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Redusernab Asks: Ever been a victim of hit-and-run?

Kamil Kaluski June 6, 2018 Redusernab Asks, Project 4Runner 22 Comments

Afternoon rush hour. My wife was stopped at a red light in the middle lane of a three lane road after picking up my son from school. The left lane was for left turns only and the right lane was for right turns only. The left lane got an early green light for turning left. The line of cars in the left lane drove away as she waited for her light to turn green. The last car turning left side-swiped our 4Runner on its right and our left, and continued on its way.

My wife, and son in the back seat, were surprised by this. It was one of those moments were you don’t know what to do. In the mean time the left turn light turned red and her light to go straight turned green. She couldn’t go left after the car and the cars behind her began hoking, because that’s what the people who work in Boston and live in the suburbs do when they see something, anything, obstructing or delaying them. 

So, what do I do now? The damage is likely to be less than my deductible. The car that hit us is gone, unknown make or model. I, unfortunately, don’t have a dash-cam (yet). There are scratches on my driver’s door and front fender molding. Some will buff out, some won’t. There are tire marks on my beefy rock-slider, which I got just for such reasons. I hope the dickface bent his tie-rod or something. It was a smaller vehicle, so he/she likely has more damage than my 4Runner. 

I hate people. I’m getting a dash-cam so that I can at least get the license plate of the next dickbag that hits me and runs. Now I have to waste my time trying to make this look prettier. 

  • P161911

    Sort of, but I had to laugh about it. Early 1990s, I’m in college and driving the old 1973 Chevy truck. It is Friday afternoon at the BP station on North Ave. in Atlanta, very busy. This is before pay at the pump. I park and start to go in and pay. Woman at the pump in front of me is yelling that I need to move. Tell her I’ll move as soon as I pay and get my gas. She proceeds to back into the front of my truck. My grandfather had installed a front trailer hitch for maneuvering trailers. She wacks the rusty hitch good with her car and drives off. Lady on the other side of the pump tells me “I’m an Atlanta Police Officer, would you like to make a report about this?” I said no need. All I had was a little extra paint on the front trailer hitch.

  • dukeisduke

    Thirteen years ago, my wife was on her way home from a chemotherapy treatment (inflammatory breast cancer). in our first Previa (’94 LE S/C). She was in the left-hand lane (two lanes each way, undivided, no dedicated turn lanes), going straight, when some nimrod coming head-on, turning left, hit her in the left front, right at the left front tire and door, bending the front suspension and buckling the instrument panel, and then going all the way down the left side of the van. The Previa was totaled.

    Fortunately, a Good Samaritan followed him all the way to his parents’ house on the other side of town, calling the cops along the way. The guy was 23, and had a long rap sheet, with a couple of DWIs, minor drug arrests, unlawful use of a credit card, etc. He was arrested for failure to leave ID and failure to stop and render aid, both felonies. He spent nine months in a state jail.

  • dukeisduke

    Is that just paint marks on the door, or an actual dent? The paint marks *might* buff out.

  • On my road bike. Cruising at about 20 mph when a 90s Toyota Corolla decided to pull out right in front of me (they had a stop sign, I did not). Head met side of car and I went sliding on the asphalt for a bit. Buddy riding with me said the guy stopped to yell a few profanities and then drove off, don’t really remember that part. Buddy was also able to get the plate number. Sued for damages and luckily had no serious lasting injuries.

    • dukeisduke

      Was he arrested? He should have been.

      • Nope. They eventually ticketed him but the cop basically spent an hour advocating for the driver while I pushed them to put more resources into tracking the guy down and arresting him.

    • 0A5599

      I was biking to school when I was 15, and a woman coming from the other direction ignored a stop sign to turn left in front of/into my bike.

      I wasn’t injured except where the handlebars bruised my thigh, but I had to take the bike home without using the bent front wheel, and then get to class without using the bike. I don’t remember whether the teacher bought my story about being late, or if she even noticed.

    • Zentropy

      I was intentionally whacked by the extended mirror of a late 70s Ford F150 when riding my bike along a rural road between my apartment and my parent’s house back in my 20s. Knocked me in the weeds, but the difference in our speeds wasn’t significant enough to do me serious harm. I was pissed, though, and unfortunately didn’t get my bearings in time to read the plate number. A couple of miles later, some jackass threw an apple core into my back as they drove past. Some drivers just hate cyclists.

    • neight428

      Cycling isn’t fun. There are a large enough subset of drivers that feel morally superior enough to cyclists to mentally justify putting them at great risk that you are likely to cross paths with them if you do it enough. I’ve had trailer fenders uncomfortably close to my ankle while hugging the edge of the pavement on an empty stretch of 2-lane.

  • 0A5599

    My wife was at a light. Right lane was right turn only, second lane could turn right or go straight, third lane went straight only. She was in the second lane.

    Light turned green and she proceeded to turn right. The car in the right lane wanted to go straight, though. Clipped our passenger front door, but not too bad. The other driver didn’t want to stick around. He backed up a bit, then rammed the right rear corner of our car to spin it out of the way. He didn’t stick around, but someone got the license number.

    Stolen car.

    We filed a police report, which never really led to anything, but I think the stolen car ultimately was recovered.

    We a year later, I got a call from an insurance investigator. The stolen car was involved in another accident, and I guess the police report on the first accident made the investigator think MY car did the hit and run.

  • Alff

    My son got sideswiped on the freeway a few weeks back. Red Charger kissed his front fender and was gone. Damage is visible but minor. Given the overall condition of his free to me Dodge “Status” this doesn’t amount to anything. His university is near the ‘hood and the poor car suffers inner city indignities regularly – stolen wheel centers and plates, various bumps and bruises. A beater is perfect for his situation.

  • Sjalabais

    It’s a shame that people really feel the need to film everything all the time. I mean I get the impulse, I get the need for it, I get it may help to improve life quality and save money. Ultimately though it is a symptom of a trustless society with a gross need for total surveillance at every turn, that cannot possibly avoid the fate of getting abused at some point in time. /rant

    In other news, my cars have been battlemarked at several occasions, but never all the way down to bare metal. Thus I end up not caring much. One time, I may have been a culprit. Banged a Volvo 745 with my 242 in a rocky mountain parking lot, basically slipped off two rocks simultaneously and braked too late. Not much damage, but slight marks, and the note I left may have been destroyed by rain. At least I never got a phone call, and people tend to hike for more than one day. Rain came at the end of the 2nd day.

    • Maybe if people stopped being assholes…

    • outback_ute

      A lot of truck drivers have them to protect against the actions of car drivers, as the law here is such that the rear driver would need to prove they were not following too closely or similar. Having footage of a car cutting into the space they have left in front of them is about the only defense in a he said-she said situation. Of course there are a lot of truck drivers that do tailgate.

      On the radio this morning there was a story about a woman who was rear ended by a hit-and-run driver, who sent her spinning into the next lane where she was t-boned by a truck. None of the witnesses got the registration number of the pickup, and apparently technical issues are preventing the truck company from providing the dash cam footage to police. I’d hate to think they were covering their ass, because I don’t think the police are looking at any driving infringements from the truck driver, but cynically I wonder if that is the source of the technical issue…

      • Sjalabais

        Distrust leading to distrust; excellent example of what bothers me. But, yes, I understand that the tech does an important job of smoothing out man’s imperfections. I just wish we could drop the cameras everywhere, because the potential for abuse is totally unheard of. The Chinese social score system or the new Russian facial recognition to be employed under the world cup are examples of that.

  • Ted Odell

    In the mid ‘80s my ‘78 Toyota Corolla wagon had the door smashed in the Intel parking lot. No note. No nothing. We were broke and I could not afford the $500 deductible for insurance. So not only was I driving a Corolla wagon with fake wood panelling, I was driving a Corolla wagon with the fake wood panelling bashed in. Lame.

  • Gavin

    Shortly after starting a lease on a brand new
    Golf GTI back in 2015, I had parked in the car park of a local mall. Came out roughly 20 minutes later and noticed that the driver’s side wing mirror was folded in…Weird. Then I looked down to see a huge dent in the centre of the door where someone had obviously backed into it. No note or witnesses of course. The repairs took almost two months due to a back order of mk7 Golf doors and even though the repairs were done well, the car just wasn’t the same to me after that. I’d like to believe that karma caught up with the offender in the end.

  • Fuhrman16

    We a decade ago I was at an intersection with (what I assume) an old geezer in a ’81 Seville in front of me. They were turning left onto a divided four lane street. They got about halfway through making the turn when they decided to not turn (there was some road construction going on, so maybe they thought they couldn’t go that way or something).
    So they decided to back up to the stop sign and start over. Unfortunately, my car was in the way. I tried to back up as well, but there was a car behind me, so I didn’t really have anyplace to go. So the Caddy bumped into me, than proceeded to make the turn like they had started off.

  • ptschett

    I came close; I had an incident on my KLR650 where I could have slapped or kicked the right-rear fender of an oncoming / left-turning across my path last-generation Trans Am, if my right hand and right foot weren’t both terribly occupied with their respective brake levers at that particular moment. I circled the block and had words for the Trans Am driver when they finally got out of the car.

    • neight428

      Every motorcyclist has these stories or worse, be safe out there. If their heads are not buried in their phones while actively driving, a good chunk of drivers check them at every stop. Left turning cars have always had a problem “seeing” motorcycles, but my theory is that it will be worse when everyone’s mind is further occupied by whatever tweet they just read when they realize they might need to think about driving again. Just watch how long it takes the first car at a stoplight to react.

  • neight428

    My only one doesn’t count, really, but it’s more lighthearted than the assholes most here have had to deal with. I commuted a long way, like 60 miles each way on a hellish client assignment through almost always clogged Houston traffic for a couple of years. For a portion of that time I used a ’94 Sentra sedan that my wife inherited from her grandmother. It was good on gas and not much else. The sweet old grandmother was getting on in years and had scraped up every corner of the thing already, so I didn’t really care about it much. One time while approaching stopped traffic a new BMW behind me didn’t stop in time and tapped me hard enough to make a fairly substantial noise/impact, but I just waived it off and gave him a “don’t worry about it” look and kept on going. IF it added to the damage, I couldn’t really tell, nor did I care.

  • 20 years ago my wife is stopped behind a van, likely a Ford E Series, in our 1992 Saturn SL2 . Suddenly, her car is under the van’s bumper. She gets out, he gets out. She has no explanation. He decides to try and pull forward and manages to separate the vehicles. He pronounces his van just fine and drives away. My wife, still dumbfounded as to what just happened is now alone with a damaged Saturn – wrinkled hood and a hole in the bumper. She’s fine, so she heads home.

    I get home and see the damaged car and rush inside to make sure that she’s OK and find out out what happened. After hearing the story, I went back out to the car. Sure enough, the rear bumper was slightly separated from the driver’s side quarter panel, evidence of a rear impact. The offending driver must have made an immediate and stealthy escape and because she saw no damage, she didn’t suspect a rear collision.