At 9 am today I was walking two dogs slowly up and down the footpath at the back of McDonalds by Basin Reserve. At least it was sunny, but it wasn’t the splendid run at Prestons Gully (Tawatawa Reserve) that we’d set out for.
It started out with my securing the dogs in their car harnesses in the back seat of our Honda. Then I drove through the Mt Victoria tunnel and started round Basin Reserve.
The lights at Adelaide Road were green, but turned orange as I approached. Since I had time to stop, I did, although I’d had a fleeting thought of carrying on through the orange light.
The trouble was that the driver behind me didn’t come to the same decision. We had just stopped when I heard a squeal of brakes and felt the thump of a car crashing into us. My head jerked back an inch or so onto the headrest, and the dogs were surprised. I think they barked.
I was fine, but shaky, and the dogs seemed fine.
After shutting off the engine I walked back to the car behind me. There was a foot or two between the cars — clearly my car had been shunted forwards by the collision.
The driver of the other car suggested we continue through the lights and pull off out of the flow of traffic. I suggested the small road that leads to McDonalds, and that’s where we met up a few moments later.
As I drove though, there was a very disconcerting noise coming from the rear of my car. I wasn’t sure I should be driving it.
I exchanged details with the other driver and took some photos with my iPhone.
Bonnet and boot all banged around
The front of the other car was considerably pushed in, as was the rear of our Honda. The impact had been skewed a bit to the left side of the car and part of the body was probably rubbing against the rear wheel on the passenger’s side. The problem was, I didn’t know what hidden damage there was.
The other driver departed and I moved my car to a parking space and considered what to do. First, of course, I rang my partner who’s in Auckland for a couple of days. She suggested the Automobile Association — this is where my 40+ year membership comes into play.
I called the AA who actually couldn’t help, but did put me through to my insurer. They said it was my decision whether the car was drivable or should be towed. They also said they’d cover the cost of towing if my claim was accepted. I don’t see how my claim could possibly not be accepted, given the driver behind me crashed into me while I was obeying the law.
I just knew that I didn’t want to risk driving up Mt Victoria in a car with damage I didn’t have the skill to assess. Who knew if the brakes were damaged or there was some other serious problem that would manifest while I was underway?
Waiting and walking
My insurer took my details and put me through to the towing company. They checked my details and said a truck would be there in half an hour or so.
I must say, everyone I’d spoken to had been friendly, helpful and efficient.
After grabbing a hot chocolate from McDonalds across the road I let the dogs out of the car and we went for a stroll around the streets, but not too far away in case the tow truck came early.
The dogs and I moseyed around the block and up and down the street. We greeted a couple of people and their dogs from a nearby car, and generally enjoyed the sun.
Sure enough, the tow truck turned up in half an hour and the driver loaded our car, with the dogs inside. I got to ride in the cab.
After a bit of discussion, and checking whether any other jobs were lined up, the tow truck driver Graeme very generously drove us to the top of the hill by the North end of Lookout Road where it was wide enough for the truck to stop and turn around. I grabbed the dogs from the car, with their car harnesses and rug, and we walked the last 500 metres home.
Finally they were getting the walk, with grass and sunshine, that we’d set out for. Just not in the place I’d hoped we’d do it.
Carless days (or weeks?)
It’s Sunday. I’ve downloaded a claim form from my insurer’s website and will call them tomorrow to find out just what will happen next.
Meanwhile, we’re carless, which is definitely inconvenient. It’s been a couple of years now since we downsized from being a 2-car family and this is the first time it’s really been a problem.
The dogs are booked for grooming in Northland on Tuesday. I’ve emailed the groomers to see if they can pick the dogs up — I believe they mentioned last time that they can do that.
The dogs are also supposed to see the vet again at the bottom of Brooklyn Hill. We haven’t booked yet, and it’ll just have to wait. The dogs seem fine since their visit a couple of weeks ago for skin problems.
The car was supposed to go in for some minor product recall repair next week. That’ll have to be postponed.
And as for the two Airport pickups and drop-offs planned for this week — taxis and maybe the Airport Flyer will have to do.
I guess for the next while it’ll be buses and walking. That may be a good thing as a couple of kilos of matter seems to have aggregated itself around me and I need to shake it off. It’s a 20 minute or so walk down the hill to the supermarket. Coming up again is 30 to 40 minutes. That should shake a few grams loose.
And I’m hoping that the bit of a headache I have is just from the excitement and will disappear soon.