge into Cortez, and B street that takes you out back to San Diego.  There is a way to bypass this and take the highway on the south side of town and go around the bay but it is much longer. There are two ways to get across to the other side of Cortez. You can stop at the stop sign at A street and dart across the road, which you have to do across B street as well.  If you’re able to get across this is much better than going to the stop at the first main intersection to cross.  MUCH quicker.

            Cars pile up at the stop sign that crosses A street because it’s well known that this is a much faster route.  What you have to do is watch for the car to merge onto A street, quickly look to your left, as it is a one-way street, and shoot out if the coast is clear.  So the guy in front of me darted out and I looked out to the left to make an entry onto A.  Coast was clear.  I darted out as well only to find that the car in front of me had hesitated and stopped 20 feet directly in front of me directly in the roadway.  What the fuck!  Anyways, I just bumped him.  He was cool with it since there was no damage.  We parted ways.

            Catherine has this policy that ALL accidents need to be reported, regardless of who is at fault or if there is any damage.  She has these accident report forms that are nearly unreadable because it looks like the original has been photocopied dozens of times.  Actually it’s like the original was photocopied, then the photocopy was photocopied, and that photocopy was photocopied and so on…  Say fifteen times or so. 

Those accident reports are unnecessary in my opinion, and I don’t have time to do that.  Other drivers tell me that even when you are not found to be at fault Catherine will try to hold past accidents against you.  Even if you got rear-ended.  Unbelievable!  We also have a deductable of $1000, which is quite high in my opinion since we drive around 40 or so hours more per week than most people.   Even as good drivers were much more likely to get into an accident because we drive more than most people. Some of the more veteran drivers tell me that Catherine gives them an ultimatum, although perhaps not directly, that if they want to continue work there that they have to pay for the damages out of pocket - even if they exceed $1000.  That doesn’t strike me as fair. 

Since I work in transportation the reporting of accidents may be a federal requirement.  I’m not really sure, or worried for that matter.  

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