You know how when someone says to you, "Don't smile," that's exactly what you end up doing?
Last week I was in Lancaster helping my sister, Rachelle, out because she had been in a car accident. Every time I spoke with someone about her accident they always said to me, "drive safely" or "no more accidents," or something along those lines. Guess what?! That's exactly what I went out and did! Fortunately it was very minor, almost nothing to really mention.
I was dropping some people off and accidentally pulled into the wrong driveway. As I was backing out of the driveway onto the poorly lit and very narrow street, I hit a parked car on the opposite side. Our bumpers "kissed".
There weren't any witnesses so I could have easily driven off, but I knew that the right thing to do was to fess up and deal with my mistake. The owner of the car, a very nice gentleman in his late 40's or early 50's, answered his door and was really very amiable about everything. His car is a 1985 Toyota pickup and the only damage that was done was a small dent on the rear panel of the driver's side and the driver's side tail light was smashed. My car has a large dent in the bumper and the passenger's side tail light is cracked.
After taking some picture of the damage on both vehicles and exchanging personal information, the owner agreed that I could return in the morning with Kevin to get a better look at the car (it was dark when the accident happened) and then Kevin and I could decide if we would like to pay for the repairs out-of-pocket or go through our insurance.
When we returned the next day, the owner of the other vehicle had decided that one more dent in his 24 year old pickup wouldn't make a difference and that the only repair he would need would be the lens of the tail light to be replaced. That was that. We are picking up the lens today, which will cost us about $20, and then this little ordeal will be over.
I am very grateful that the man was so understanding in a potentially bad situation. You never know what you are going to get from other people. He could have made us pay for much more than he did. Heck, he could have taken a baseball bat to the car and blamed it on me!
I am also grateful that I decided to tell the truth and to take responsibility for my mistake. I think this man was very impressed with my honestly, especially because I had to knock on stranger's doors to find out who the owner of the truck was. He said that he told his grand kids about my honestly and that made me feel really good.
Now, our car is another story. It will be much more expensive to repair the damages for us, but at least we can do it on our terms!