|The large black case up high near the center of the car is one of the three battery cases in the ActiveE. Even though this was a pretty severe accident the battery was unharmed and could be safely discharged.|
I'm not going to go into every detail of the accident because it's still under investigation, but this is basically what happened: I was driving along in the center lane of a highway and there was a car in the left lane just slightly in front of me. The car veered into my lane and was about to come in contact with the front left of my car. I quickly looked right and to my right-rear to see if there were any vehicles in the right lane. There weren't so I drifted right into the slow lane to avoid being hit by the car entering my lane from the left. As I was just about completely in that lane and was done checking my right, I looked forward and was surprised to see I was about 15 feet from a dump truck that was driving very slowly, probably about 20mph. I quickly applied the brakes, but I wasn't able to stop in time, because the truck was going so slowly, and I drove into the back of it. I hadn't seen this vehicle at all previously for a couple reasons. First, this one-mile stretch of highway has no streetlights on either side of the road and is cut through a mountain with 200 feet of rock wall on each side of the road so it is pitch dark at night. Secondly, it is also a long steep upgrade so heavy construction vehicles like a dump truck will likely drive up it very slowly. I was traveling about 65mph (the speed limit there) but since the truck was crawling up the hill I must have closed ground on it very quickly. The truck did not have its mandatory flashing hazard lights on when traveling below 45mph. In fact, I didn't even see its taillights at all so if they were on and functional then perhaps they were dimmed by mud or other construction film. I know you can't just drive into a vehicle from the rear, so to that extent I assume responsibility here, but getting cut off combined with the truck not properly lit with flashing hazard lights at night definitely contributed to the unfortunate incident. I have been involved in a few accidents in my life but never were any of them declared my fault in any way. I guess my streak is over because I do acknowledge some of the blame on this one.
|The interior right after the accident|
|Better Days: First delivery ceremony|
|All that's left of ActiveE #1|
Besides all of that, I have to mention that three of the other ActiveE lessees have even offered me their car for the remainder of the lease period. I can't express how great that made me feel. I wouldn't think of taking anyone up on that offer, but it's so nice to see people care so much that they would actually offer me their car. Without revealing the name of the person who sent it, I want to share with you one of the offers:
First, I am sorry to hear about the accident and I am glad you are for the most part ok. Since you do so much for the EV world and you did so much for me, I wanted to offer my car if they can't fix yours or find you a replacement. This does not mean I am trying to get out of the ActiveE program, it just means you do a better job promoting EVs then all the other people in the ActiveE group and I don't want to see that end. I have enjoyed every one of my
XX,XXX miles but I know it can't
compare to your 60,000. I am sure you have a ton of people worrying about you and a ton of
emails to answer, so just keep it in the back of your head if you need
anything. I wish you well and let me know if I can help in any way.
Again, I really can't express how great that made me feel to read that. I've said this before and really mean it: One of the greatest parts of being in the MINI-E and ActiveE programs has been meeting so many fantastic people who are in the program as well as communicating with complete strangers who have contacted me through my blogs. It's made the whole experience that much more enjoyable. What's next? I'm not 100% sure. The BMW i3 is on the top of my want list but the US launch is still about 8 months away. Maybe once I'm healed enough to start driving again the good people at BMW could find a way to get me one of them a bit early? Too much to ask? Perhaps, since they may not be making US spec i3's for a while as the European launch is going to happen 4 or 5 months before they start shipping cars to the US. Still, I can dream right? Stay tuned...