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Crunch…

May 7, 2010, 8:24 PM

So I was going to lunch at Lawson’s with a bunch of my coworkers today, and we saw this when we got to Dupont Circle:

Crunch. That looks unpleasant, to say the least. Thankfully, from what I could tell, no one was hurt. The car, with Michigan plates, was apparently struck in the right front fender by Metrobus 2033, a 2000 Orion VI, running the 42 to Mount Pleasant.

I kind of wonder what led up to this incident. From my experience, buses turning into Dupont Circle from northbound Connecticut Avenue on the south side of the circle have to make the turn into the left lane because of their length, or else they’d clip a traffic signal. Buses don’t do as well when they have to make sharp right turns, so if they can get some extra room, it makes the turn easier. Ride-On’s 51 bus has to make a sharp right turn onto my street from Georgia Avenue, and there have been many occasions where the driver has been unable to make the turn without riding up on the curb, or having to signal to the cars in the left turn lane to back up so that the bus could complete the turn.

I figure that there are two possible scenarios. First, the bus driver could have misjudged the conditions in front of them, and struck the car while making the turn, making the bus driver at fault. I consider that less likely. I believe the more likely situation is that the driver of the car tried to zing past the bus when it was already in the process of making the turn, and the bus was unable to stop in time. That would make the driver of the car at fault here.

I consider it unlikely that we’ll ever find out what happened, since in the larger scheme of things, this was a minor accident. No one was hurt, and it was cleared pretty quickly. The damage was also fairly minor. The car got a good-sized dent in its fender, and the bus was unscathed. I believe that the car was probably driveable after the collision, since I didn’t see a tow truck, and the car was gone when we were coming back from Lawson’s. The size of the dent in the car is what makes me think that it was scenario number two, since it could have been much worse, and that makes me think that the impact was relatively light (however, even a light impact from a 40′ bus will leave a considerable ding), which makes it seem to me that the bus driver was trying to stop to avoid it and couldn’t stop in time.

Considering that the car got a big dent in it and the bus came out unscathed, this illustrates one point when driving around large vehicles: stay out of their way. Once again it proves why the biggest, ugliest vehicle always has the right of way. I almost guarantee you that 2033 will be back on the road tomorrow, but the car is looking at some time in the body shop getting a new fender. These large vehicles carry a tremendous amount of momentum, and you really don’t want to be on the receiving end of that.

Song: More crazy drivers

Quote: Meanwhile, I mentioned that we had lunch at Lawson's in Dupont Circle. Today was their last day in operation, before closing for good at 4:30 today. We found out from the employees that their rent was going to be doubled, and thus why they had to close. It's really a shame, because Lawson's was a good place to go for sandwiches and wraps. And it's going to be replaced with yet another Panera Bread location. Like we need more of those. So I'm definitely going to miss Lawson's...

Categories: WMATA