A few weeks ago I was in a fender bender on my way to work. It was one of those crappy situations where it was 100% my fault, because it is my duty not to hit other vehicles in front of me, but also a tough situation to avoid. A group of 4 or 5 vehicles, mine included, were stopped on a highway ramp waiting for traffic to clear so that we could merge from the interchange onto a 4-lane divided highway. There was no merge lane, just a yield sign at the end of the ramp. When there was a gap in traffic, the group of vehicles began to accelerate and merge onto the highway. The vehicle ahead of me stopped at the yield sign despite the road ahead being clear to proceed. He stopped just as I was looking over my shoulder to verify that yes, we all have plenty of room to merge safely, even including the vehicle behind me. Unfortunately, the driver ahead of me was more cautious and wanted to take a wait and see approach to merging onto the highway.
Given we were all just at a standstill and then accelerating vigorously, there wasn’t the normal safe following distance between vehicles there would be if we were just cruising down the highway. So with my attention temporarily diverted and a car stopping abruptly and unexpectedly in front of me, I accidentally crashed into the back of a Subaru Forester. We were both a bit shaken up but thankfully there was no personal injuries and both cars were drivable from the incident scene. The police arrived to help document the incident. I got lucky as the cop didn’t issue me a ticket! Every cloud has a silver lining I suppose.
I drove the car to the best local auto body shop who normally works on higher end cars. It took them about a week to look at the vehicle and prepare a repair estimate. Sadly, insurance declared my Volvo a total loss, mostly due to the right front frame rail that supports the front sub-frame/ engine cradle being smooshed, which would require costly labor to R&R the engine to repair properly.
I’m going to miss it terribly. It was a solid vehicle, supremely comfortable and very useful. I was hoping to keep it forever. But I suppose it’s all for the best. This one will be sacrificed for parts so that others may continue to live. Volvo for life.