My pride is hurt. Quite brused, in fact. You see, my family and I were headed over to a pool party/potluck for our church’s youth pastor who was leaving to work with The Navigators in Arizona. And I pressed the wrong button.
You’re probably confused. Perhaps I can explain. One of the features we really like about our house is the fact it has a rear detached garage and a driveway that goes down the side all the way to the street (like a good driveway should). Since we have dogs, we installed a gate shortly after we moved in at the end of 2001. Being practical and forward thinking, we realized that a manual gate while cheaper would get old really quick (e.g., pull up, get out, open the gate, pull through, get out, close the gate…) so decided to have it motorized. The installers did a really good job and even hooked up the mechanism to the middle button of our three buton garage door opener so that we didn’t have to worry about using two different remotes. Considering that two of the three buttons weren’t doing anything, it certainly made sense.
Flash forward to yesterday. I was pulling out of the garage having previously opened the gate and was backing down the driveway. Since I was clear of the garage I pressed the button to close the garage door. Moments later: **crunch** For a moment, I didn’t realize what happened and even when I got out and looked at the damage, I still wasn’t clear as how it happened. After I calmed down a moment, I realized that I must have hit the wrong button and the gate started closing right as I was approaching it.
It made contact exactly with the rear corner of the car at the edge of the gate. As a result, the turn signal/brake light was cracked, the rear bumber damaged, some small damage to the rear body, and 1 1/2″ steel frame along with two 5/8″ bars of the gate pushed in about a foot. To be honest, I probably couldn’t have done better if I tried.
The long and short is that only bad drivers that don’t pay attention have accidents like that. Me? I’m a good drive who considers himself quite careful and safe and would never have thought I would ever have an accident like that (by my hand at least).
We’re working on getting estimates for the car and gate. I’ll be lucky if I get off for less than $2000 for the both. We’ll see.
As a result, I’ve changed my driveway protocol. Open the door and gate, back out, stop, close the door and gate while stationary, and when completely closed, continue.