Car News:  Oversteer

I Had My First Accident Right After I Bought My First New Car

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Mazda MAZDA3 s Grand Touring Sedan
Used 2016 Mazda MAZDA3
$18,915
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Certified 2016 Mazda MAZDA3 i Touring Sedan
Certified 2016 Mazda MAZDA3
$16,490
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Certified 2016 Mazda MAZDA3 i Sport Hatchback
Certified 2016 Mazda MAZDA3
$15,740
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Mazda MAZDA3 i Sport Sedan
Used 2016 Mazda MAZDA3
$12,500
RELATED READING
See all Mazda MAZDA3 articles
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon
ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Bill Leedy May 2018

In July of 2016 I picked up my first brand-new car -- a 2016 Mazda3 S Grand Touring hatchback with a manual transmission and exactly the color combination I wanted. It had 4 miles on it when I drove it away!

Living in rural Vermont means everything is far away. In the 20 years I've been driving, I've averaged 20,000-30,000 miles per year. In those several hundred thousand miles, except for a couple superficial scrapes here and there, there hasn't been a single accident or mark on my driving history. That is, until September 2016. That's right: Two months into the ownership of my first brand-new car, Murphy and his law went into effect, and my streak had come to an end. Figures.

I was on my way home from work, within a mile of my destination, minding my own business. Twenty One Pilots was blasting on the radio and I had just downshifted into third gear, letting the engine slow me down for my upcoming right-hand turn. A deer, presumably startled by a nearby dog I could hear barking afterwards, had bolted at full speed through the trees between the yard where I assume he was grazing and the road I was traveling. You can probably see where this is going.

At roughly Mach 2.4, the deer entered the roadway. With no time to consider my options, instincts took over. Adrenaline filled my veins -- and while I know the whole thing was over in an instant, it felt like it was happening in slow motion. I could feel my mind doing its thing. Its first thought, obviously, was to stop the car. So I slammed both feet down, one on the brake pedal and one on the clutch. Next, I couldn't be certain whether or not I saw a car in the oncoming lane. So I kept straight. Knowing now that impact was inevitable, I braced for impact. Whump.

Hitting a deer at about 30 mph may not be an overly significant impact, but it was still more forceful than I anticipated. When the deer leapt from the hillside trees into the road, its legs bent to absorb the landing, which lowered its body, so I hit the deer's body rather than its legs.

After impact, I took a moment to assess the situation. The deer had slid on its side a surprising distance until it gained some traction in the gravel on the edge of the roadway and came to a stop. It instantly got up and limped as quickly as it could back into the trees. My car was still running -- thankfully, without any significantly different noises. I put the car into first gear and let the clutch out slowly. It started to move under its own power, again without any significantly different noises. I made my right-hand turn and pulled off into the well-lit parking lot of a nearby business to assess the damage.

The headlight was broken, looking a bit like the eyes of that annoying little Transformer that starts its life as a boombox. The fender had been curled back, the bumper cover cracked and broken. Because the body was very low on impact, the hood suffered only minor scratches. The wheel-well liner and undercarriage plastics did not fare as well, and neither did the washer fluid bottle, which had spewed its contents all over the ground by this point.

I called my wife to let her know I'd be late, and then I called the local police station. An officer arrived shortly thereafter to survey the incident. He quickly determined that I was not at fault -- and since I called in the accident, it was unlikely that I was under the influence of anything I would want to hide. I was home a short time later, shaking my head, still slightly rattled while I took a few more pictures.

The following morning I drove the car to work and called my insurance agent to let her know what happened. Because the headlight was out and would need more than just a bulb, and since my evening drive is mostly after dark on the interstate, we decided it would be safer to get a rental car with two working headlights instead of just limping my car along until the body shop was ready. While waiting for the car to be fixed, I put a couple thousand miles on a Ford Focus, and I was very excited when the day finally arrived that I could have my own car back.

And that's the story of my first real accident. I'm thankful there were no injuries (other than my poor car) -- but, while it may not have been a big one, it was still my first one. And you never forget your first one.

MORE FROM OVERSTEER:
The Ford F-150 Limited Has This Weird Interior Plaque
I Saw This Bizarre Mahindra SUV in New Zealand
Video | The Mercedes-Benz SL65 Black Series Was the Ultimate SL

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Mazda MAZDA3 s Grand Touring Sedan
Used 2016 Mazda MAZDA3
$18,915
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Certified 2016 Mazda MAZDA3 i Touring Sedan
Certified 2016 Mazda MAZDA3
$16,490
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Certified 2016 Mazda MAZDA3 i Sport Hatchback
Certified 2016 Mazda MAZDA3
$15,740
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Mazda MAZDA3 i Sport Sedan
Used 2016 Mazda MAZDA3
$12,500
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
I Had My First Accident Right After I Bought My First New Car - Autotrader