Saturday, August 28, 2010

Replacing the zoom zoom...

I very quickly decided that I was going to have to get clearance to drive and find a car or poor Kip was going to have to devote his entire day, 5 days a week to toting me around. He was amazingly great about it but, when I started having some sort of appointment almost every day (some days more than one), I just couldn't ask him to keep it up. 

Before the wreck, new car shopping was just about my favorite past time!  There was also something I liked better and wanted. When I bought my Mazda 6 (on 6/6/2006 yes, we laughed about it then), I made a vow that I was buying a car that I would pay off and keep at least a year after that so I would have a decent trade in (instead of upside down) and a chance to get some extra money in savings. So much for that great idea!  Now car shopping was scary. Some of my friends friends wanted to try to turn it into something fun and we would go around doing test drives all weekend. I wasn't ready for that. First of all, walking around a dealership on a walker wasn't my idea of fun and getting behind the wheel wasn't either. Luckily I had a dr's appointment within a few days of making my car buying decision so I could get the ok to drive before I changed my mind. 

I didn't know where to start. Usually I went car shopping because I fell in love with something I had seem on tv so it was just a matter of finding the best deal.  Cute was all that mattered!  Now cute wasn't impotent at all. All I cared about was their safety record. When I look back, I am VERY impressed with how my Mazda held up in the wreck. The fact that everyone involved wasn't killed instantly shows how much has been done to improve the safety of cars!  Unfortunately, my car innocence had been destroyed. We get in them everyday and never give a thought to the fact that cars are dangerous. There are people that would walk from New York to LA before the would get in a plane even though you are far more likely to die in a car.  Some of those people will argue that they have control of their car but they don't have control of the plane. The thing is, you have control of your car and you might be the world's best driver, but you don't control what goes on around you. My wreck happened so quick that all I remember was the sound of the crash and spinning. I couldn't control the girl that hit us. Once you realize that you have very little control, driving is scary. All you can do is be in the safest car you can afford!  Of course Volvo is known for their safety features but I knew I couldn't afford that. Being in my 4th month of being off work and only getting 60% of my salary, price was definitely a big consideration. Something kept taking me back to the Volvo site. One day I noticed a 2008 S40 with just under 11,000 miles at a great price.  Soon we were signing papers and it was time for me to drive off the lot. Of course Kip stayed with me, letting me follow him to lunch and then to the place to get my handicapped tag (more on that later). Finally it was time for Kip to push me out of the nest and both of us to drive home. Driving turned out to not be as bad as I thought it was going to be. It took a while for me to not flinch every time someone got too close to me and for me not to freak out if I drove past a wreck. I still hate driving outside the city and beyond hate driving on two lane roads. As we approach the second anniversary of the wreck, I can finally say I passed a car on a two lane road!  That was one of my big moments!!

Now I have the new car bug again.  Safety is still King, but I am looking at cute too!

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