I've spent a good portion of my day thinking about tires. Talking about tires. Getting quotes for tires. All because I live in Canada, and our winters are a giant pain in the ass.
I hurt my Betty. And for those who are under the impression that Betty is a code word for the lady bits, I will clarify that Betty is my car, with whom I am currently spending my third winter. I hurt my Betty because I didn't take the time to remember that I live in Canada and our winters are a giant pain in the ass, especially where driving in snow is concerned.
Bessie and Lurch, my two previous vehicles had been outfitted with All-Seasons, so the issue of whether or not to get winter tires put on was never much of an issue. For three years I did the 40 minute commute to school without incident. However, my Betty came straight from the dealership equipped with plain old summer radials, and she has lumbered through the past couple winters with them, without incident beyond a good amount of fishtailing and a whole lot of gettingstuckage.
This year I said 'Not again. I'm not going another winter with these damn radials on.' But November became December, which became January and once again I found myself hemming and hawing, thinking 'Winter's halfway through.. what's the point now?' A friend, much more automotivally inclined than myself, expressed concern not three days ago about putting it off, basically telling me I've just been lucky so far and it was a matter of time.
Did she ever call that one.
Yesterday it happened. I hit someone. Thankfully, that someone was in a car, but it was an eyeopener. I was driving through downtown Barrie and came to a hill with a stoplight at the bottom. Knowing my shitty tires, I started braking as early as I could, but halfway down the hill I could feel the ground sliding beneath me. I tried to aim for the snowbank, but the car and the road had other plans for me, and I ended up rear ending the silver sedan that was waiting at the red light.
I pulled off to the side of the road, threw the hazards on and fumbled with my seatbelt in an effort to get out of the car and see if she was okay. The lady driving the car was shaken, and obviously none-too-pleased by the jolt. On the verge of tears, I gave her my insurance information while apologizing profusely The damage, which was minimal thankfully. I had hit her square in the bumper and nary a scratch could be seen, that we could tell. My fender is slightly bent, (giving meaning to the words 'fender bender') but nothing that I need to rush right out and fix.
I got the call tonight that the full amount of the damage was a busted brake light. She's decided not to go through insurance, has asked if I would pay the cost and time to get the brake light fixed. I figured for her trouble, and considering how much much worse the whole thing could have ended up, this was a pretty negligible price to pay.
So today has been a day of quotes and questions and tomorrow I will go get the damn tires put on. Because some close calls are too close for comfort.