Fender Bender

Driving across the 10th Avenue South bridge at about 9:20 this morning, the car in front of me – a sporty grey model – was driving a bit too close to the center (where the ice hadn’t been worn away by drivers), and sure enough, he lost control. He slid around in a complete 360, banged against the right side of the bridge, clipped another vehicle, then slid over to the left side of the bridge, facing forward, and came to a stop. Meanwhile, I was tapping my brakes trying to slow down in the left lane, but our cars did ding, lightly. He promptly drove off, leaving the rest of us cursing and somewhat shaken, but not before I got his license: 52781V, with an AF logo. His rear end was pretty crunched up, but I didn’t notice any other damage.
I drove to the Holiday station and inspected my car – the only thing that I noticed is that my front license plate was knocked loose and is hanging by one screw.
So if anyone else was affected by this guy, here’s his license plate #, and if you need me to testify or sign a statement, just let me know.

Crash Lessons

Dianne Lorang was driving her scooter in the summer of 2007 when things took a turn for the worse:

I was tooling around downtown Great Falls, Montana, when suddenly I knew I was going to get hit…It was definitely my fault. But I had done some things right. I wore a helmet, even though Montana does not require them. It took the brunt when breaking the windshield, and then again when my head hit the curb. I only saw a few stars rather than years or a lifetime of dealing with major head trauma. My leather jacket and gloves protected me as well.

Go read her whole story, and remember to wear safety gear when you are riding. Helmets aren’t required by law, but it’s a good idea to wear one. My mother, a now-retired surgical nurse, told me that motorcycles are often referred to as “donor-cycles” in the E.R. Thank goodness Dianne was wearing hers!

Mazda 626 For Sale

Received the following e-mail from someone who needs to sell their car:

moving to Alaska…I have a car i need to sell. 2000 Mazda 626. 110K miles…runs great…needs a new power door lock motor. I was hoping to get $2000 out of it…do you know anyone who might be interested.

The seller is well-known in the community, so I’m pretty sure you can trust the offer. If you’re interested, leave a comment or e-mail me (david AT greaterfalls.com), and I will pass the info to the seller.

Vanity Plates in Montana

Ah ha! I’ve suspected for some time that Montana has a higher percentage (per capita) of personalized license plates than most states, and now comes confirmation. The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators just released the results of a nationwide survey that ranks Montana #5 in terms of vanity plate percentage. Ahead of us: Virginia, New Hampshire, Illinois, and Nevada; dead-last is Texas.

And for some reason, as you may recall, I really get a kick out of the customized plates here in Big Sky Country, which is why I created a “sub-blog” called Great Montana Plates.

Related: an entry about Platewire, where you can “report” bad drivers or wink at a cute driver.

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