'94 Pontiac Grand Am SE - 2/8/2005 Accident2/8/2005:
I was on my morning drive into work (as usual). It was a light drizzle of rain that morning (had the wipers on a slow delay and the headlights on). A line of cars and I were waiting for the light to change so we could turn onto the freeway and all continue our trip. As I looked behind me, I noticed the headlights of a truck, and they looked as if the truck was having some trouble stopping. Now I don't know about everyone out there, but when I come to a stop at a traffic light, I like to give a good amount of space between me and the car in front of me. Since the truck behind me did not look like it was going to stop, I eased up on my brake to idle forward (shrinking the distance between me and the car in front of me). I figured this would give the guy behind me some more room and HOPEFULLY stop before hitting me.
At the point I was probably about 1-2 feet from the Rav4 in front of me, I decided, I can't shrink this gap any further with out touching the Rav. Right at the point I came to a full stop, I was rear ended by the truck. The truck that hit me I believe was a 2000 Dodge Dakota. Now, everyone involved was fine. I personally think I've been hit harder in a bumper car. Despite that, the truck forced my Grand Am to hit the 2000 Rav4 in front of me.
Damages were minimal. The truck and rear end of my Grand Am to my surprise had NO damage to them. But the hood of my Grand Am was bent out of shape as it hit a little under the bumper of the Rav4, it also messed up the front grill inserts. As for the Rav4, a little bit of bumper damage to it and nothing terrible. Once again, everyone was fine (which is the important part) and no air bags activated. I made the call to 9-1-1 and a police officer arrived, made a report and cited the guy driving the Dodge Dakota (as if he would have stopped, this would not have happened).
I ended up taking the day off of work to make calls and get an estimate from a local body shop that I trust to do the work (Frankie & Dylan's). Looking at all the pics below, once again, the damage is just a hood and the grill inserts for the most part. I pushed this guys insurance to fix my Grand Am (they were almost leaning on totalling it out and I did not want to go shopping for another car due to an accident, I've had enough of that). I know it was a high miles car, but it is also a well maintained and for the most part reliable car (even the guy that came to inspect for insurance company commented it was in excellent condition for it's age and mileage). Long story short, the shop I wanted did the work (and put on a brand new hood, re-conditioned the front bumper, replaced the front license plat holder and replaced the grill inserts). The only unfortunate part of this story is all the crap I had to deal with from the insurance of the guy at fault. It took them almost a full week to get me a rental car (I had to threaten them to tell me when my Grand Am goes to the body shop and when I get a rental or I'd have my attorney contact them).
Here are the pics after I got my Grand Am home (after it was repaired, it looked as good as new again):