So yeah, I was in a hit and run accident last Tuesday. Some idiot came up behind me as I was on an on ramp to a freeway and slammed into my car. I swerved around a lot, got the car back under control, and pulled over onto the shoulder of the freeway.
The other car comes up around me, the passenger in the front seat indicates that they’re gonna take the next off ramp, so I pull out behind them.
And that’s when they take off, speeding far far away, deliberately losing me in the traffic. I don’t have time to grab the iPhone to take a picture of the license plate or anything.
And once again, the ironic thing about everything is that not less than thirty minutes before, I was talking to God. Things have been so stagnant for so long, and so, like any good little Christian who’s sat through thousands of sermons, I offered up prayers to God and said, “Is there something You’re trying to show me that I’m not seeing? Please open my eyes. Please show me what You’re trying to tell me. Please tell me. I’m listening.”
And then fifteen minutes later, this joker slams into my car.
(longtime readers of the blog will remember that The Worst Day Ever also involved me praying in a car. If there’s a sensible takeaway to any of this, it’s that I need to STOP PRAYING IN THE CAR.)
I haven’t felt this helpless in quite some time. And perhaps it’s an apt metaphor for my life currently – me doing my absolute damndest to accomplish something (get the license plate number of a hit and run driver) and watching it zoom away, completely out of my reach. I’m trying my hardest and I’m failing completely.
Having said all of that, I do have some handy dandy tips for any of you that happen to find yourself in this kind of situation in the future:
1. If your accident happens on a freeway, call the highway patrol, not the police.
2. They do not have cameras on on or off ramps to freeway, so try your hardest to have your accident ON a freeway preferably under a camera, ho ho ho.
3. You will be screaming, crying, and trying to survive a killer adrenaline rush. But as soon as the car is parked, take pictures of the damage. The cops will most likely take 45 to an hour to get to you, do not waste the daylight.
4. When you call the police (or highway patrol) make sure you have your exact location before you call them. Don’t say “On such and such a street across from a swimming pool.” Get the cross streets, get the name of the recreation center attached to the swimming pool, so they can find you.
Things Not To Say To Someone Who’s Been In A Hit And Run Accident (Assuming They’ve Told You Their Whole Story):
- “Did you get the license plate number?”
- If they HAD gotten the license plate number, they would’ve included that detail in the story. You asking them, and them saying no to you makes them feel stupid all over again, like it’s their fault, like they didn’t try hard enough, when very technically, you’re not supposed to chase down a hit and run driver because it’s dangerous. Don’t make them feel bad. It’s along the same lines of, “Have you sold any scripts lately?” Believe me, if I had, you’d know.
- “Didn’t you go to the doctor?”
- Again, if there was any injury to them, they would’ve included that in the story. A good tipoff is listening for the phrase, “The airbags went off and everything.” If you don’t hear anything like that, it’s a good assumption that they are okay, just really really pissed and upset.
- “It could have been so much worse.”
- Yes, I know. I could’ve been killed, I could’ve been decapitated, I could’ve had all four limbs broken and have to type with my nose for the rest of my life. But look, that could’ve happened to you too. Things could ALWAYS be WORSE to ANYONE. I will look on the bright side after the appropriate amount of anger and frustration has taken its course. Don’t cut off that emotional avenue. It’s not healthy to suppress that.
- “Maybe God used you in some way to get through to the Hit And Run Driver, like maybe hitting you prevented another bigger accident, or perhaps served as a wake-up call to the Hit and Run Driver.”
- Oh, gosh, that’s lovely. I don’t want to hear how me and my mangled back bumper (that’s going to cost 2 grand to fix) served as a footnote to someone else’s catharsis. God could’ve totally gotten through to that guy without me and my vehicle. He’s God, after all.
But here’s a list of What You Can Say To Someone Who’s Been In A Hit And Run Accident (Assuming They’ve Told You Their Whole Story):
- Gosh, I am so so sorry.
- That totally sucks.
- Thinking about you.
- I’m gonna talk to God later about this.
- Do you need a drink?
- Here is a Twix bar just for you.
- Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.
I have screamed at God, I’ve yelled at God, I may have called Him an asshole, but I didn’t use the f-bomb. I consider that a small small small step forward.
But just one day at time. That’s all I can focus on now.