The actual meaning of “totaled”

Prior to my fender bender with the amputee I lived under the delusion that when a car is totaled it meant the car looked like it was one of the cop cars in the Blue Brothers film.  You know, TOTALED.  It didn’t necessarily have to involve a role over but if it didn’t then it was severely smashed up and probably not drivable.  Well, everyday’s a school day for Nina and when I brought my car to the body shop I learned that a car was “totaled” if the repair was more than the value of the car.  Haha!  Of course it made sense but it had just never occurred to me.  And considering the only accidents I had been in previously (to the best of my recollection) were:

A fender bender but this time my car was the one to get hit.  My friend Nicole and I were driving in the snow (it was Colorado after all) to our PSATs.  This guy behind me braked, I looked in my rearview mirror just in time to see his face switch from I’m braking in the snow to I’m sliding and he ran into us.  My trusty Subie had a rear bumper with 2 vertical pieces on it.  They not only divided the length of the bumper into thirds (which I’m sure could have come in handy as some point) they also punched two identical Subie “fists” in the front end of the other car.  I guess they were protecting us.

And a side swipe when I was very young.  I was in the back seat of little VW bug.  A friends mom was driving us to or from dance (I don’t remember which, it was a long time ago).  We were all in our leotards and tights.  Heading down I-25.  A semi changed lanes and swiped our little car off the road.  We tumbled around the backseat like rag dolls.  Pretty sure we didn’t all have seat belts on (it was a long time ago, I was little, we didn’t know any better, quit yelling at me).  Next thing I remember we were in the hospital getting checked out.

Point being I didn’t have a lot of car accident experience so my concept of a “totaled” car seemed logical enough to me.  However, when I told people my new understanding of “totaled” they all seemed to already know the actual meaning.  Hmmm  Clearly I needed to expand my knowledge.  So now I try to get into an accident once every few months.  You know, so I can stay on top of what’s new.

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