Terrible day - my 4-month-old car was smashed yesterday - 2004 to 2016 Mazda 3 Forum and Mazdaspeed 3 Forums
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 08:28 AM Thread Starter
EadzaM
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Terrible day - my 4-month-old car was smashed yesterday

So, I had to go to Baltimore yesterday and everything was fine for the first 50 minutes of the trip. But then saw the signs for the accident ahead that is blocking the two left lanes just short of the tunnel. I didn't have Waze on, frantically tried to get it up, but missed the last viable exit and alternate route off 95. A little later the next sign says that three left lanes are blocked. Not good. Wouldn't you know it, the masses start moving to the right, even though traffic is still going at normal speed. I was able to stay on the left lane until just yards from the overturned HazMat truck that ended up shutting down all four lanes for 2.5 hours. Brutal. But the original estimate was 4-5 hours so also very thankful. They opened up one lane and we were able to get going again. I was also thankful that I wasn't in the tunnel at a standstill. That wouldn't have been good for my mild claustrophobia. (But I was amazed that I was able to go at least three miles, along with many other knowing drivers, after that second sign. The driving schools really need to teach people to use all lanes until the end. Are people afraid that they wouldn't be allowed in at the end? Or that they are "cheating?" I don't understand.)

Now my timeline is all messed up and my trip back south is in early rush hour traffic. I wasn't supposed to be there at that time. Stop-n-go. I was able to make my full stop on the third lane from the right after chugging along pretty nicely. Look in the rear view and notice the driver behind me going way too fast and even able to see his reaction to what was to come. Not good! Hear brakes and BAMMMM!!! He smashed into me so hard that I smashed into the guy in front of me - Mazda3 sandwich. Luckily my bumper didn't come off when the guy in front pulled away as I was on top of his bumper. So, yeah, twice in one day, I stood on Interstate 95!!

Just a few decisions or changes to my morning and this could have been avoided. Ugggghhh. I'm okay for the most part. My neck seems to be stiffening a bit but the car protected me nicely. The airbags didn't deploy. The damage to the car looks isolated to the crush zones but still I'm thinking it'll be around $10,000. It'll never be the same. And now looking at the pics of the crash areas and recalling from memory, he may have changed lanes from the second lane thinking my third lane was moving along. When I saw him in the mirror, he looked surprised and his car was moving fast. Younger kid driver with his mom and grandma. No one was hurt thankfully. The Statie was comfortable with me driving home although I was wary of the bumpers staying on. It ended up scraping the tires but made it fine. Since we all were able to drive away there's no police report. The guy in front of me knows I was stopped though as he saw from his mirror.

Now for the lawyers, insurances, possible doctor visits....fun stuff. 4-month-old car - any advice would be appreciated.
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2016 Mazda3s GT 5-door : soul red/almond/MT (DD)
1993 RX-7 Touring
2004 Mazda6s GT 4-door (traded in)
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 09:08 AM
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There's no police report? That's insane!
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 09:13 AM
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Ditto, anytime there is even a minor fender bender I always have to fill out a report.

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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 10:27 AM
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Sorry about your accident, glad everyone's okay. Common practice for police to not right a report unless there's a serious injury.

Just from your pics, looks like the bumpers took the majority of the damage, the hood looks like it might be dinged though, and I can't see the fenders to tell if they're wrinkled at all. Just from my recent experience with hitting road debris, the front bumper and majority of support structures and a fan shroud ran $2,600. If you don't have any metal damage or exhaust damage and it's just the front and rear bumpers and support structures (which would be ideal as they wouldn't need to blend any paint), you're possibly looking at $5-6k. Good luck.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EadzaM View Post
I was amazed that I was able to go at least three miles, along with many other knowing drivers, after that second sign. The driving schools really need to teach people to use all lanes until the end. Are people afraid that they wouldn't be allowed in at the end? Or that they are "cheating?" I don't understand.
Laws, and their enforcement, as well as customs, vary around the country. It sounds like in the Baltimore area people either heed the signs because they're expected to, or because it generally works.

I hear you, though, as I'm definitely a fan of "use all of the road (until you can't!)".

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Originally Posted by dubdlux View Post
There's no police report? That's insane!
Again, it depends upon the jurisdiction, as well as the insurance laws in that state. I once got tangled-up with a group staging traffic accidents in California, and even though my car was driveable only long enough to get it off the freeway, the CHP officer explained that was enough for him not to have to fill out a report.

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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EadzaM View Post
Wouldn't you know it, the masses start moving to the right, even though traffic is still going at normal speed. I was able to stay on the left lane until just yards from the overturned HazMat truck that ended up shutting down all four lanes for 2.5 hours. Brutal. But the original estimate was 4-5 hours so also very thankful. They opened up one lane and we were able to get going again. I was also thankful that I wasn't in the tunnel at a standstill. That wouldn't have been good for my mild claustrophobia. (But I was amazed that I was able to go at least three miles, along with many other knowing drivers, after that second sign. The driving schools really need to teach people to use all lanes until the end. Are people afraid that they wouldn't be allowed in at the end? Or that they are "cheating?" I don't understand.)
Firstly, merging early into the open lanes is what you should have done. Its the clowns that zip by in the closed lane then expect everyone else to stop and let them in that cause a lot of the backup. I worked on a major highway in a large city for many years and many times the jerks that did this ended up getting whacked causing even more problems. This is not what should be taught in driving schools. All those signs you saw were not there for decoration. Zipping up at speed to within yards of an accident scene then cutting into the flow of traffic was the absolute wrong thing to do. When I had a workzone with a lane closure in place on a multilane highway, the cops would at times sit there and give the clowns tickets for doing stupid stuff like that. There are move over laws here to discourage those clowns from killing the people trying to do their job.

Second, without an accident report, the insurance companies probably won't even talk to you. I would be willing to bet that the kid has already called them and blamed the crash on you. It happens every day believe me. I would call the police and get a report as soon as possible.
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Last edited by arathol; 08-23-2016 at 08:58 PM.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-24-2016, 01:38 PM
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Your call will drive fine again. I have the same car as you and my front wheel was also smashed, the suspension is all messed up - mine will never drive the same again. I am still waiting to see if its written off. I estimate your damage is def less than 10K
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-24-2016, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
EadzaM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arathol View Post
Firstly, merging early into the open lanes is what you should have done. Its the clowns that zip by in the closed lane then expect everyone else to stop and let them in that cause a lot of the backup. I worked on a major highway in a large city for many years and many times the jerks that did this ended up getting whacked causing even more problems. This is not what should be taught in driving schools. All those signs you saw were not there for decoration. Zipping up at speed to within yards of an accident scene then cutting into the flow of traffic was the absolute wrong thing to do. When I had a workzone with a lane closure in place on a multilane highway, the cops would at times sit there and give the clowns tickets for doing stupid stuff like that. There are move over laws here to discourage those clowns from killing the people trying to do their job.
My suggestion is from years of driving, merging, and observing traffic flow, as well as any type of flow, say water flowing down a narrowing stream. The problem is driving schools don't teach how to merge - at all. Everyone is left to their own devices and preference. This individualized thinking, and emotion that comes with it, is the root of the problem. Let's just look at merging behavior of on-ramps onto congested freeways. Some people stop flow and try to get over as soon as possible, stopping traffic behind them. That's not dangerous? Whereas I, and most others, flow at merge speed and slide in when possible, using the full merge lane if needed, and try not to apply the brakes and impede the flow. Now some people will speed up and not let me in - and that's the problem. Am I being rude for using the full capacity of the space I'm allowed and trying to flow into traffic at a reasonable speed without needing to stop? It's a merge lane, not a stop lane. How am I cheating here?

Same thing with a lane closure. Use the maximum space you're allowed. You're assuming I'm the clown FLYING down the closing lane at full speed cutting everyone off. Not the case at all. Everyone in that lane was going with the flow to the end, just like water down a stream. It's the pebbles along the side of that stream - the cars that stop early to merge when there is still a mile of space left in front of them - that cause the turbulence and impede flow. My observation that I was safely able to get almost to the point of the stoppage proves my point really. Now I've never looked this up as I said, just my observations, but now I need to defend being called a jerk - indirectly of course. So I Googled "best way to merge for flow of traffic." I guess what I was talking about is "zipper merging" and this article is my best defense that I'm doing the RIGHT thing:

The beauty of zipper merging, or why you should drive ruder | Ars Technica

Of course, the internet is 100% correct, 70% of the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arathol View Post
Second, without an accident report, the insurance companies probably won't even talk to you. I would be willing to bet that the kid has already called them and blamed the crash on you. It happens every day believe me. I would call the police and get a report as soon as possible.
This is akin to Biff Tanner telling George McFly that he was responsible for the accident because he didn't tell him his car had a blind spot. Rule 1 of driving: you rear-end someone, it's your fault. Rule 2 of driving: well, you know. But you're right, it makes me very uneasy without a police report. But Maryland's policy is that they only file one with injury, death, DUI, and damaged cars that cannot be safely driving away. I was able to drive away - fortunately or unfortunately, I don't know yet.

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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-24-2016, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Your call will drive fine again. I have the same car as you and my front wheel was also smashed, the suspension is all messed up - mine will never drive the same again. I am still waiting to see if its written off. I estimate your damage is def less than 10K
Yeah, I'm beginning to feel better about it. It was really limited to the front end, rear bumper and hood. The hatch and fenders seem fine. I had a chip on that piece in front of the hood so silver lining is it'll be new again. And I'll have the body shop paint the smiley and Mazda symbol gloss black while it's apart. Will be taking it to the guys that fixed up and repainted my RX-7 after it met a big buck. They're perfectionists so it should be in good hands.

Good luck with yours. Will you get a 2017 if it's written off?

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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-24-2016, 03:09 PM
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I disagree that the best thing to do when traffic is being forced into fewer lanes due to an accident or construction is to race in the lanes that will be obstructed up ahead in order to get in at the last moment expecting others already in line to make space.

All this does is slow down those who have already gotten into the queue in an orderly and safer fashion as soon as they recognize the bottleneck via emergency lights or advisory signs.

IMHO, to speed ahead of the line only to dart into any space that someone is willing to or forced to give up at the last moment is akin to cutting in line in front of others at a ticket counter.

Road rage and accidents are often the result of such behavior.


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