I was in a car accident today. An 85-year-old lady backed into me in the parking lot of the library. I only learned how old she was when I went to the police to report it and they ran her plate.
I am not anti-old people. Hopefully I'll get there one day. I just hope I won't be driving myself there. I hope that I'll know when it's time to stop driving
When I realized she had hit me, I got out of my car and stepped in front of her so she couldn't drive away. In retrospect that probably wasn't too smart, but it was obvious she didn't have a clue she had hit me. She left a pretty good scrape on my bumper. When I walked around her car looking for the damage, there were so many scrapes, dents and dings it was difficult.
She was so frail she could barely speak. She was doing the old hand over hand steering which is fine if you're going 5 mph. She also wasn't interested in giving me her name or any info. When I asked if she had insurance she said no. When I asked again she said her son takes care of all that. So why doesn't her son realize she may no longer be a safe driver? How could they not know?
Twice she said she had her backup lights on. I told her I was stopped. It was obvious she was driving away, through me or my car. She kept saying she really had to go and pick up her great granddaughter.
She left and I drove to the police station. I felt a little foolish when I said some old lady backed into me in the library parking lot. The officer at the window sort of gave me the "you're kidding me, right, lady?" look. I asked him, suppose she decided to file a report? Couldn't I be accused of leaving the scene of an accident?
I wrote out the report, and was told to call my insurance agent. I wasn't happy thinking I would have to put the claim for the damage through my insurance and may be on the hook for the repairs if they can't determine who she is insured with. The officer looked up her plate number and told me she was born in 1926.
It was story time at the library. What if a mother with a baby in a stroller and a toddler stopped behind this lady's car? Or if she was putting the stroller in the trunk of her car? It might be time to hang up the keys before she does more damage than a scrape on a bumper.
This is a time when the saying the child becomes the parent comes to mind. Taking the keys away from an elderly parent may be one of the most difficult things a child ever does. My mother willingly gave up driving when it was time, so I was fortunate. We were also fortunate that she came to that decision before something tragic happened. But I remember her car had a few dings and scrapes, too.
It's likely this lady's family will never know of this little mishap. I just hope they don't get a call one day saying she has hurt herself, another family or worse.