I got a new-to-me Buick Encore about 6 months ago. When I saw it on the car lot, the pretty bright blue called to me. It had several features that previous vehicles of mine hadn’t had; one of those features being a backup camera.
I have had a hard time getting used to it. Truth be told, I’m still not used to it. For some reason, even if I am looking at the backup camera screen, I feel very strange backing up without turning my head to actually look at what’s behind me or looking in my rear view mirror. When I stop to think about it, there’s not much difference between a rear view mirror and a backup camera. Using either one calls upon you to trust it and backup without turning around to actually look out the window.
Yesterday I was parked in front of a store, and the store parking lot is on a rather steep incline. As I started to backup I looked into my rear view mirror and didn’t see anything. And as I started to back up, I heard that awful, undeniable, not-like-any-other-sound of metal hitting metal. I immediately hit the brakes, although, of course, it was too late to avoid hitting whatever it was that I hit. My first thought was there must have been a short pole in the parking lot since I didn’t see anything in the mirror.
When I got out of my car to look though, it wasn’t a little pole I had backed into. It was a full-sized vehicle. A 2011 Nissan Altima. The owner of the car had parked it at the bottom of the parking lot, close to the street; so when I looked into my rear view mirror, because of the parking lot slant, the car was not visible in my rear view mirror. To make it worse, if anything could be worse than hitting a parked car, the owner had parked it there with a For Sale sign on it. Now they were going to have to repair it before they could even sell it. I felt horrible.
I called the number on the sign and said I was calling regarding the Altima parked at Martigoni’s Glass. She said, ‘Oh, yes,” in a very upbeat voice. I knew she was probably thinking I was calling with interest in buying it and wanted to save her disappointment, so very quickly said, “Don’t be happy. I just backed into it.” After a moment of silence, she said, “Well, these things happen. That’s why they call them accidents.” If you’ve ever been involved in an accident, it is definitely a blessing to deal with someone with this gracious attitude.
Calls to insurance companies have been made, and I take my car in on Monday for repairs. I hope all goes quickly and smoothly for the other party too.
But my point today is this….. IF you have a backup camera and don’t use it, it might be a good idea to try to get used to it. If I had looked at that screen, I would have seen the car. And, well, I should also mention that I have a friend visiting from out of state and we were yacking away. So was I a distracted driver too? Gosh, it’s hard to say, but… yeah, maybe.
But don’t you think my Buick took the hit better than the Nissan?