Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A Total Loss of the Weekend

For six years, I've had a bright blue Ford ZX2. It's not a particularly wonderful car. It rumbled loudly every time I drove it, had a bad window seal problem so driving at higher speeds popped my ears, and has horrible safety ratings.

But still, it was my car. Paid off and reliable. I was not looking for a new vehicle anytime soon. In fact, just the other day I was thinking that I'd be driving it for another three years or so. No mechanical problems. Last month I had the spark plugs changed and a new gasket kit put on by one of the Brighthouse mechanics who work down in our parking garage.

This past Friday, AJ came to visit me. On the street outside my complex a large bird smacked into the windshield of his Honda CR-V. It destroyed the windshield, leaving feathers stuck in the glass and shards lying all over the interior. AJ showed up with little cuts all over his arms and face - bleeding out from all of them.

We were then down to a single vehicle - mine.

So the next day, we decided to go to the beach to check out a skim boarding event that our crew was out at shooting for a story. We ate lunch with three of my coworkers, then walked a few blocks back to my car. I'd parked on a side street off the main strip. Running perpendicular to some roads are little drainage culverts, ditches, apparently they're called "Miami curves."

At the first intersection, I stopped for the sign, then proceeded to move forward. About three feet later, my little car bottomed out letting out a loud screech. The airbags deployed, hitting AJ and I. That broke my windshield. With the air pressure increase, the moon roof broke. The drivers side door broke in half and the window broke. The front axle bent, leaving one tire sticking out. All for going under 5 mph.

Several people standing on the corner saw the entire thing unfold. They asked us if we were okay, and one man said cars bottom out quite often and are damaged. He called the police.

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office showed up, but would not issue a police report because technically, I didn't "hit" anything. Hello? I made her give me a card for information. I collected one of the witness' phone numbers and address. He lives on that corner.

The sheriff's deputy actually told me to try to drive the car back to my place, about 15 miles away. AJ and I managed to do this. With a broken windshield and deployed airbags.

For the next two days, I had no car. My insurance claim was taken, but the adjustor wasn't in until Monday. Saturday night, I'd gotten us tickets to see a comedian I like. We ended up ordering pizza ihstead.

Monday, I got a rental car while AJ waited for the Glass Doctor to come and fix his Muskogee Duck Destroyed windshield. The adjustor told me to start looking for another car, because mine is most likely totaled. A towing company was supposed to come either Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning to take my car to the insurance company's lot for inspection. It's now Wednesday and that still hasn't been done.

Yesterday I spent two hours at a Toyota dealership and found a car that I like. I put a deposit on it to hold the car, but it's completely refundable. Quite a bit needs to happen in order to get this whole process moving. The insurance company is slow as molasses.

I called the city of Indian Rocks beach to put in a complaint against those dips in the roads. There are no signs, it TOTALED my car, and other cars have been damaged. The guy I spoke with basically told me to screw off. This weekend I'm going to draft an official letter.

So now I wait. I really hate waiting.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Wow... I think I know what you're talking about by those drainage ditches... I'm amazed that it would cause that to happen! I hope you're able to get everything worked out with the insurance... that's annoying. Hope you're doing well despite the car troubles.