How a distraction while driving made me rear end a bus: Lessons learnt

Never take driving for granted and take your eyes off the road for a second also. Always be alert.

BHPian TorqueyTechie recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Today I was a bad driver resulting in an accident that left me with a banged-up bonnet and a bruised ego.

After dropping my kids to school, was returning in my usual route and was behind a school bus. I was maintaining a safe distance from the school bus in front but as they say familiarity breeds contempt. I got slightly distracted watching something through the driver-side window for a second and the next thing I knew was my wife shouting at me to apply brakes. I saw that the bus had slowed down for a speed breaker which I had missed seeing. I applied brakes but the momentum of the car meant that it did hit the bumper of the bus. Result = the above damage to the car and the bus with a cracked bumper.

Parked the car to the side, while gesturing for the school bus driver to park aside as well. Glad that there were no kids on the bus. Talked to the driver, took responsibility for the accident, and assured him to transfer the amount we negotiated as I had not carried my phone (and no cash on me).

Went home, immediately transferred the amount to him, and then took the car to the service center. I would get the approximate amount after they check the car when the insurance surveyor visits them which is maybe tomorrow.

Lesson learned – Never take driving for granted and take your eyes off the road for a second also. Always be alert.

Here’s what BHPian krishnakumar had to say on the matter:

Happens to the best of us, hang in there. Good of you to compensate him for the damage.

Regarding the damage to your car, I think it is not major and something that a good body shop can fix easily. I’m not sure if Maruti service centers have good body shops, but my experience with service center body shops have been extremely bad. Looks like some denting work and repainting/paint correction at the most.

I’d suggest checking out at a good body shop as well since there are 2 I know of in Bangalore run by TBHPians themselves (one of which I can swear by). The quote outside could be cheaper if Maruti is opting for a bonnet replacement.

Here’s what BHPian SS80 had to say on the matter:

Any driver who accepts his mistake and realises how to avoid it in future, in my books is good. It happens, even to the best of us. But the way you handled it, paying for damage etc was setting a good example. Pat yourself and all the best, for future drives. Don’t worry, the car will be back with a fresh coat of paint on the Bonet.

Here’s what BHPian Ravi_Parwan had to say on the matter:

This happens to the best of us. I had a similar incident a couple of months ago, although I was able to get away with much less damage (bent numberplate) as I could brake more.

I do believe that the bonnet will need to be replaced here. it is a curved metal piece with a backing plate inside which will not allow the dent remover to hammer out the metal properly from the inside. You will end up with a misshaped bonnet filled with filler which will look really bad one year down the line, when the filler starts to crack due to engine heat.

Please push for a bonnet replacement from the insurance. All the best.

Here’s what BHPian The_Rationalist had to say on the matter:

I had a similar experience in 2013, I was driving by Thrissur where I did my pre-degree and was looking at a place called Rozario bakery which used to have nice hamburgers and there was a junction immediately ahead and I ran into under run bar of a truck! The truck didn’t even notice, my car had radiator broken and other damages, cost me ₹25,000! Had to tow the car to a FNG. Have I become a better driver, a bit I guess. We all have momentary lapses, don’t know whether it is fully avoidable. I think going ahead, ADAS and all other tech will help in reducing the chances of similar mishaps.

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