Auto Owie

Today’s post comes to us from Crystal Bay.

I seem to have lost all sense of depth perception over the last few years. I pull up to a curb feeling like I’m almost bumping into it, then, when getting out of the care, find that I’m six feet away from it. The upside is that it’s easy to find it at Target. I keep driving over curbs even though I try to focus on where they are. I also tend to park at an angle instead of straight in. People at my workout club have noticed this and park well away from my car.

I also have trouble gauging the narrowed path between road construction cones and barrels. Last week, I was too focused on missing the cones and hit a few barrels on the right. My passenger side has scraps to show it.

Last Saturday night, I bumped into a lady stopped for a train. I immediately put it into reverse, but instead of putting it into park, I put into drive and bumped her a second time. She never got out of her car to confront me but drove out of the line of cars waiting for the train to pass, so I continued driving home.

As I pulled into my driveway, two cop cars pulled in behind me. They said I’d hit and run and assessed my car for any damage. There was none, and I explained to them why I drove off. They were really nice, but told me that my “victim” said she had neck pain and the paramedics were called to the scene. My God!! I bumped her in a slowing stop.

I endured dread for the outcome of this experience all day Sunday, then called my insurance agent Monday morning. They said that if she filed a claim, I’d have to pay $400 more a year for five years.  The citation would be several hundred dollars. I was beside myself needless to say.

My citation came two days later and was less than a speeding ticket. The charge was “Driving without due diligence” and only cost $118. She never filed a claim either. I dodged a bullet, but I think it was out of pity on the part of the cops.

My fear at this point is that I’m only one accident away from not driving, and how that would entrap me in my home with not enough money for Uber, not close friends to drive me anywhere, and no bus line. I’ve taken to only driving on slow backroads because I don’t want to be a danger to myself or anyone else.


43 thoughts on “Auto Owie”

  1. I have never liked driving all that much and I’m a little sad because I don’t think self-driving cars will be perfected soon enough for me to take advantage of them. A perfected self-driving car needs to be like a chauffeur to me; I want to be able to sit back and read rather than having to sit in the driver’s seat and keep alert!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Uber is not the only option. Most counties provide some sort of door to door transportation services at low cost. It would be a good idea to investigate what’s available before you absolutely need it. Otherwise, you are going to suddenly be presented with some hard choices in the future.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m not driving these days, but since I really don’t go anywhere other than medical appointments, it’s not much of a problem yet. I do hope that sometime in the future I will feel well enough to drive myself places but I suspect that it will be an adjustment getting used to driving again after several months of not driving.


  4. I have strong feelings about old drivers who begin having accidents. I’ve not begun having accidents myself, but I watch this closely and will sell my car at the first indication my driving seems to be becoming unsafe.

    I have a special reason for being so fierce on this issue. I once witnessed an old lady lose control of her car on a snowy hill. In her panic, the old woman stomped on her accelerator when she meant to hit the brakes. I saw her ricochet off two parked cars before driving into a young woman walking in a parking lot. The accident shattered her spine,and she never walked again.

    I feel sorry for old drivers who worry about their driving. We live in a society built on the expectation people will be able to drive.


  5. Out here there are very few options if you don’t drive. CB, you should explore the driverless options available to you. You may have much less stress if you give up driving.

    My dad lost his license a few months before his death after some well meaning neighbors contacted his doctor and reported him as an unsafe driver. It was a huge blow to him, but he accepted it far better than I thought he would. I had a lot of fun driving him around, and it made for more together time for us. He always thought I was too careful of a driver, and would say “You could have made that” when I waited for a car to go by before I made a turn.


    1. He was always in a hurry, and his favorite thing to say when he wanted someone to hurry up was “my grandmother was slow but she was old”. Either that or he would start singing “On a slow boat to China”.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. A 90+ old neighbor of my parents who drove a lot to the various card clubs she belonged to decided to stop driving after she drove several miles in the country and then all the way through town without noticing that the sheriff was following her with his lights flashing. He followed her all the way to her garage and gave her a ticket for some infraction or other. She lived to be well over 100.


  7. Wow, that’s a tough one, CB. I hope Bill is right and there are some more options to check into.

    I know a little about this from our friend W. A year ago he realized his thinking had gotten “fuzzy” and slower, and when he moved from house to apartment he willingly also gave up driving. Luckily he now lives in walking distance to many of the places he likes to go, but he relies on us and a few others for rides when needed. So far this has worked out.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. CB’s dilemma interests me in another way. I don’t think humans generally deal well with change. In particular, the changes forced on us by aging are damned tricky. We all age, but we do it in different ways and (to some extent) at different rates. It is intellectually difficult to make decisions that take into account the ways our bodies and minds are being degraded by the aging process. We all want to make decisions based on our experience, but that is deceptive at the end of life because our experience comes from times we were quicker, stronger, more alert and generally more capable than we are after some aging. The likelihood is that we will continue to lose the ability to do things, but it feels wrong to make decisions based more on fear than hope. To loop back to my first comment, the special challenge of deciding when to give up the car keys is the concern that our determination to continue driving can become a threat to others.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Sorry to keep posting, but this issue is huge in my life. I once spent hours listening to a woman I didn’t know well as she agonized over the decision to stay another winter in her home or move to an apartment. She was in her 80s, I’d guess. As she saw it, she had experienced “a bad winter” that year. She was incapable of keeping her home functioning and orderly. But to her, it was just that: a bad year. She desperately wanted to believe that winter was an outlier and that she could thrive in her home if she just had an ordinary year. I didn’t have the heart to suggest that the next winter might be considerably worse for her, as she was obviously aging.

    The time I spent with her was transformative for me. I never before had seen so clearly how aging presents us with unique challenges.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. This reply really touches me and makes me want to ask others what they’ve noticed and accepted as part of aging. I have great difficulty acknowledging any loss of stamina or memory. Or, aging in general! More and more, what I have noticed is forgetting how to spell as I’m writing. For anyone who may wonder, I did get myself tested for dementia a while back and came out clean even though I have to use my calculator for basic math.


  10. Hey all, Nancy’s having trouble getting on to WordPress today to reply to all of our comments. Unfortunately I’ve been lucky enough that I have hardly ever had any issues with WordPress and passwords and getting on but I know some of you have struggled more than I have. Anybody have any words of advice for her?


    1. I don’t have any trouble with my desktop computer but on my iPad, WordPress keeps bumping me off. Lately I have had to hit the little encircled W ( the WordPress logo) at the end of my comment and then I get the”post comment” button. WP is flaky.


      1. I’ve had good luck with both Firefox and chrome.
        Is the problem being able to sign in? If you use a password manager, that can sign you in automatically, maybe that would help.

        Other than that, I’ve got nothing. Since I don’t have problems with word press, I don’t know the solutions.


  11. I come and see being is that you need to be done driving now
    Not sometime in the future ….now
    There is a cab company I’m drawing a blank right now but I will come up with that and it will take you anywhere in the city for four dollars
    I heard complaints that sometimes you need to wait a while for the cabin but that’s a small price to pay
    There’s a new company that’s a start up in Minneapolis called mo
    It will give you a driver who is trained to have a great deal of patience and there is a way to request the same driver that you love over and over again today they are not certified to get the same government subsidy that will allow for a five dollar cab ride but they’re working on it and in conjunction with that company
    I will get the information to you as soon as I’m able to wrap my brain around it again

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sorry about that my new resolution is to check my dictation before I hit the go button and I failed to do that here so the first sentence above is not what I intended to go onto the page
      i’m thinking the cab company that I’m trying to remember might be Medicab up in which case you would need to have a doctor proclaim you in need of assistance getting around but I’m sure that could be done


    2. I’ve never heard of this – there’s something called Metro Mobility, but you have to have some other handicap and it takes six months to activate it


  12. The brain is such an interesting assistant that when it starts to short-circuit a little bit I need to pay close attention
    My dad was starting to show signs of Alzheimer’s where he would ask the same question to her three times and upsetting and we knew it was starting to affect him but his favorite thing on earth was going to coffee with his friends every morning
    my dad was starting to show signs of Alzheimer’s where he would ask the same question to her three times in a sitting and we knew it was starting to affect him but his favorite thing on earth was going to coffee with his friends every morning
    My mom talk to him about the fact that maybe it was gonna be a good idea to consider giving up driving in the not too distant future and he bough Play Bob talk to him about the fact that maybe it was going to be a good idea to consider giving up driving in the not too distant future and he ballied
    on Sunday morning I got a call saying that he was messing they were living up in Lake and she woke up at 8 o’clock in the morning and he would’ve gone
    Lord knows where he must’ve driven off somewhere and gotten lost the police were looking for him keeping an eye on his cell phone and his credit card usage to see if they can track or he had been
    I was getting ready to head off to a Vikings game and lo and behold at about 10 o’clock my dad pulled in the driveway sam he just felt like coming down to see his grandchildren
    idled my really glad to see him but if he was in big trouble and he didn’t quite understand why
    retook the test to see if he was capable of driving and he always passed them but it was always very apparent and she was sitting there with a passing grade in a pan that it was not a good idea for him to drive
    CB if you bump into the car in front of you from Port depth perception seven Steppin them accidentally end up going into reverse except you don’t there is a problem
    quit now before something terrible happenes to you or to someone who’s in front of you or behind you
    The transition is tough enough without having complications from tragedy affecting your outlook

    Liked by 1 person

    1. sorry my dictation deiving down the road is terrible
      the idea came through sort of but i apologize

      i think nancy if you get amazon prime and have stuff delivered a lot of the must do trips on your list can go away

      i think you are fooling yourself to believe it’s ok

      steve get on it


      nancy figure out how much uber/ metro mobility/ mo would cost and how much savings there would be with no gas insurance repairs or tires. got to be a lot of uber charges

      liquor stores deliver if they don’t i’ll put you in touch with delivery services or write up your monthly needs and i’ll drop it off once a month

      if you don’t know how much you need per week/ month you could easily figure it out

      i’m hoping you recognize the problem nancy and don’t just ignore the warnings


  13. I’ll join tim’s entreaties, CB, ’cause this is truly alarming to me.

    I’m concerned, CB, not just for YOUR safety, but the safety for OTHERS as well. Your assessment that you’re “only one accident away from not driving” may well be accurate. What’s worse, you may be just one accident away from getting seriously hurt, or seriously hurting someone else, or worse. Please, please, I implore you, explore with your son, Steve, or someone else you trust, what your alternatives are before you have that accident you’ll regret for the rest of your life.

    You have told us before you’re not a confident driver, and that you don’t venture far from home, surely there are some alternatives that will not leave you stranded in your home, will get you to where you want to go, and yet protect you from the enormous risks you’re taking behind the wheel. The reason I suggested Steve is that he sounds like a very creative and resourceful man, I’d sure give him a shot.


  14. I appreciate the concern some you express, but I’m fine on backroads and the short freeway stretch from here to Ridgedale (10 minutes away). Places I really have to get to are within 5 minutes and I’m totally confident about these short trips. Groceries, gas, doctor, gym, dancing, drug store, and, of course, the liquor store. I have decided that going to Steve’s or Mary’s are only safe if I leave before it’s dark because of night blindness. I do avoid rush hour whenever possible.

    The problems I’ve been having are almost all parking situations where the only damage may be to my car (like parking too far out or running over curbs). By now, you’ve all learned that I write embellished stories. The events I shared took place over a long stretch of time so conflating them all would make anyone think that I shouldn’t be driving at all.

    By the way, I found my way back to TB by signing in through Facebook. I guess that I just won’t have a moniker anymore. I’ll forever be anonymous. Maybe I should just type “CB” at the beginning of any comment I make. Sorry for all the silly “test” runs.


  15. One thing that’s apparent is how our towns and cities need more transportation options that would allow a person to give up the idolized car. By the time I can’t use my car, I doubt that I’ll be able to bike, as well. I imagine European cities as having more of these options, since they have better mass transit. But I could be wrong.


  16. My insurance company has made me take a “senior driving” course every few years to keep my insurance rates down. It’s pretty interesting and talks a lot about merging, turning into traffic, but absolutely nothing about parking!


  17. For while I had an old car with a bad heater core, and during the winter I would just park it and walk or take the bus. I expect that if I have to, I can get around somehow, some way, without a car. I won’t like it much, but I can deal with it.

    Liked by 1 person

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