A Car Accident in My Driveway

Welcome to Scarlet Thread Sunday, the day I share something I’ve learned in the labyrinth of life.  

Here’s something I’ve learned: Even if you’re in your own driveway, you should still check thoroughly before backing up.

You’d think I’d have learned this the first time it happened.

Years ago, there was a medical emergency in my family, and I had to call my mother in the middle of the night to drive over and take care of my kids while I followed an ambulance to the hospital. She parked in the driveway, in a very reasonable place, but I was so, so distraught that night. Focused on the emergency, I pulled out in a hurry, made my usual turn in the curved driveway, and slammed into my mother’s car. *sigh* She was, of course, understanding, and we paid for the damages to her vehicle.

(And, by the way, all ended up okay with the medical thing too.)

Flash forward to a few weeks ago. I awaken early on a Saturday morning, feeling incredibly behind in my to-do list for life since I’d been sick for more than two weeks. I was determined to catch up! After cleaning house, doing laundry, reading emails, and more, I still managed to get behind the wheel of my car by 7:30 a.m. to go grocery shopping. Focused on my shopping list and other errands, I edge the car back, turn the steering wheel to make my usual turn in the curved driveway, and slam into my husband’s truck.

Let me back up and add a little information: I slam my new-as-of-June car into my husband’s new-earlier-this-year truck. Since we only replace our vehicles about every 10 to 12 years, crashing two new vehicles is really something in my household.

Why is he parked here?! What is he thinking?!!!

That’s what first crossed my mind, followed quickly by a few words that equated to ninja-kicking myself for not looking before I backed up. Because while my husband’s truck shouldn’t have been there–and yes, we later discussed how that was a bad place for him to park–the collision was my fault. I didn’t look. I assumed.

And you know what happens when you assume, right?


So what are my real lessons here?

  • Pay attention around you, even in your own driveway.
  • Momentary lapses in proper focus can result in dire consequences. Keep your eye on the right ball.
  • Maintain a good relationship with your spouse, so that when you do ram into his new truck, he doesn’t go bat crazy. Indeed, he’s downright supportive while you try to recover from the conniption fit you had in the driveway.
  • Sometimes, it takes more than one big mistake to “learn the hard way.”

That last lesson certainly applies to my goals in A Round of Words in 80 days. I made several mistakes with my young adult novel the first few times through, but I’m loving how it’s coming together this time around. The story I want to tell is finally getting on the page.

Here’s my progress report for last week.

ROW80 Update

Finish YA contemporary novel, SHARING HUNTER, by completing three chapters each week. I’m going to count this a win. I revisited two chapters and edited for better flow in the plot, then rewrote two more chapters.

Take Short Stories 101 course from Young Adult RWA. As assigned, I came up with a short story premise: “Most teens think their older sibling is possessed. Courtney’s actually is. A 15-year-old girl must exorcise a demon from her older sister.” Then I wrote the 1k-word short story, titled “Exorcising My Sister.” Fun!  

10 9 fiction books and 2 1 nonfiction books. This might be where I stagnated just a bit. I’m reading Francine Rivers’ The Voice in the Wind, and it’s been a little hard for me to get into. I hope to finish it this next week.

So what big mistakes have you made, more than once? Have you ever backed into something in your own driveway? Any other stupid car accidents? 

And how was your last week?

31 thoughts on “A Car Accident in My Driveway

  1. I’ve been lucky enough to never to that. LOL Have done plenty of other thigngs like running into things with ME, but not my car. LOL As far as working, the latest WIP is almost done (yay!) I had to rip into it and change some things after the plot snag I wasn’t happy with finally worked itself out in my brain during another project. LOL Tonight is The Walking Dead. ‘Nuff said. LOL

    1. I never thought about how my personal clumsiness might be affecting my car clumsiness. LOL.

      Glad your WIP is almost done! *throwing confetti* Plot snags aren’t fun, but it’s wonderful when you get them all worked out!

  2. I sideswiped my father’s car in HIS driveway. Does that count?

    Great progress on your goals and the premiss of your short sounds like a fun read. Hope you have a great week Julie!

    1. Yes, it counts! LOL. It’s bad to inform anyone that you crashed their car, but definitely not fun to tell a family member.

      Thanks for the encouragement, Raelyn!

  3. I’ve done this too. Recently backed right into my husband’s truck in the driveway. We even have a back up sensor on my Jeep Commander, which was off because the bike rack was on. Anyway, $1000 of repairs later I hope I’ve learned to look. Until the next time I’m distracted and hubby’s car us not where I expected…

    1. I feel a little better now! 😉 And yeah, the repair bill was a doozy. I could think of plenty of other things I’d rather spend that money on.

      Hope it never happens to you again, Kecia!

  4. Thank you for sharing your driveway antics. We have a two car garage and just two cars, unless someone is staying with us. About 6-months ago when my mom was staying, I pulled out and stopped as soon as I saw her car. I was lucky, but there wasn’t even a sliver of space between our cars. I should have bought a lottery ticket that day, lol. Now, I pull out slow and look around a lot, but the other day I almost ran over the garbage bin. Ugh.:)
    Yeah for fabulous progress on Sharing Hunter. Here’s to a great week.

    1. “Driveway antics” is a pretty name for it, S.J. And thank goodness for those near-misses, or we’d all have crashed cars. Right?

      I’m truly excited about SH…at last. I’ve known the characters and the potential for a long time, but it’s taken a while to really get into the right groove with this one. I’ll be happy, though, when it all comes together! 🙂

  5. I will never do this… because I don’t drive 🙂 If I did however, I so would! You live, you learn. This is a win! Good going on your goals Julie. X


    1. You don’t drive? Living in Texas, I simply can’t imagine not driving. Nothing is walking distance from me, and public transportation isn’t available in my town. Yet having rammed into two vehicles in my own driveway, maybe pulling out my bike instead would be a wise move… 😉

      Thanks for your kind words, Shah!

  6. Oh, ouuuuuuch! My driveway goes straight into my garage, but then curves around the house to a second garage, which is where my DH works on cars. I drove my new Camaro back there 3 months after I got it, and sideswiped the corner of the house on the way out! That hurt, and it wasn’t just the $800 it cost to fix the car. Never mind that almost everyone who’s driven back there has hit that corner at least once, including my daughter in my old car (that still has a scraped passenger door). Glad your DH was so understanding!

    1. I also clipped the frame of the garage once…years ago. That car was old, and we didn’t even fix it. But a sweet Camaro? Yeah, you gotta repair that!

      Indeed, my hubby was a champ. He got lots of points that day for being so understanding. 🙂

  7. l don’t drive any more either. l never liked it. l took drivers ed/training at school with three other students in the car. l’m not a good driver. Even the driving teacher when l decided to take private lessons said l wasn’t very good (This was after l got my license). After my husband passed away, l took a few refresher classes at another driving school. My instructor was very cool and patient (and he was from Scotland!). After l started getting visits from Arthur ldis and could barely get on a bus anymore, l’ve been taking a cab. l leave the driving to him. l get to work early, and usually not stressed. And l made another great friend.
    Congrats. on all of your progress.
    Well, that was verbose! Blah blah blah as my cabbie friend would say…read three books (romance), did some writing, cleaned off my table…tt’s been a weird week, though. l’m finally winding down from the g’vt shutdown…yep, our dept. was furloughed. Tomorrow l should be able to hit the ground running at the crack of dawn blah blah blah…

    1. I hope you get all of that back pay, Nancy! A cabbie sounds like a perfect solution for your situation. Sorry about the “Arthur Idis” visits; those aren’t fun.

      Sounds like your last week was pretty good overall. Hope this week is a great one!

  8. I backed into my husband’s Mustang TWICE because he was backed in a different place and I wasn’t looking. Luckily, I was going REALLY slow, so there was no damage. Just embarrassment.

    Way to go on your goals!

  9. It could have been worse: the father of a guy I knew backed up over his wife… Still, having to do repairs on two vehicles? Does insurance cover any of it?

    1. Over his wife???!!! Oh my goodness. I do live in the same town as the dentist wife who ran over her cheating husband, but that was intentional. No insurance for us; just a life lesson!

  10. In 1982 we bought a new Mazda RX7. One day my wife got home from the store, parked in the garage and failed to put the car (a manual transmission) in gear or put the emergency brake on. A few minutes later we came out to the garage to find our car in the MIDDLE of the street in front of our house. Luckily we don’t live on a busy street.

    1. There MAY have been some discussion about who was more at fault — the one who parked his truck catawampus in the driveway overnight, or the one who forgot to look before backing out in her own driveway. 😉

      At the end of the day, we just went with an “our” perspective: our cars, our oopses, our money to fix the dang dents and scratches.

  11. LOL, Julie. Glad it turned out well. I haven’t (yet) backed into anything going in or out of my garage or driveway. I could write a novella about my mishaps, and almost did here, in your comments.

    I can be blamed for one such incident when I was in High School and thought I’d gotten away with a bigger-than-a-bumper-kiss with a car in front of me. The next morning, Dad backed out of the garage with my four sisters and me. He noticed a dimple on the car. He failed to put the car in park when he got out to investigate. We yelled at our youngest sister to hit the brakes. She hit the accelerator. The car crashed through the garage door.

    Dad backed out of the wreckage and dropped us at church. Not a word, not a peep from any of us.

    Thank goodness a rule of The Sisterhood forbad tattling. Everyone but our little sis knew I’d caused the dimple that invited the look that ended with a destroyed garage door.

    You’re rocking the goals, Chiquita!

  12. My hubby clipped the back corner of my car once because he didn’t do the rearview check. So far I’m lucky…the only time I didn’t check, I hit our recycle bin on garbage day. 🙂

  13. Even if you look, you can’t always see, given the way modern cars have restricted vision when reversing. My wife’s car is of that ilk. It has a reversing sensor, but this merely makes annoying neep-neep sounds at everything and nothing and isn’t a lot of use. I spent a long time tinkering with the reversing mirrors to try and improve things, without much luck. A triumph of asethetics over practical form, I fear.

  14. You have to be on the lookout for those cars; they’ll jump right out even when you do look fior them. : )

  15. If it makes you feel better… a friend of mine came over and we were heading to a doubles match where we were partners. She told me she parked in my driveway, even suggested moving her car. I told her it was fine, then backed up and took out her side mirror. *hangs head* Hoping the cars end up looking brand new again after repairs.

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