My first accident

These are my thoughts about the accident that occured Feburary 2 2012.

I had a meeting at 9:30. When I got up, it was raining so I left earlier than usual to make sure that I got to work in plenty of time. As it is, I still made it to work with more than 30 minutes to spare.

I was driving on Route 50 and ended up beside an unmarked Maryland police car. Everyone on the road seemed to recognize that it was a police car as everyone was driving with more space between them and a bit more cautiously.

606 condensed into 2 lanes and the policeman was about 3 cars behind me. then it widened back out to 4 lanes at the bridge over 267 just before Moran.

When it widened out, I moved to the left lane because I would be continuing over 28. Knowing that the truck is slow to accelerate and slow to stop, I always keep about 4 car lengths between me and the car in front of me.

Just as I got over the bridge over 267, a green minivan moved over from the right lane in front of me leaving about 1 to 2 car lengths in front of me. Everyone was being careful because the unmarked Maryland police car was beside me in the right lane at this point.

I let off the accelerator to widen the gap between the minivan and me, at the bridge. It is a slight decline but the truck is like a rolling brick and slows down quickly. So by the time we were at the light, there was at least 2 to 3 carlengths between me and the minivan.

The light turned yellow just before the minivan was at the white line and the minivan stopped short. I was already slowing and stomped the brakes to the floor. The ABS thumped in the pedal but the truck couldn’t hold a grip on the road and slid. I just held it straight and the ABS kept thumping. I almost came to a stop but ended up hitting the minivan.

There wasn’t even the slightest damage to the truck, but the truck hit the minivan bumper and then crawled over the bumper (pushing it down) and hit the rear door. There was a perfect imprint of my license plate holder and the bumper in her back door. I had almost completely stopped and there isn’t even a smudge of paint on the truck bumper from the collision.

She pulled through the light and stopped in the left lane. After the light turned green, I pulled forward and pulled off in the median just beside the left lane. A Loudoun County Sheriff car pulled up almost immediately so I assume that the Maryland police man called in the accident.

The woman got out of the car and immediately said “I’m sorry. I didn’t want to get a ticket for running a yellow with the policeman.” The Loudoun officer asked if we were hurt and I was initially surprised by the question because the impact had happened at maybe 2 miles an hour. But I realized this was standard procedure. He was pretty smart to ask us to pull to another area of the road to be out of the way of traffic and quick to make sure we weren’t between the vehicles.

Shortly thereafter a Loudoun Accident investigator came up and took over. He gave us the forms that we filled out and we exchanged the insurance information.

The only thing I can attribute this to is that the truck couldn’t hold a grip in the rain and the minivan changed lanes and then did an abrupt stop that I just couldn’t stop in time for.


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