Tuesday, November 8, 2016


I had to take a trip to Chicago today for work, and on the way home I got in a little scrape.  I had checked out one of the company cars for the trip down which all went fine.  It was actually a pretty decent drive down.  Not a lot of heavy traffic, and I found the place pretty easily.  However, the drive home was a bit more eventful.

The two people I was in Chicago with both took their own cars down because they weren’t planning on heading back to work afterward.  Getting out of Illinois went fairly smooth.  It was a little busy, but no back-ups anywhere.  Then it came time to get back to Milwaukee. 

I was driving up 94, just south of the airport.  Everything was going fine, traffic wasn’t heavy, but moving along at a good speed.  I was in the right lane about 3-4 car lengths behind the car in front of me.  Then all of a sudden, the car in front of me brakes and swerves onto the shoulder.  As I was watching the car wondering what he was doing, I look up and there is a big, black object across my lane.  I was doing about 72 mph and the first thing that went thru my mind was, Oh Sh*t!  Since the car in front of me was on the shoulder moving slower, I instinctively looked to swerve to the left, but there was a car right next to me, so I was unable to swerve without taking him out, so I tried swerving right at the last second while hitting the brake.  I think I probably got down to maybe 30-35 mph, then BANG!  I hit whatever it was from about the center of the bumper to the left turn signal.  Plastic and bits of metal went flying, and I slowly moved onto the shoulder.  It must not have gotten any other vehicles, even though debris went flying when I hit it, because no one else stopped.

I got out and looked at the car and the bumper was pretty much smashed up, and the turn signal lamp, but the headlight was still intact.  I got on my phone and dialed 911 to report it, and the first thing the operator asked was my location.  As soon as I told her, she asked me, was I calling to report the tool box that was in the road (so that’s what I hit I guess).  I said, maybe, because if that is what was being reported was in the road, I just hit it and needed to report an accident.  A cop showed up about two minutes later since they already had someone en route.  When he showed up, I gave him the whole story about what happened, and he was asking if I wanted to file an accident report.  I told him, yes, I think so.  I was driving a company car and I am pretty sure any damage will need to be reported, but I called work to talk to the person in charge of the fleet vehicles just to make sure.  She said, yes, file the report. 

The sheriff seemed a little annoyed that he would need to write it up, but he did it and gave me the paperwork I needed to turn in., and I was on my way.  As I drove back, I was thinking about what happened, and I thought I was lucky that it wasn’t much worse.  If I would have just swerved left without looking, I would have hit the car next to me and probably caused a multi-car accident.  Or if there had been someone behind me, I could have been rear ended big time when I slammed on the brakes.  The total damage that I heard was around $2000.  So all things considered, it turned out OK.  I wonder if they’ll let me check out any of the company fleet vehicles in the future?