The Upstate Life
The Upstate Life

Monday, August 22, 2005
Circle of Death

Please electronically raise your hand if you've been involved in a car accident at Chevy Chase Circle. The Upstate Life would formally like to introduce his five digits up in the air amongst the crowd as he is now the proudest member to join this elite group. You see, TUL is a good driver. Hell, out of the several accidents I've been in, only one was actually my fault (but that could've been avoided had the driver ahead of me actually accelerated and not lacked motor skill functions, but that's another story I suppose). The point is that for anyone who has driven through Chevy Chase Circle knows that it's poorly designed and even slightly intimidating to some (then again, you probably shouldn't be driving in DC at all if that's the case). I, on the other hand, traverse through this traffic design at least three times a week if not more. It was on a fateful Saturday evening, however, that The Upstate Life's fortune of exiting the circle without incident ultimately changed.

I was on my way from Bethesda driving to DC, heading southbound on Connecticut Avenue. I entered the circle, staying in the leftmost lane before continuing onto Connecticut. It was at this point that a car coming from Western Avenue failed to yield, entering the traffic circle in the same lane I was in. If you've been through Chevy Chase Circle, you would know that the leftmost lane within the circle becomes the left lane of Connecticut. There are even dotted lane markings on the road to make drivers visually aware of it. However, because the car that entered the circle was not aware of this, and did not acknowledge that traffic in the circle has the right of way, this series of events unfortunately caused a collision with my Toyota on the front passenger side. I noticed that the car was heading right for me, and despite my best efforts of honking and swerving to the left to avoid impact, the stars just weren't aligned that night. Although the damage was minor, the aggravation factor was through the roof. The driver was from out of state and "had just recently moved here". Go figure. Then, instead of a witness offering their services, a car passes by with the driver shouting out her window at the two parties to move before another accident occurs. Lovely. As much as I wanted to file a police report due to the disputative nature of how the accident occurred, it turned out that DC police do not file reports if both cars are drivable and that no one was injured. This of course was the case, so we exchanged information and went on our not-so-merry way. A call to the insurance company was made moments later detailing the account of what just transpired. I'm completely confident that I was no way in the wrong and not at-fault for this accident. I'm sorry, but if you're already in the traffic circle, other cars entering from outside streets are to yield to those currently in the circle. The clearly marked Yield signs when you enter this death trap offer a hint of guidance as well. I just pray that my insurance company does not find me responsible for this. I mean, am I right? Let the comments flow.

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