My Baby’s First Accident

March 25, 2009

Who would have thought it would happen only hours after procuring his driver’s license?

Son was making a left turn with a green arrow. The other driver was going too fast. I wish I knew how to draw a picture. The other driver was oncoming and should have had a red light. Son was in the turning lane. His dad is trying to get video of the accident.

The other driver is fine. My son is fine. Everyone’s airbags went off. Son had to kick his way out of the car.

Son is at fault for not yielding to oncoming traffic. He was given a citation.

My car is totaled.

Son asked if he was grounded. He is not. But he has a story to tell.

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  • Reply caregivingdaughter March 25, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    OMG! I was just commenting my congratulations! Wow, I’m glad he wasn’t hurt. At least he will know how easy it is to be in a wreck and hopefully he’ll be very careful.

  • Reply Shawn March 25, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    Oh shit, that was fast. I had my license a couple of weeks before my first accident. Anyway, glad to see no one got hurt.

  • Reply Jen March 25, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    He’s now feeling all the regret, remorse, guilt etc… We are all tired out. And it has occurred to both of us that we are short a car. He’s still not grounded but he won’t be driving until the insurance company comes through.

  • Reply Jen March 25, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    Shawn, I had mine three days after turning 16. I’d been driving legally as a licensed driver since I was 15 due to my mother’s disabilities. It sucks but he really does have a great story. He won’t appreciate it for a while however.

  • Reply dizzblnd March 25, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    WOW! I am so glad everyone is ok. That looks horrible
    I am so sorry this happened. Hugs to you, I know how scary it was to receive that phone call.

    Now.. you get to watch your insurance spike YAY.

    My 17 year old son had his 1st real accident after about 1 year and a half. His first one, he backed into a polee… sigh

  • Reply Jen March 25, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    Luckily my insurance company is closed for the evening. I talked to them at the time of the accident and learned enough that the car was probably totaled but there was no talk of spiking insurance rates. I’m sure they have already happened but no need to give mom a heart attack tonight.

  • Reply Lola March 25, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    I am so sorry. I’m glad to hear everyone is ok. It’s funny how when something goes wrong through no fault of their own that kids think they need to be grounded.

    I had my first accident shortly after I got my first car. I hit a car while parking at school. All I saw was a super tiny tiny scratch on the other car so I didn’t “think” I needed to do anything. So wrong. The police met me at home. Try explaining that to your parents.

  • Reply Lady Sarcasm March 25, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    Count it off as a blessing that he didn’t get hurt, simply because you KNOW he won’t make that mistake again! 🙂

  • Reply SpeakDog March 25, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    If he had a green arrow, he had the right of way, no? Why did *he* get a citation?

    Anyway, I’m glad he’s ok. That wreckage looks pretty damn scary.

  • Reply Grandy March 25, 2009 at 11:27 pm

    I don’t know if you and I ever talked about what I actually DO for a living. I don’t understand why, if your son had the green arrow, he was given the citation. If it were a solid green…then he must yield the right of way…but not on an arrow.

    Email me honey, let me see if I can help you?


  • Reply JackiesMagic March 26, 2009 at 12:13 am

    Awwww… I’m so sad and sorry to read this. My 15 year old is chomping at the bit to get that “Parent Taught Driving Course Kit” from the DMV.. She’s named our car and always asks to drive.. She’s the youngest of all her friends.. who are all driving with permits right now! Except for Maloof! He’s got his license! I am in NOooo hurry for her to drive! Oh no. On 2nd thought! She just can’t drive! No way! Period.

    I’m terribly sorry about your car. I’m very glad your Baby isn’t physically hurt. Oh, my.

    Do you need anything? A margarita or sangria kit??

  • Reply Stephanie March 26, 2009 at 1:26 am

    OMG!!! I am so glad to hear that everyone is OK though! Very scary 🙁

  • Reply BK March 26, 2009 at 3:25 am

    Glad to hear that no one was hurt in the accident; that is the most important.

  • Reply Kathy March 26, 2009 at 4:04 am

    Oh, geez. I thought “No, this can’t be. Must be a joke because she said her son just got his license.” I kept reading and realizing it wasn’t a joke. So sorry! Yes, we need to hear the story when the dust settles. I feel bad for him (and you).

  • Reply GDad March 26, 2009 at 5:23 am

    I’m glad everyone’s OK. Check into that citation thing. I would’ve thought that a green arrow gives you right of way.

    Oddly, my verification word is “waxer”, which is something your son will not be with respect to your car for a while.

  • Reply Koe Whitton-Williams March 26, 2009 at 5:52 am

    thank goodness everyone is ok. my father-in-law just had his first accident too. . . he’s 86 years old. . . turned left into oncoming traffic at a green arrow also. . . everyone, ok, car totaled but no citation given. I gather that might be the one benefit to being 86 rather than 16. I’ll say it again, thank goodness everyone is ok.

  • Reply Mara March 26, 2009 at 6:09 am

    Aww geez! Car accidents are scary! It’s great that your son’s okay 😀

  • Reply Chris Casey March 26, 2009 at 7:54 am

    Thank God the young man and all involved were unhurt (Except for Pride) Okay, what’s the P.O. box? I’m sending you a St. Christopher Medal to clip on the visor!

  • Reply Kim March 26, 2009 at 8:54 am

    Oh no!!!! I was just going to comment on the other blog where he got his license.

    That’s a lot of damage. Yikes! I’m glad he’s fine.

  • Reply JD at I Do Things March 26, 2009 at 9:17 am

    Oh, my gosh. Thank heavens everyone is OK. But still. Looking at the wreckage just makes my stomach turn—I can’t imagine how it makes you feel.

    Poor kid. Poor you. Poor car!

  • Reply David March 26, 2009 at 10:28 am

    If he had a green turn arrow, why did the other car have the right of way? Methinks the dept of transportation is really at fault here.

    Glad everyone is ok.


  • Reply The Mother March 26, 2009 at 10:50 am

    I feel terrible about yesterday’s flip comment about totaling a car. Apologies. I really don’t have that kind of pull…

    We’ve been through this. My son buried a tree 5 feet into the front of our SUV. AND WALKED AWAY. It’s really traumatic for the teenager. It’s extra traumatic for the parents.

    Insurance rates go up with each new teenager anyway, so I can’t actually detail how much it went up after the accident. But the accident shows up any time I get quotes.

    Plus, of course, there’s the expense of replacing the car. You get bluebook value from the insurance co, and it’s unlikely you’ll find something that isn’t going to put you out a few bucks.

  • Reply Pricilla March 26, 2009 at 11:41 am

    Glad he is OK; so sorry about the car.
    One of the most important things her father taught her, sayeth the publicist, was to not trust traffic lights/stop signs etc. but to always look in intersections ’cause you don’t know what other folk are going to do.
    I hope you get a new car very soon and that your insurance rates don’t go through the roof. The publicist has three younger brothers so she knows about teenage male drivers.

  • Reply Jodi March 26, 2009 at 11:49 am

    Wow, that was fast, but I did the same shit too when I was 16. I am glad he is ok and I am sorry about your car, that really sucks!

  • Reply Da Old Man March 26, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    Oh, that poor kid. At least everyone is ok.

  • Reply Jen March 26, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    Here is an update for everyone.

    First of all thank you all for your well wishes. The boy’s pride is hurt more than anything else, except of course for the car.

    I spent the morning on the phone with my insurance company and I won’t come out ahead on this but I’m not too screwed either. I bought the GAP insurance when I got the loan so the difference between the loan and what the car is actually worth is covered. I’m out my deductible but that was to be expected and it was low so not the end of the world.

    I’m a little concerned about getting another loan considering the state of the economy and all that. I might have a tougher time getting one this time around and I wont be able to come up with a down payment or a trade in. All and all so far it isn’t as bad as I expected it to be.

    I had to take the boy to the doctor today. He went to the school nurse with a really bad headache. He is okay but they want him to rest. His arms are all banged up from the air bag going off. He’s also having an allergic reaction to the powder they load the air bags with.

    Thanks again for all your concern I really appreciate it. I mean that, it means a lot to me that so many left such kind messages.

  • Reply Shari Thomas March 26, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    No mention of the citation?

    You are going to fight, right?

    I just asked one of my roomies who is a retired cop (Chief of Police even) and she said… GET THE ACCIDENT REPORT.

    You’ll need to know what the cop wrote in the report.

    Was there a side-by-side green light with the left arrow? If so, that would mean he should have yielded to oncoming traffic.

    At any rate, thankfully he’s ok. I remember my first accident… rear-ended by a drunk driver.

  • Reply Amy Lilley Designs March 26, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    WHOOOAAAA!!!! Thank goodness your son is fine…and WHAT a story he has…my oh my…my husband and I are so glad that our son did not pass his driving test and does not really need a drivers license since he is in college in Boston…whew!!!

    all the best to you and your family,

  • Reply earthtoholly March 26, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    Oh no. Glad that he’s okay…hopefully there’s a video that will exonerate him!

  • Reply Judy March 26, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    Glad he is all right. An expensive learning experience, but a good one in that he wasn’t hurt. We used to give our kids the biggest car to drive when they first got their license because my husband said, “They will get into an accident that first year and I want them protected by a lot of steel.” He was right–they ALL got into accidents that first year on the road. But they learned from it–just as your son has.

  • Reply Jen March 26, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    Shari, He was at fault in the citation. He hit an ambulance driver, who was in his personal car and off duty. There was a witness but the cop didn’t question her and she walked away during all the confusion. I’m hoping I can find her as she said my son was in the right and the guy should have stopped. There were no skid marks where he (oncoming guy) should have attempted to stop. What is a cop going to do give the benefit of the doubt to the ambulance driver or the kid who got his license that day? We are going to fight it and dad is getting the police report.

    Amy, I’m making him get back on that horse before he becomes afraid of driving. It wasn’t his fault and he is going to have to drive on his own. My grandmother never learned/refused to learn how to drive and it drove everyone crazy.

    Holly, when the RNC was here last fall Target installed surveillance cameras at just about every intersection. I don’t know if they are still being operated but keep your fingers crossed.

  • Reply Jen March 26, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    Judy, I agree. The car handled the impact pretty well all things considered. I had a ’71 Ford Torino station wagon when I first started driving (it was in the 80’s) the car was a piece of junk but it was a tank and I was in three accidents that first year as was my brother. It’s a fact of life that new drivers will get into accidents. And I know he has learned a valuable lesson and I seriously doubt I will ever need to remind him to wear his seat belt. Which he was wearing. He had used his blinker as well since it was still blinking even though it was three feet from the car after the accident.

  • Reply Martha A. Cheves March 26, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    I can feel for you. My son had his 1st wreck on his 16th birthday, broke his leg and was in traction for 4 weeks.

  • Reply Jen March 26, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    Oh, Martha! My son got lucky. I hope yours is better now.

  • Reply Frogs in my formula March 26, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    Sorry to hear about the accident. At least no one was hurt. My best friend had her 1st accident pulling out of the DMV after she got her license. Not that that fixes your bumper…

  • Reply J. Leigh Designz March 26, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    If it makes you feel any better I totaled my first car 12 days after I got my license!

  • Reply Marie March 26, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    Oh no!!! How upsetting. I am so sorry. Thank goodness everyone was ok though.

    I’ll tell you, you never stop worrying about them, even when they are well grown up.

    Motherhood!!! Oy vey!

  • Reply lilaphase March 26, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    Sheisse – This is probably every parent of a teen’s greatest fear. I’m so glad he is okay and hope it all works out in his favor!

    At least he has great parents to help him though it!

  • Reply Lola March 26, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    Congrats on your win over at Crotchety Old Man!

  • Reply Bex March 27, 2009 at 7:07 am

    Yikes! I had an accident the day I got my license. It was just a fender bender but was very scary. I’m glad he’s ok!!

  • Reply Jen March 27, 2009 at 10:11 am

    Glad to hear everyone was ok.

    Cars can be replaced….sons cannot.


  • Reply flit March 27, 2009 at 11:23 am

    oh yikes!

    Kids are ~great~!

    So glad he’s okay

  • Reply Stacie March 27, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    oh man!
    I am glad everyone is ok, bummer about your car though!

  • Reply Amy Lilley Designs March 27, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Jen, you are SO RIGHT to make him get back on the horse…I’m sure that’s just what he needs…hope he heals up quickly!!!

    Have a great and a safe weekend!!

    all the best,

  • Reply Lidian March 27, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    I am so glad everyone is OK..that’s what matters the most.

  • Reply CGabriel March 27, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    I got my driver’s license on May 21, 1974. Less than one month later, on June 17, a woman ran a stop sign, broadsided me and totaled my car. The Pontiac Catalina I saved up to buy for $600 was done – finished.

    The woman ran out of her car yelling at the me, this 16-year-old kid, telling me how I was in big trouble…how I wasn’t paying attention. The only problem for her: The police car that was several cars back…the same one with the police officer in it…the same police officer who saw the entire scenario unfold.

    Bummer for her – she figured “he’s a kid so I can stick this on him. Guess not.

    Very glad your son is ok.

  • Reply Pricilla March 27, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    Give your son a big goat hug from me. I hope his headache is better. All that adrenaline does make one feel sore.

  • Reply Andrea Singer March 27, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    Oh no! I’m so glad he’s okay.

  • Reply U.S. Common Sense March 27, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    Ouch, that’s a tough impact. I am glad to hear that everyone is ok. As a witness to multiple accidents over the many years, I know how rare it is for no one to be seriously hurt. He definitely has a lucky star over his head.

  • Reply Doctor Faustroll March 27, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    I totaled six cars before I started drinking and drugging and all of them looked a lot worse than that Chevy. I still have occasional breathing problems from the broken ribs and crushed lung. The brain damage to me was a good thing.

    Once I started drinking before driving I only had a couple of fender benders, nothing that injured me or anyone else.

    My advice to anyone who is getting behind the wheel is get smashed before you turn the ignition key. It will make you far more cautious on the road and less likely to end up dead.

    In fact, I suggest that only drunks and stoners under the influence should be allowed on the highways.

    It is really difficult to cope with sober dickweeds on the road. Not even the cops drive the way those people do.

    Take it from me. If you’re going to drive, get drunk first. I know this is good advice because Jesus tells me so.

  • Reply Sharkbytes (TM) March 27, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    Oh, I remember that scenario. Youngest hit a deer with our car… he was so sorry, but those deer just seem to have a death wish. Glad everyone is safe.

    having trouble getting the comment to stick- hope it isn’t posted 3 times.

  • Reply Harrison March 28, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    Wow only hours after getting his license? Talk about bad luck. Glad he is okay. I was sure it would be his fault good thing it wasn’t!

  • Reply Lin March 28, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    Oh sad, Jen. And scary for all involved. I hope he is okay emotionally as well as physically. It will be hard for him to get back in and drive, I’m sure. And he’ll get crud from the other kids. Why ground him? I think it was serious enough and he got the message.

    Just give him a big squeeze that he is alive, and help him through. He’s a kid, afterall. Kids (and adults) make mistakes.

    Sorry it happened to you both.

  • Reply Jesus March 29, 2009 at 10:59 am

    it happens but what good is his in good shape. be careful always.

  • Reply Abby Annette | Redhead Ranting March 25, 2010 at 1:13 am

    […] My Baby's First Accident […]

  • Reply Texasholly April 19, 2010 at 3:01 am

    OMG. I am so glad everyone is OK!

  • Reply meleahrebeccah June 16, 2010 at 2:57 am

    Holy. Hell. These photos are AWFUL. I am AMAZED no one was hurt. *whew*

  • Reply Abby Annette | Redhead Ranting March 25, 2014 at 9:50 am

    […] I was going to write a post like this last year but my son totaled my car four hours after getting his drivers license and I ended up posting about that. You can read it here if you want. […]

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