On Friday, August 31st, a tractor trailer made an unsafe right turn on North Queen Street in Toronto and rammed into my rental car.
The damage was considerable and the vehicle was no longer driveable.
(See the full set of pictures in larger detail.)
After filing a police report and getting the car towed to an auto body shop, I phoned Discount Car and Truck Rentals at the Kelfield depot in Toronto to report the accident.
Here’s a snippet of how my conversation with Andrew, the Discount representative, went…
“Hi, this is Rosalind Gardner. I rented a car from your location on Wednesday afternoon. The vehicle has been involved in an accident, is no longer driveable and has been taken to Ruta Auto Collision, located at 367 Olivewood Road in Etobicoke. What other information do you need from me?”
“We don’t have cars available. It’s Friday afternoon of a long weekend and all the cars have been rented“, Andrew responded.
“OK, I’ll repeat what I just said. Hi, this is Rosalind Gardner…” (and repeated myself word-for-word).
“Oh, hang on” and he put me on hold.
I’ll spare you the details of the rest of the call, except to say that I ended it by saying, “and it would have been NICE of you to ask how I was!” and hung up before he could respond.
Fortunately, everyone else involved was considerate, i.e. human.
That included the Toronto Police constables who attended the scene, the very cute tow truck driver and Ahamad Khan from Ruta (who arranged another rental car and then drove me to the airport on Sunday).
I am also extremely pleased with both American Express and their insurance provider, Royal Sun Life. In addition to being kind and considerate, their representatives made filing the claim extremely easy.
Suffice to say that I will NOT rent from Discount again, and will return to my tried and true friends at Budget who have on-airport kiosks and therefore wouldn’t make me wait half an hour for a pickup… let alone respond the way Discount did.
I WILL however, happily continue to do business with American Express whose service I highly recommend. I can also highly recommend Ruta Auto Collision to anyone in Toronto in need of auto body work.
I am so glad you are OK and were not hurt. These tractor trailer drivers are just not like they used to be, they are very dangerous. Now for the Guy at the Rental place, that is kind of typical but you are correct, always ask how the person is first, show that you care. I agree with you on American Express. They are top notch.
That is terrible – you could have been really badly injured or worse. I hate being on the road anywhere near truckers as they often drive as though they’re half asleep.
The guy from Discount sounds like a real plonker. I bet you thought you were speaking to an answering machine at first.
I am so glad that you are okay. Some of these tractor/trailer drivers are not like they used to be. I have not had any dealings with American Express but have heard some good things.
I never know if your read these mailing or hire someone to do it. But it has been a long time and definitely glad your alright. If you get a chance send me an address where you can be reached. Check out my growing web presence. You look well in your photos. Ros age is really catching up to me. I turned 55 this year. Well that’s all for now. Contact Me
I am so glad that you are okay. However, it appears that that tractor-trailer driver needed to make that right-hand turn from the left-hand lane due to the very narrow street on his right. I am a tractor-trailer driver and I’m very safe I have over 2,000,000 miles of safe driving without a collision. Many times I have also tried to make a right-hand turn onto a very narrow street and have had people come up on my right hand side and not be able to see them. The right-hand side of a tractor-trailer has a blind spot on it were most cars are small enough to not be seen. However I am extremely glad that you were not injured in any way.
I am glad you were not injuried, to make any kind of moving contact with a semitractor/trailer can be very serious.
Please do not consider this as an acccusation of any kind, but having been a long hauler for a period of my life, and no matter how much we try to warn other vehicle operators that we can’t always see them, especially the smaller cars. We all are required to post a sign on the back of the trailers, ” caution wide turns”.
I have had many people not pay attention when I was beginning a right turn, and on more than one occasion to come to a complete halt, with my turn signals on in the middle of traffic because I could not safely make a turn because of people not paying attention to the situation. Yes we may be dumb bunny trucker drivers to those who believe the road belongs to only them, so don’t ask me for my opinion, there is always two sides to every story, and for those of you who think you have the right-of-way, you may not aways be right. Use your own experience in this case,,, which would have been better???
A little common consideration or going thur the haggle with everyone, because you had the right-of-way?????,,, been there on the other side,
Thank you and be careful, we aren’t really out to get you, it ruins our day to… Loren…
John in Australia says
Glad to read that you weren’t injured in the crash, apart from shock, no doubt.
Looking on the positive side, any accident you can walk away from is a good one.
As for the attitude of the Rental guy you dealt with, it is another example of people’s negative attitudes. He was caring more about all the paperwork he would have to do, and he would have a car out of commission and unrentable for awhile, all focussing on HIM and NOT the customer. Why can they realize that it’s BECAUSE of the customer, that he is able to do what he does for his weekly wage.
My message to him: Get your priorities straight sunshine. The world DOESN’T revolve around YOU!
My MOA – (Method of Operation) – ALWAYS treat people how you, yourself, would like to be treated in the given situation. It works wonders!
All the best and look back on the experience as being a positive one. No harm – no foul. =:o)
John in Australia
I imagine it was pretty scary being in that situation. I drove a truck for 5 years in the 1990s and was involved in a similar type of accident once early on. It is very difficult for a truck driver to see what is happening on the right side of a truck. All you have to go on are what shows in the mirrors, the little window at the bottom of the right door and the other regular window (pretty much useless for seeing cars unless they’re too far away from you to matter). The most useful mirror for right-turns is the convex (wide-angle) one mounted on the right fender. But you can’t spend all your time looking at the mirrors (you have to look where you’re going also). One second everything looks clear, so you start to make the turn and the next time you look, it’s all gone haywire.
So be vigilant around the right sides of trucks (you just have to assume they cannot see you).
Christine "RED" L-S says
Echoeing the sentiments – So glad you are Okay!
Good customer service, is we something we take it for granted, until stories like yours jolt it to the forefront.
Thanks for sharing.
Hope all is well with you and no side affects from the accident. The truck drivers are only doing there jobs but some of them are outright pains in the you know what’s, most of the time they get a bad name from the companies they work for as they are given unrealistic time sheduals to keep too.Or sent to areas that they are not formilier with.
Car rental agents hire young and inexperienced staff that would not know if their buts where on fire or haven’t had their licences very long, so I can agree with your reaction to them totally.
I have had no dealings with American Express but have had nothing but good reports from them .
Ex Truck Driver Myself
Brisbane Queensland Australia
That was too close for comfort, Ros! My lord, I can’t imagine your heart rate on impact! Your friends and fans are beyond grateful you are safe and sound.
Driving anywhere is to be among total morons. What goes on with their thinking abilities?
And, Andrew? Oh, that boy will go far!
Glad to know you are OK. In my years on the road I saw too much of this and glad I am working from home.
But reading Roamsters gives me the itch to travel. Great blog!
All the best,
I’m sure glad you are ok. I agree these truck drivers now days are very dangerous. I hope every thing goes better for you from here on.
Ps I don’t know what to put in the website box, I don’t know very much about computers yet.
Hi Calvin – Thanks! and as for the ‘website’ box, if you had a website, you could type your domain name into that box. – Ros
It is good news to here that you are ok. Nowadays roads are note safe as it used to be. I dealt before with American Experss and as you said their services is highly recommended.
Sultanate of Oman
peter beckworth says
Dear Rosalind, I ALSO are GLAD that you are allright.
I thank-you from the bottom of my heart for all the emails that you send me. I know that you are a beautiful woman with a BIG heart always thinking of others FIRST.
I have joined up with a very clever young man who is just 18 years old, Im 64 this year.
Please check out our website and see what you think .
Kester U says
Glad to know that you are okay and still able to handle your daily activities. By the way, how did you get out of the car, seeing that the driver’s side is that smashed? THAT MUST BE A MIRACLE!!!!!!!!!!!
It is unfortunate that the Discount Car Rental Rep. was that inhumane and seem to lack any real customer service traits.
Well, ALWAYS watch out for the 18-wheeler guys! They drive on public roads like they own them!!!!!
Stay SAFE and Stay BLESSED!!!!!
Hi, Rosalind l’m gland your ok.
l have a commercial Driver licence here in Arizona and sometimes you need more space to make a right turn especially when the turn is narrow. The truck is long and for what l seen in the picture it was a tight turn, But l also think he should pay attention more on triaffic and not take to much of the left lane. your friend Mike
Exactly right… he should have left more of the right lane blocked. As I mentioned in response to an earlier comment – in 31 years, I’ve seen a lot of wide right turns, and this guy did it all wrong. Had no idea that was his intention until it was too late.
Thank goodness you were okay. A useful lesson for us all in communication. We use Budget when we visit the UK and have always had good service, though we’ve never tested them out with an accident!
Really pleased you were unhurt Ros. What a shake up though. How well you handled the whole thing,typical.*smile*.
We here in Australia have had some recent dramatic events regarding truckies and the huge vehicles they drive. One caused a train accident at a rail way crossing in which a number of people were killed.We still have boom gates in rural areas and apparently the truckies like to race the trains for the crossing ,sometimes.
The truck drivers are also put under a lot of pressure from their bosses to deliver over long distances and to do so no matter how tired they are. In some ways we are a bit like the old wild west of America here Ros.. The last frontier.Or so they tell me.;).
It is great to see you alive and well. I am one of your NPT subscribers. The fellow at Discount should be embarrassed about displaying such asinine behavior. I suggest you write an editorial for the local Toronto daily. With the blogosphere being what it is today, you’d think customer service would be a top priority. Sadly, some firms still operate in the Dark Ages. Here’s to your continued health.
Andy Pohl says
I am glad you are OK.
I am just starting to buld a site. Where can I see some of the results of your “students'” work. That is, the sites created by those who have read your ebooks and gone on to have successful sites?
Rosalind Gardner says
I didn’t think for a moment that the guy was ‘out to get me’.
I’ve been driving for 31 years, have never caused an accident and have seen a LOT of wide right turns.
But this guy did it all wrong.
He obviously did not check to see whether there was any traffic behind him in the right lane, as he signalled left and changed into the left lane.
So when he slowed down (and appeared to be turning into the mall on the other side of the road), I continued at the posted limit and moved up beside him on the right.
He signalled right and turned right at the same time – when I was already more than halfway up the side of the truck.
Just one dumb bunny tractor trailer driver – most of the rest I’ve seen in my experience are excellent.
Sue Chartock says
Good to hear you are alright!
I think I would be grateful I was able to get out of that accident in one piece! Those trucksdrivers are driving heavy built vehicles and some of those drivers are known for “hogging” the road at times. A news report suggested even keeping your distance from them since “cargo” also has been known to fall off the trucks at times as well. The report also mentioned that these truck drivers put in lots of hours on the road and tiredness could be a factor too.
Anyway,thank God you were able to walk away without a scratch! Probably a bit shaken, but who wouldn’t be in a situation as this.
peter beckworth says
Hi Ros, It’s Peter G Beckworth and Tim Cinel from Australia here, we both HOPE that you recover soon.
Get well SOON pete.
Deniece S Constant says
So glad you are ok.
Lisa Marie Mary says
Omigosh! Looking at the pictures, and imagining your sitting there with that giant thing coming at you – it must’ve been so scary! I’m so sorry and I’m glad you’re okay!