They say things happen in threes.
In the past two weeks, I've read several accounts of people getting into various car accidents. One friend in Gainesville (Florida) got T-boned by a driver running a stop sign. Another got in a head-on collision with someone.
Tonight, while driving on I-85 to Oxford Comics, I turned my attention away from the road for a moment, only to look back on the rapidly approaching rear-end of another Pathfinder. Hitting the brakes and turning the wheel to the right slightly, I caught some movement from the right side of my periphery, so I didn't swerve onto the shoulder. Unfortunately, there was only one way to go, otherwise, and that was headlong into the back of the car in front of me.
The occupants of the vehicle got out, as I did, and we made sure everyone was ok. Another driver stopped to give his information as a witness. I tried starting my car up again, but the various fluids on the ground of the interstate would attest to the futility of that effort. The driver of the other vehicle helped me push my now broken car to the shoulder, and after exchanging our info, we waited for the police to show up.
J and M, the two occupants of the other Pathfinder, were extremely friendly, and we made some light small-talk for the one and a half hours it took for the Atlanta Police to show up. Their car was relatively unscathed, the liftgate and bumper being slightly crushed in (of course, that'll probably cost about 1200 or so to fix).
I had a sinking feeling, however, that my car was pretty much a loss--the driver's side of the hood is crumpled in roughly halfway from (what used to be) the front of the car to the windshield. The tow truck driver confirmed my suspicions when he used the word "totalled" in describing how the insurance company would probably evaluate it.
When a policeman showed up, he took our information, and filled out all the paperwork. I got a ticket for "Following too closely" which he says I can pay via telephone/internet (the back of the citation says that any citation involving an accident needs to go to traffic court, however). He was nice enough to wait behind me while I sat dejectedly in my own vehicle, waiting another 30 minutes for AAA's tow truck.
I've called the insurance company, looked up the rental rates, considered new/used cars. I've called up a few friends who might have cars I can borrow, and spent a lot of time on the phone with my parents. I'm probably going to have to take another billable day off of work in a week in which I already took of Monday to hang with the Brother.
Yeah, I'm ready for this week to end.
In the silver lining department, I probably won't need to take the car in to have the slipping transmission checked out...