An Open Letter To Hit and Run Drivers

Since I was young, I have always carried uninsured motorist coverage on my car. Its value was quickly solidified when I was hit hard by someone on the highway and thrown into an 18-wheeler in my little teenager older Corolla. That someone kept driving, leaving me confused, upset, terrified, and with a totaled car. 

I felt those same feelings this past weekend when I discovered someone had smashed into the back of my parked, new, hard to miss 2015 Swagger Wagon. With a big dent in the trunk gate and a smashed headlight I was just as confused, upset, and exasperated as I had been almost 10 years prior. 

So, here is my letter to whatever fantastic person decided to not leave a note. 

Dear Hit and Run Driver,

Hi. I’m the face behind the headlight you smashed. You know. The car you hit, probably because you weren’t paying attention. I hope you at least thought about leaving a note to whoever owned that van. But, it’s new right? They have money to fix it. You’re in a hurry and it’s just a little dent. So you drive off. Probably not thinking twice. Probably exasperated and angry about the damage to your own car that you caused. 

There’s a saying that the flutter of a butterfly’s wings can cause typhoons on the other side of the world. I want to explain to you the typhoon you caused my family because of your negligence

Through no fault of our own, we will be without a car for 2 weeks while it’s fixed. The damage you did is estimated at over $2,000 that we have to claim on our insurance the first year we have the policy. Our deductible is $500.  This claim will raise our insurance for the next six years until it falls off giving us our clean record back. Even if it only goes up by $10 a month (which is an extremely conservative estimate) that’s a minimum of $1,250 out of our pockets because of your mistake and lack of character to own up to that mistake. 

Since we cannot afford to pay $30 a day for a rental, we will be without transportation for those two weeks. It would cost us over $500 for that rental. My children will miss play dates, park adventures, Christmas shopping, and visits to Nana and Papa. The financial loss is now $1,750 total. 
There were two car seats in that car you hit. Because car seats are always latched onto the car and thus always activated in a crash whether the child is in the seat or not and because of our user manual instructions, we now cannot use those seats anymore. Those seats were $170 each.  We were planning to use those seats for our future children.  Financial loss is now $2,090. 

This loss in seats required us to make an immediate purchase of new seats. My husband ran around for 3 hours to multiple stores to get the seats we needed. We spent over $300 on new seats and when we got home we opened them to find them used. So, he’s going back to the stores today to return them and we are purchasing new seats online. They will take 6-10 days to arrive which means my children cannot go anywhere in a car until then. Financial loss is now $2,400.

If you had left a note, your insurance may have gone up a little and you would pay the deductible on your insurance to get my car fixed. Your insurance would also likely pay for me to have a rental. Your financial loss would have probably been roughly $1000 or so over the next few years. Yet, your lack of character and integrity led you to believe that it is acceptable to put a financial burden of 250% more onto me when I had no part or fault in this crash. Please, tell me how you justify that in your mind. 
Sometimes, being honest sucks. Owning up to mistakes, saying sorry, having someone be angry at
you, these are not easy things to handle and I understand that. However, that is not an excuse to damage someone’s lifeline to basic needs and slink away unnoticed. 

So, hit and run driver. I hope that you feel satisfied causing someone financial struggle during the holiday season. I am sure that karma will only bring you exactly what you brought to others. And next time, just leave a damn note. 

Mom of that Swagger Wagon


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