Car Accident 车祸

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Car accident is probably much more frequent than shooting in the US. But the latter usually gets more news coverage and much more attention. Here in St. Louis we know the shooting situation is bad. But the car accident and car/pedestrian accident are bad too.

(Update 08-22-2023) Came across this car accident involves school bus in Ohio – UPDATE: Student killed, over 20 other students injured after school bus crash in Clark Co.

(Update 27-Feb-2023) This one got national attention recently: ‘I can still hear the roaring of the engine,’ says father of teen injured in downtown St. Louis. Basically a 17 year old girl who came to St. Louis to play volleyball tournament and stayed at downtown hotel, was hit by a car and got both her legs amputated because of the injury. || And this one just come over the weekend: 4 killed, 4 critically injured in crash at South Grand Boulevard and Forest Park Avenue. || It seems aggressive/careless/reckless driving are the culprits for both cases. We know drunk driving is usually another cause. Other causes include totally avoidable issue such as “traffic signal got turned” (but people got killed in this scenario none the less, I guess the only preventable tactic is to avoid the intersection if known before hand, or drive slowly or carefully at every intersection pretending there is another car will not care about the red light).

I heard about non-fatal accident too. I know a friend’s wife was recently involved in a car accident with school bus, on a snow/slippery day/road surface, when she was dropping off kids to school.

Some tips I like to share: don’t drink and drive; don’t drive when I am really tired; drive defensively, don’t get upset or emotional when other drivers go crazy, ignore them and pretend nothing happened; last but not least, watch this YouTube video “5 Defensive Driving Strategies To Become A Safer, Smarter Driver” which is about defensive driving.

Looking back, I think I did a few stupid things such as “fatigued driving”: once we drove from STL to Yellowstone NP overnight, we didn’t stay at the hotel in the night, just driving continuously. I forgot whether it was on the way to YS NP or on the way back, but the check engine light came on. And that’s not the end of the story, I recall on the way back, I was the driver between 1 am and 3 am, and I was really tired. Eventually I had to pull aside and take a break. I did a similar thing when I was a new driver, driving back from the training at West Lafayette, IN (where Purdue U is) to Rolla, MO (where my graduate school Missouri S&T is), and when I drove past STL metro area, it was between 1 and 3 am, and it was the 2nd time I drove past St. Louis 🙂 I recall changing the lanes for the right highway was both exciting and scary 🙁 Now I think I will tell my daughters don’t do this sort of things when they get driver licenses.

(Original) Here is one just happened last night, a pedestrian was hit/killed by a semi truck on highway 44. I first noticed it from Twitter.

Here is another one in which two cars were involved.

And one more recent accident: “The Saturn was hit on the passenger side by a Ford transit van.”

And this “A preliminary investigation revealed a gold Chevrolet Cavalier was traveling southbound on Halls Ferry Road and was attempting to turn left into a parking lot near the intersection of Halls Ferry and St. Cyr Road, when it was struck on the passenger side by a gray Toyota Camry traveling northbound.”

……I don’t want to add more. Or compare car accidents with shooting victims. This is not my point, my point is mainly on the safety and precautions in terms of driving or walking. Also, from the incidents above and common sense/stats, I think we should strive to get a car that’s proper sized (my personal opinion is Toyota Camry/Honda Accord or above).

Personally I have involved in car accidents, mainly two collisions and one self induced accident (my own car, snow, slipped into ditch, good thing nobody was injured, and car was fine too). I am briefly explaining my accidents and also I like to emphasize the insurance rate will go up after we file claims (regardless who is at fault or the other party has insurance or not, something I realized yesterday).

First my self induced accident. It was about 20 years ago. Christmas night. After dinner at friend’s house, we drive home amid snow. I was driving the 2001 Nissan Altima, and on the outer lane. I lost control of my car near an exit, and I ended up went out to the exit (not my intention, I intended to stay on 270), and ended up in the ditch off the exit ramp. No injury and no damage to the car. But eventually needed AAA tow truck and we cannot get out even with a few pass by driver’s help.

A few years later, on my way home (get off work), I was hit by a left turn vehicle, again it was Nissan Altima. My bumper etc were damaged. The lady hit me had no insurance and my main loss was the deductible plus rising insurance rate after that. Initially the lady also ran away from the incident but I was able to find her the following day with some detective work (not recommended).

Lastly it was last Oct. I was rear ended at a red light near Costco west county, it was my 2012 Toyota Camry. It seems I wasn’t hurt but the car was totaled.

My takeaway is be careful when driving and try to drive defensively when possible. Don’t cut the lanes. Don’t react or be emotional when others drive crazy. Take needed breaks during long distance trip. Be alert and focus on road and surroundings when driving, don’t look at the phone etc. Listen to music (calm ones) or podcast. Remember the most important part is come home alive, and this applies to pedestrians and bikers too.

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