Then, shortly before the end of the semester, daughter J. rear-ended another car and totaled hers. (She and the occupants of the other car are all OK.) Well, it had 193k miles on it, so all we had was liability insurance, so it was not repaired but replaced. Got a used VW Golf for her and her brother, 125k miles on it, but they hold their value well and we got it for rather less than Blue Book. (The previous owner was returning to France after his postdoctoral appointment ended, and couldn't very well pack it along.) As it turns out, the difference between Blue Book and what we paid will largely cover the transmission rebuild; it seems that Golfs are known for that sort of thing, and despite the maintenance records the previous owner provided I cannot escape a nagging suspicion that he knew something was up. No matter.
Cut to this past Saturday. J.'s car is still in the shop, awaiting a solenoid to complete the transmission rebuild. J. is off at work, having taken spouse's car. Spouse had some errands to run, so I was dropped off at music practice while errandry was being performed. When practice was over, I called spouse and awaited pickup. After everyone else at practice had left, spouse called me. "Can you get someone else to give you a ride?" "No, everyone's left. Why?" "I'm sorry, I was in an accident and messed up your car." "Oh. Are you OK?" "A little shaken up."
Fortunately, the accident was less than two miles from where I was, so I walked over. Basically, the other driver had pulled out into traffic from a stop sign without seeing spouse (my car's a Corolla; easy to miss from the other side of a panel truck). Spouse saw the other driver doing this (other vehicle was a van; somewhat harder to miss, even from the other side of a panel truck), leaned on horn, slammed on brakes, attempted to steer to avoid impact...and almost managed it. What seems to have happened is that something on the van caught the front end of my car and tore off the entire front bumper, right to left. It wrapped around the car and ended up blocking the driver's door. The driver of the van, in *his* attempt to avoid impact, managed to flip his vehicle. Ended up on its roof, and the emergency responders had to cut him out of it before taking him away on a stretcher. My car was barely drivable, so spouse pulled it into a nearby parking lot and waited for the towing service. Car taken away, and the damage assessor from our insurance company was going to look at it today.
The good news: Spouse wound up with nothing more than torso bruises from seat belt and foot bruises from standing on the brake. The bad news: My car is totaled. The frame is bent, they estimate $10k+ to fix, and even then they aren't sure if that'll take care of it. The worse news: The other driver was uninsured. I am not happy. So in the last four or five months, all three of our cars were damaged, and two were not repairable. This sucks.