On March 7, 2017 I got into a fender bender. It’s unfortunate that we live in a world that we constantly feel like we need to rush. Blame it on the information age and speed I guess but there are situations where our full attention is needed. Driving needs our full attention!
Anyway, here is what happened in a nutshell:
- I looked to make sure no car was coming before I backed out of my park, then I backed out
- As I was attempting to put my car in drive to leave, I looked again in my rear view mirror to see another person who works in the same building as I quickly put their car in reverse…and GUNNED it, without looking to see if there was anyone behind them
- He rear ended me with his bumper, puncturing and scratching my bumper
When I got out of the car I waited to see how he responded, knowing we both knew who was at fault. The first thing he said was “oh man”, to which I replied “yep.” There was no way I was going to apologize for anything. As he requested to exchange information, I asked what happened. He stated that he was in a rush and didn’t look where he was going. He then apologized and stated that it was his fault.
First sign of relief but my guard was still up. We both established he was at fault. Unfortunately it took a while to get his insurance information because he didn’t keep an insurance card on him AND the car he hit me with was his girlfriend’s car. As he was trying to get his girlfriend to get him the insurance information, I took pictures of the accident then submitted a claim through my Geico app (how convenient!) but because it wasn’t his car, I followed up with a call to the insurance company to ensure proper protocol.
The gentlemen at fault was actually surprised that I wasn’t angry or as he said “cursing him out.” Granted I had every right to be “angry” as not only was he careless in the act, his nervous talks revealed that he likes to read emails while driving, but thought texting and driving was stupid. I was truly bewildered at this statement.
Despite the accident and his confession of reading emails while driving, I told myself there was no reason to blow a gasket when everything will be taken care of and because of that I reassured him that everything will get worked out. Accidents happen but owning up to them is critical.
He even stated that he was in my position before and he did not act as “nice” as I did. The main reason that I was nice was because I knew it would be resolved and covered by their insurance. The second main reason was I know I would not want anyone to yell at me if I was on the other side of this accident. I’m no stranger to owning up to mistakes as I make plenty but sometimes that’s not enough. People want to vent and put their anger on someone else when the opportunity presents itself.
The last but most important reason I did not get angry with this man was because I did not want to be portrayed as the “angry black woman.” It is sad that I have to always think about this in everyday situations. As I stated before, I had every right to be angry however I did not want to give anyone the reason to continue believing the stereotypical image of the woman of color. This goes beyond the accident. If a man yells or curses at work, he is passionate but if a women does it she is emotional or a b!t*h. It’s time to stop this way of thinking.
Women should be able to show the same “passion” as a man without fear of any biased backlash or consequences that a man would never receive.