Something pretty crazy happened to me/the car yesterday morning as I was exiting the 10 West. Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale…
There I was. I was waiting in “line” to exit the freeway in the right lane of the Cloverfield Blvd off-ramp of the 10 West. My car is completely in its lane waiting for the cars ahead of it to shuffle up the grade and make their right turns. I began to notice a few cars pass to my left closer than I’m comfortable with as they proceeded forward in the second right turn lane. Out of nowhere, I heard a clunk to my left. My first thought was someone had grazed the driver’s side of my vehicle. Still being in a mild state of shock, I looked to my left and saw the left side mirror pushed forward. I put the window down and reached out and swung it back to its proper position. The question that first came to mind was, “What exactly happened here?” Trying to figure out an answer to that question, I looked in the adjacent lane further up the road and saw a white vehicle with its right side mirror folded in (I’m guessing a it was a late 1990s-early 2000s Ford Taurus or Mercury Sable. To be honest, I wanted nothing to do with this vehicle after what happened other than getting away from it.). As it went by at about 10-15 mph (maybe upwards of 20 mph), that car’s right side mirror hit my left side mirror.
The line I was in began moving and it traveled far enough to allow me to come to a stop right next to this white car. I looked over and gave my “What are you doing?” look with the accompanying hand gesture and shoulder shrug I usually complement that look with. The driver of the vehicle was an elderly lady wearing sunglasses (kind of like those Blu-Blocker ones you may have seen on TV growing up). It looked like she may have been trying to get my attention to say something, but she didn’t even put her vehicle’s front passenger window down. After I gave her “the look,” I thought I really wanted to have nothing else to do with this situation. As long as the mirror on my vehicle wasn’t damaged, I was more than glad to “get away with one.” I didn’t even want to check out the extent of the possible damage to the other vehicle’s mirror because I figured it was that driver’s fault. I knew it and she knew it.
I finally made my right turn and began heading North on Cloverfield to the office. I re-adjusted the mirror glass using its electric motor because the impact shook it a little (not surprising given the fact that I’ve had to re-adjust the mirrors in the past on the rare occasions I’ve folded them in). Amazingly, I didn’t see any marks on the mirror or its glass at this time. Keep in mind I’m still sitting in the driver’s seat of the car. Next, I turned into the underground structure and parked the car in its usual resting place on P3. As soon as I had finished parking it, I immediately got out and began to survey the mirror for any damage.
(Photo from the web – not my actual mirror)
Looking at it closely and running my fingers over the affected area, I still was unable to find any damage the mirror may have sustained. The front leading edge of the other vehicle’s right side mirror hit the rear corner of my vehicle’s left side mirror. I did have to pause for a moment to make sure splattered bug remains from the previous weekend’s 100-plus mph exploits at the track and the drive to and from the track were not really a scuff mark. I still saw no visible damage whatsoever! The unpainted, black plastic frame around the perimeter of the rear of the side mirror was apparently the hero of today’s craziness.
Now that all is said and done, I must say the fact that the side mirrors can swivel both ways on my vehicle was what made today’s “outcome” possible. Before today, I thought those mirrors could only fold in toward the window and not toward the A-pillar at all. I guess it’s sometimes good to be wrong! The lesson I learned today is I’m going to hug the right side of that lane a bit tighter from this day forward. The saying that comes to mind is, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” That’s not to say that I’m in total control of many things that may happen to me and/or my vehicle. It’s also these uncontrollable things that are often more frustrating than the results of our own shortcomings, failings, and mistakes. In the meantime, I’m simply very thankful for how everything turned out today and I hope you don’t have to experience any similar situations of your own anytime soon.