Monday, February 4, 2013

Car accident

Sigh....indeed we did have our first accident on this trip.  It was the fault of the maniac in front of us not the Stoic One.  So here is what happened.  We were merging onto a two lane road, and an Alpha Romeo came up behind us like a bat out of hell.  The Stoic One continued his merge.  The maniac driving the Alpha thought we should have stopped and let him zoom past, I guess, anyway he started screaming at us.  We could see his face turning purple as he looked as us through his rear view mirror.  Then he looks in the rear view mirror and flips us off.  The Stoic One ignored him.  He flipped us off again.  The Stoic One ignored him again.  He flipped us off the third time, and we all have our limits, so the Stoic One responded in kind.  This caused the maniac to slam on his brakes and we crashed into the back of him.  Sigh...

So the maniac gets out of the car, and starts jumping up and down like a us all the finger.  It would have been funny except we thought he was nuts.  Then the maniac asked me if the Stoic One had been drinking, I said no.  (It was 9:00 am!!!)  Then the maniac calls someone on his cell phone. Then we call our friend Simone on our cell phone.  Then Simone talks to the maniac and gets him to calm down a bit by telling him the car is insured. Then the maniac calls the police and then the police show up.

Two very handsome kind men.  I ask them if they spoke English they said unfortunately not. I said I am sorry my Italian is not better.  They said Italians needed to learn English.  I said we were in there country and we should all learn Italian. We were having a great time. The maniac was not amused. Then the police asked us where we were from and we said the US.  He said he loved Americans.  Then he asked where in the US and we said California and he said he loved California even more. Then the police decided to help us fill out our insurance forms.

OK some lessons about car accidents.  Simone thinks the maniac called the police because we were foreigners and the maniac thought we didn't have insurance.  We of course did have insurance.  The forms are in the glove compartment.  This form stuff is very important.  In Italy you exchange insurance forms not driver's licenses and insurance information like in the US.  So if you are in Italy make sure you have the insurance forms.  Simone says that Italians have so many accidents that they usually just exchange the forms and then go on their way.  He said usually the police won't even show up for the fender bender.

Here is the picture of the car with the dent.  That is the maniac filling out a form.

So this is a story that could only happen in Italy.  The maniac could only be Italian and the police could only be Italian.  The Stoic One of course could be many nationalities...

Oh, by the way, Italian law is if we crash into someone it is our fault...Am not sure what that means exactly...The police said it was nothing and after filling out our forms, they went on their way.


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  2. He was a real maniac if you ask me. Well, at least it didn’t get medieval. I’m glad that you were both able to keep your cool, at least long enough to call the police and have Simone calm down the man in the Alpha. All’s well that ends well, I suppose.

    Thao Cantu

  3. The police officers were very amusing and you’re lucky that they were helpful to you. It’s wise on your part to have that insurance form ready in your compartment or else the maniac would have had a field day harassing foreigners like you. The law of other countries can be your ally as long you take time to learn it. =)

    Nannie Leick

  4. I would love to see how the maniac’s expression when the police officers favored you. Haha! It’s wrong of him to harass you and try to put the blame on you, just because you’re a foreigner in his country. Fortunately, you were a real girl scout and had the insurance form ready. Great move, Susan!

    - Guadalupe Puthoff

  5. The maniac was finally quiet and subdued. That in itself was a miracle. Thank you, Guadalupe for your encouragement!

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  7. Hey Susan, I was looking for some info about Ascoli and found your blog! I live in province of Macerata.
    I'm sorry about your accident, it has passed a year and I feel like everything's settled now. Unfortunately, if you rear end someone is always your fault, because you're supposed to always be at a safety distance from the car ahead and be always ready to stop if needed. However, if you can prove the other person just slammed on the brakes for no reason, he'll get some fault too.
    I recon you live in Umbria. I live in Marche and when I visited Perugia for Eurochocolate, on the way back I needed to take a break along the road, there are some crazy drivers there and roads seem to be designed by a drunken.

    This is how it works with that form: if you're in a car accident and feel like you can talk to the other person and work things out, both of you can fill out the form and declare what happened (both parts must agree on the description of the accident). That form then goes to both insurance companies and they'll decide who's going to pay for what. Police is not needed, if you call them you and the other person usually get a ticket for what they think you've done wrong, you've been very lucky this time!
    On the other side, if you feel like it's totally not your fault, the other person is a crazy maniac or something serious happens, you should call the police before doing anything. If you want to press charges and stuff, you must not fill that form.
    If you have any doubt on how some things work here, don't hesitate and ask me! I think my English is good enough to be comprehensible even for technical conversations.

  8. Jack, thank you so very much for all of your information. Your English is excellent! If ever you are near Umbertide, please email and we can go for coffee. We love Ascoli. Our favorite place to take visitors to Italy.