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Paranoid About A Potential Car Accident - Advice/Reassurance Needed

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Sunshine___01 | 23:49 Mon 07th Jun 2021 | Law
6 Answers
This probably will sound really stupid, but I have anxiety, so bare with me please.

I am from the USA. Today on my way home, I took the interstate. I am typically very good at checking multiple times in both mirrors (side and rear view), but I only looked in the side mirror this time. I did not see anyone at all except another car in the other lane (not in the lane I was going for).

I was trying to merge onto the interstate. All of a sudden, I hear a loud honk and see a nice, newer looking sport's car hot on my tail. I hurried up and got back over and wait to merge until after they had gotten over to get off the interstate. I do not think I hit them. I believe they just beeped to get my attention to attempt to AVOID a crash (which I appreciate because I seriously did not see them and felt so bad when I seen them on my tail). I didn't see any damage to their car as they drove away to their exit lane and they acted as if nothing was wrong.

I checked my car when I got home because I was paranoid. I did see a small scuff looking mark on the back end of my car. Now keep in mind, my car is not new. I bought it used and it did already have some little scratches which is to be expected. This one can't been seen unless you're very near my car and looking in that area specifically (it's right near my back light on that side).

I just see that mark and got afraid. What if I accidentally DID clip that car? Surely you would know when that happens, right? I didn't feel a thing and all I heard was the sound of their horn.

I have been in an accident before. I was a passenger in a friend's car and we were rear-ended at a spot light. The other driver that hit us was simply not paying enough attention to realize traffic stopped ahead of him because the light went red. He wasn't going too fast, but we certainly felt it the second he hit us. We jolted forward and felt a rather big bump. My friend's car was ok - just a tiny scratch on the back bumper you could barely see. The guy who hit us had more damage - his driver's side headlight was busted clean out, he had a lot more noticeable scuffing and he had a crack on the front bumper.

So surely, if such a minor incident like my friend had caused that much damage to the guy who hit them and was such a noticeable feel, I couldn't have hit the person today, right? Surely there would be damage and I would have known and they would have stopped/pulled over, right?

Things like this just scare me. I know hit and runs are huge offenses even if no one is hurt. I know that causing an accident is bad and will hurt your driving record and raise insurance rates. I have a good record. I have never had an accident in my car (my fault or someone else's). I want to keep it that way.

I just want to know am I being paranoid since it was close or was that tiny mark a sign I bumped their car? The scuff/scratch was not even the color of their car just for the record. It was more whiteish like perhaps something brushed into my parked car or maybe even a neighborhood cat nicked it (I have had them crawl on my car before). I have other random white looking marks on my car too (not scratches, just smooth marks).

Wouldn't you know if you clipped someone or they clipped you while trying to merge onto an interstate? I'm just scared if that driver or someone else got my plate number and will report me.

As I said, I didn't feel anything or hear anything other than them beeping their horn. They never stopped either. They just proceeded to get off at the exit and move on. Surely if I had clipped them even a little they would have stopped, right (especially with such a nice sport's car)?

Just as a hypothetical question, how long would it take for the police to even find you if someone did turn you in for a hit and run? How long should I wait/worry until I can deem myself in the clear? I would love to just forget about this, but with my anxiety, it is so hard to forget this until I know for sure nothing will happen.

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Here in the UK I don't think the police would be very interested even if you had made slight contact, the other driver had noted your registration number and reported the incident.
Anyway as you say you didn't feel any impact there is nothing for you to do - it would be pointless going to police & saying you think you had a close shave with another car.
Stop worrying unless/until you are contacted about it. We all make mistakes occasionally & breathe a sigh of relief if nothing bad results.
Two cars moving, yes you would have felt it! To me it sounds like the driver in the sportscar was an ass who couldn't be bothered to slow down a little to let you merge.
Don’t let the small stuff get to you. The other driver wasn’t bothered about the occurrence neither should you be. You had no collision, except in your head. Relax all is well.
As advised, you would have felt a bump if you had contact with the other vehicle, and they would have signalled you to pull over and exchange details.

It sounds as though this car in your mirror blind spot has shaken you up a good deal.

You will get over it in a few days, it's just residual shock and it will pass.

Next time you change lanes on the freeway, a quick glance over your shoulder before you move will reveal any vehicle in your blind spot which is not visible in your mirror.

Stay calm, we all have these incidents, and you will be fine.

You are clearly a thoughtful and considerate driver, don't let one small glitch get in your way.
I used to be like that - especially after dark - I would encounter a pothole, repair patch, or drain cover and the noise would make me wonder whether I had hit something I hadn't noticed so I would go back to check - in all the times I did this there was NOTHING wrong, so eventually I grew out of it.

I would say you're totally in the clear, so chill out and relax.

P.S. I'd love to bare with you ;-)
Naughty, Canary.

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