I was on my way to work, on a fine Tuesday morning. Heading South on Dufferin, at Davenport, I had the green. A white Volvo was headed North, but suddenly, without signaling or giving me my right of way, turned West, crossing into my lane. I swerved trying to avoid it, but no go. It plowed into my front left. Both air bags deployed.
I was pretty shaken up. There was a strange smell in the car. My ears were ringing.
I opened the door. It didn’t swing easily. There were three women standing next to the white Volvo. One of them must be the driver. I looked North. There were some people at the bus stop. “Did you see what happened?” “No.”
A fellow, headed to the 2-4-1 Pizza at the South West corner, asked if we wanted him to call the police. Yes, please. This turned out to be Maha, on his way to work.
He saw the whole thing.
Vince, the tow truck driver appeared. If you’ve never been in an accident, you might think of these guys as opportunistic profiteers of human misery. Nothing could be further from the truth. They show up within minutes, if not seconds, of the event, and act as assistants and councillors. They’ve seen it all countless times, so they know the routine. These guys are priceless.
It’s about then that the driver of the Volvo, the redhead, confides in me that “this is very bad: I don’t have a license.” I’m sure she was looking for sympathy and reassurance. But I have to tell you I was feeling anything but charitable just then. I turned away, not trusting myself to respond.
After calling my boss to let him know the situation and that I wouldn’t be in until later, it occurred to me I had my camera in my knapsack. So I started shooting.
The police arrived within 10 minutes of the accident. He asked a few questions of each of us, but separately. Eventually he asked me to fill out a form. I went to Vince’s truck and started filling it out. My hands were shaking, so it was difficult getting the words down on paper. I did the best I could.
Sometime after I handed back the form, the constable asked me to step out of the truck. He advised me they were charging the other driver with driving without a license and unsafe turn.
Although I’d shot several pictures at the scene of the accident, by the time I got to the office, my camera’s display screen was shattered. It cost me $270 to repair, and the insurance wasn’t covering it.
So we were free to take the car to the collision place now. Vince took me to his brother’s place, Massive Auto Collision, on Dupont. There I was able to call the insurance and start the paperwork. I took all my belongings out of the car, and was picked up by a young man from Enterprise Car Rental.
The Enterprise location on Dovercourt only had one vehicle available, a Jeep Commander. So that’s what I got. It’s a monster truck. They were eventually notified by the insurance company that they weren’t paying for that beast; so I had to trade down to a Nissan Versa. I checked: 122hp. Totally anemic.
It was time to buy a new car. Here were my criteria. I didn’t want to spend $40K. It couldn’t be Japanese. My last five cars were from Japan. But not this time. How did they lose my business? The Cove. Nice going guys. Keep up the good work.
So what did I end up with? A Kia Forte SX. Loads of standard features:
- Leather seats and leather covered steering wheel
- Heated seats
- Outside mirrors with integrated turn signals
- AUX input for my iPod
- Voice activated Bluetooth interface for hands-free calling
- …and, you know, like, more, man.
About $23K. If it hadn’t been for the Japanese propensity to slaughter intelligent mammals, I wouldn’t even have looked at other manufacturers.
It’s been a while since I started this blog post, so I’ve had the Forte for about a month now. How do I feel about it? It’s a great little car. I’m missing the Acura’s 200hp, but I figure I’m going to have to get used to lower power machines when we go to all electric vehicles. So might as well start now.
The engineering is mostly good. But they have their heads firmly planted up their butts when it comes to communications. The manual is atrocious: not just the translation, but the layout as well. And the user interface labeling in the cab is often backwards. Fer instance, the scale to show the timing of the interval for the intermittent wiper goes from thin to thick. You’d think when it was at the thin end, the interval would be short, and would lengthen as you went to the thick end. But you’d be wrong. The Acura had the same metaphor, but they got it right.