Monday, February 19, 2007

A matter of perspective

Just over a week ago, I totaled my car. I was driving though an intersection when someone ran a red light making a right turn, putting them directly in my path. That would have been no problem for me to avoid, but as soon as they were in my path, they hit their brakes and came to a complete stop. Part of their bumper cracked & broke off, and the whole front end of my car was smashed in (as well as both air bags going off). The other driver was a foreign adult, and told both the police officer and my insurance agent that they did not know you had to stop on red when making a right turn.

I was relieved to find that my insurance would not hold the accident against me, however, the car now totaled has one major problem: it's owned by a bank. How much of it is owned by the bank versus myself is an interesting question, because it depends on whether the car is running or not. Long and short of it is, since the bank is on the title, they get to keep however much of the money they so choose. All of it, of course.

So, the accident's not my fault, my car's totaled ... and I'm just out a vehicle with no compensation. The bank, which I am choosing not to name, gets several extra thousands of dollars. Their consolation to me is that they would give me another auto loan. Ha!

I'll never trust another bank again. In fact, you know their job is to make every cent they possibly can ... and if that means taking it from you, they can and will. And then they'll ask to bleed you some more, and too often, we're desperate to let them do it! I told Kitty if we take out another auto loan, that car should sit safely in the garage until it's paid off!

But there's good news. From the accident, I jammed my thumb pretty good, but otherwise no ill effects. Our truck, which had been failing to start during the cold snap, started up immediately when I got home after the accident, and has been running fine since. We now have no car loans, and our insurance has significantly dropped, which will make it a lot easier to save up for a replacement vehicle. Also, because I've been in the habit of taking the bus to work, the loss of a vehicle is not nearly as insurmountable as it would be for many. Unfortunately, "public" transportation in the suburbs requires driving to meet the bus, but I've been able to work around Met Council's shortcomings, thanks to the help of my family & a flexible schedule.

Some people struggle through life every day. My life is generally pretty easy, with the occasional WHOMP!!! that can momentarily make things seem hopeless. It's just a matter of keeping that clear perspective ...