Things That Go Bump in the Parking Lot

Intersection CrashThis is a short story about things that go bump in the parking lot. The outcome could have been a lot simpler with a bit of courtesy and the sharing of required information but it didn't happen that way. I wonder what the ultimate cost will be when all is said and done.

I was waiting to turn left from the main access into a parking aisle at the mall along with a car opposing me and traffic behind me. There was a vehicle further along the aisle backing out, so we all waited.

When the vehicle had backed out, we all began to enter the aisle in turn until the car in front of me stopped.

The driver began to back up and when it was clear that a collision with me was imminent I sounded my vehicle's horn. The car stopped, pulled ahead and began to back up again. This time sounding the horn did not help and a small collision occurred.

We moved out of the way and I got out and approached the other driver, a woman that I estimate was in her early 80's. Her first words to me were "Why didn't you get out of my way?"

If the other traffic had not been stopped behind me, I certainly would have tried to.

Her next piece of advice was that "Trucks should not be in this parking lot anyway, they belong out there in the back 40." and gestured to the far edge of the lot.

I asked her to exchange information with me and she refused. She refused again after I tried to explain that we were required to do this.

I was beginning to become concerned about this reluctance and while I considered what to do next three people approached me to state that they had watched the incident occur and offered to provide their contact information. This was a very personal reminder that people willing to help are all around us. Thank you very much!

At this point the woman decided that she should examine my truck for damage. As we walked to it, she remarked that I looked like a cop. I told her that I used to be one and was surprised when she responded with "It figures. You've got nothing better to do than cause trouble for others."

I took my cell phone out and photographed her, then went back to her car and photographed it.

She came back, got into her car and departed.

Now what to do? The damage to my truck amounted to a scuff on the bumper and I would have been prepared to shrug it off had she identified herself and appeared apologetic.

Maybe she was embarrassed, just a miserable person or wanted to avoid losing a safe driving discount. Worse still, maybe she didn't have a driver's licence or had reached the end of her ability to drive safely. The decision about whether to do anything was left up to me, along with the worry that she might try to report this as my fault.

What would you do in this situation? Send me your thoughts and I'll finish this tale in next week's article.


What if, instead of you in your truck, that was a person with a child in a shopping cart or other vulnerable person? Why wait? Get her off the road.

It's not about a bump on your bumper - that woman has no place behind the wheel in a civil society.

You'll be doing the rest of us a huge favour if you make an official complaint; one possible (and desirable) outcome would be that she'll be called in for a Re-Exam by RSBC.

I am not sure what I would have done, since I was not there to take in the full dynamics of this situation. However, from your description, it appears that she was not accepting any blame and showed no remorse. I wonder if she has done this sort of thing before and got away with it.

I would have taken as much information as I could.

Several years ago I was behind a woman in a lineup for a drive through car wash. She started backing up, there was someone behind me so I just leaned on my horn. She didn’t stop and hit me.

We exchanged information. I reported it to ICBC. She did too, saying I rear ended her on the street near the car wash. I was amazed!

ICBC told me to take it in for a damage assessment. I took it and there was no damage, still I was to blame as the rear end of her truck had been hit. They gave her a stern warning, I was so offended!

Being a gold star driver it didn’t affect me.

A somewhat similar situation happened to a co-worker 30 or so years ago.

While stopped at a traffic light on a hill in Victoria, an older man rolled back into his 5 ton truck when the light changed.

Information was exchanged and the driver of the car explained that being as his was the only one damaged, there was no need to report it.

Some time later he received a call from Victoria PD the the other driver had reported it as a hit and run.

In your situation, would report it.

I had similar situation 2 weeks ago but it was a very light bump. I just waved it off.

I think I would follow up your situation just because of her attitude.

80 is the new 70 they say...I’m 83...haha!

I avoid parking lots if I can...!

If I were you I would go to the police station and tell them what happened.

It would have been nice of you to let bygones be bygones, but this lady made a lot of mistakes. Inattentive twice over, rude, not following the rules after a collision, not being apologetic.

She is or could be a danger on the road.

This was just a small bump according to your story, but next time she could cause an accident.

Just being old is no excuse, as I remind myself!

I would report the incident to the police. It is in her best interest to have a review of her driving abilities. If she could not see you she may not be able to see someone walking between her vehicle and your vehicle. There could be a medical issue that she has as to perception of distance.

We all have to look after our seniors.

I once had a small fender-bender in the parking lot. It was not my fault, and there was no damage to my vehicle. The damage to the other vehicle was extremely minor, amounting to a paint chip.

I did not call ICBC. The other person reported to ICBC, and lied about what happened. They said it was my fault.

The ICBC adjuster that eventually contacted me told me that because I had not made a claim that they therefore did not believe my side of the story, and I was going to be found 100% at fault. In the end, I simply paid the $500 claim to repaint his bumper out of my pocket in order to avoid an increase in my rate.

Even if you're not going to claim any damage, I think best to report it anyway. If she is driving without a license, or something like that, and she gets caught because of it, it's better than her not getting caught and subsequently having a major accident later on.

With an attitude like that I think she should not be behind the wheel. What happens now if she continues to have that attitude, get out of my way. It could be a person on foot that she collides with next and we both know those consequences.

You were wise to take the photographs. I hope you took them to the nearest police station.

She needs medical attention or an assessment.

Call it in as a hit and run.

I used to work for Saanich at a place where drivers of all kinds showed up... needless to say some are far worse than others.

One day two pensioners came in and were noted as a total hazard, it bothered me to the point where I called the police and asked what I can do. They said I would have to sign a form as a witness to the absolute inability to drive, and the danger to others. It was not my right to do that this day I wonder if they caused damage or peril to others.

At 80 reaction time is way to slow...that alone can cause more problems than it’s worth...never mind backing up without looking, or having the mental capacity to see more than 1 vehicle past theirs.

It wasn't really a hit & run, so I didn't report it that way. It was more a refuse to provide name and address which is not as serious.

I can understand Saanich PD's requirement for a witness statement as they don't want to be investigating unsubstantiated or malicious complaints.

Not all drivers at 80 are bad drivers, but it is likely that some decline has started.

You didn’t say if she had any damage. That would for sure have a factor in my next move.

If there was damage and you decided not to report, she could wait a week or so and report she was the victim of a hit and run. Pay her deductible and not lose her safe driving discount.

Like you said, I agree there might be a reason for her refusal to provide her details. Perhaps she has been made to turn her license in.

I would file an accident/hit and run report. In a minimal damage collision, usually the problem is proving the other driver knew there was damage. Ie, in a parking lot, a light tap to a parked car and then the vehicle drives away. In this case you had a discussion with her, there’s a solid case for a Hit and Run under the MVA.

I wouldn’t take age into account.

Being a minor Hit and Run, even if she is charged under the MVA, her liability coverage will cover your vehicle (as long as she cooperates and tells the truth). She has breached her own damage coverage.

If it was a serious Hit and Run, and she was charged under the Criminal Code, her liability coverage would also be in breach. ICBC would fix your vehicle and get it back from her.

Report it !!

Like you I would probably also want to shrug it off, but also, like you I'm worried that:

a/ she will try and blame me

b/ may no longer be licenced

I would want ICBC involved just long enough to make sure that neither of these things happened.

Once initially reported I don't believe you have to follow through do you, as long as it is on record?

A number of years ago, I was driving northbound over the Lion’s Gate Bridge in Vancouver when, due to heavy traffic, we all came to a stop. The driver of the car in front of me wasn’t paying attention and didn’t maintain her foot on the brake and her car rolled back into mine. Again, the damage was minor but we did exchange info with the driver ahead of me. She noted that there was minor damage on both vehicles and suggested that we each look after our own repairs, if needed. She noted that she wasn’t going to report the accident and suggested I do the same.

After I got home and discovered the damage was more extensive than what I had originally thought, I decided to report the accident. When I got to the police station to file my statement, I was told that she had already reported the accident and that I had driven into her and caused all the damage. When the police realized that the accident had happened on the upward slope of the bridge and the details of the damages, they noted that yes, she was probably the one that caused the accident and would record it as such. I had no witness volunteers, so initially it was her word against mine.

My suggestion is to report the accident as it happened with your witnesses to validate your claim. Then if she ever tries to reverse claim the accident, you have done your due diligence.

Since you were a policeman and you informed her of this fact I feel it your duty to report the incident.

I do understand that there may be a load of paper work for some desk clerk to fill in but that is not the point. Once a record has been made it is on file. It may never be used BUT just because she does not report it; it does not make it right.

I was impressed in the way you photographed her and the vehicle damage.

That’s an interesting one.

I would likely report it to ICBC; as you say, she may or may not have a licence, may or may not be insured, if she has both and even if you don’t claim, there is now a note on her insurance if needed for any reason.

I will save all my judgements to myself, sure you will get lots of free opinions!

I know how I would have dealt with this kind of attitude when I was a Customs Officer in the UK, probably very similar to how you would have handled it as a Cop.

I recently had a similar situation, however not as confrontational as yours.

I usually back into a stall, however on this occasion, because I would be in and out of a store, I did not. I backed out of my parking spot, and stopped to proceed forward.

Before I could move forward, I saw a car backing toward my truck. The car was about eight feet from hitting my truck. I leaned on my horn, and the car never stopped until it hit my truck. The driver got out of the car, and said she was sorry, I was in her blind spot. I said it happens, we can exchange information.

Her passenger got out, (a man) and said the dent in my truck, was there before, that she had no caused it. I said no it was not, he said it must have been. I said let's cut the bullshit, my truck was hit. He said the dent was too high, the part of her car could not have caused it. (In the mean time she kept telling this man to get back into the car.) I told him, I do not care which part of her car caused th dent, the car hit my truck.

She apologized for the man, said her car hit mine, it was her fault. I said, not to worry it happens, and we exchanged information.

I have a near perfect driving record‎, with 43% deduction. Because the dent was shallow, I thought could be bumped out, the paint was not marked, I should not bother to file. I tried to tell her that but she would not answer the phone, was advised not to talk to me.

Because of that, and the attitude of the man, I filed a‎ claim. I insisted ICBC have an examiner look at my truck. The Examiner, found damage I had not seen. The lady filed, and told ICBC, I was backing up, and she did not see or hear me. Basically, I had backed into her path.‎ I was responsible.

Because ‎there were no independent witnesses, the situation became a he said she said problem. ICBC, adjudicated fault at 50/50. My cost was half my deductible, $250.00, not a problem, I was concerned with my insurance, and driving record. The damage, which I thought was minor, cost $2,065.00 to repair.

Because of my near perfect driving record, my insurance will not be affected, if I do not have any incidents in the next couple of years.

The lady is the head of a Community organization. I was contacted by one of the staff to help out in one of the events they organize. I responded no, not any more, Because of her, and questioned her honesty.

She contacted me as she was offended. I thought she was dishonest and had to report this fact to her review board. I told her she was honest at the scene, but not honest when she filed her claim, perhaps influenced by the confrontational passenger.

Your situation was witnessed, so your driving record will not be affected and it will not cost you. The lady may or not lose her license. She obviously needs an attitude adjustment. What looks like a scuff, these days can be costly to you down the road.

I would report the incident to ICBC.

She doesn’t deserve to be on the road. If her driving skills are lacking so are her manners and her behaviour is outrageous.

I have some sympathy with her attitude toward the large pickup trucks that are more and more prevalent on our roads today. I realize they have just as much right to be there as I do but parking lots are not designed to accommodate them and I see many people who obviously do not have the skill to operate them safely. I don’t park anywhere near them if I can avoid it.

Send a note to the Superintendent re a possible re-exam. Could be deteriorating cognition.

RoadSafetyBC (aka the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles) will accept unsolicited reports of driver capability, but only if you know who the driver is. I didn't and she refused to co-operate by sharing her name and address.

If have found RSBC to be very unhelpful in the past, even to the point of being obstructionist.

The elderly lady with the attitude of ‘not my fault’ needs to be set straight before she triggers a more serious vehicle incident in which possible life is endangered!

I am sorry that you ended up on the wrong side of this situation but I feel it should used as a learning lesson for her, which necessitates your further involvement. Her comments about police in general, “….nothing better to do…..”, in my books, indicates her lack of respect/consideration for others whether in positions of power or not!

If it turns out that she should no longer be driving, so be it! People like her have a direct effect on me via car insurance costs and driving is a privilege, not a given right, that comes with a standard level of expectation involving knowledge, responsibility and proven skill…..which needs to be maintained by those holding a valid drivers licence!!

I admire your sense of self control when this happened and it is an inspiration to us all but by letting the situation go (which would be the easiest route) the person causing this suffers no consequences and will continue with the ‘I am right and you are wrong’ attitude which is detrimental to us all!

Absolutely you should have reported her! Had her attitude been "oh dear- here's my information- my apologies - I'll pay for your damages" then you wouldn't have involved the police or icbc. Since her attitude was flip and she clearly had no intention of accepting any blame, nail her down to accepting responsibility.

She sounds like someone who has gone through life pushing her way around, being mouthy and not accepting any responsibility for her mistakes. She deserves no less than being forced into acting like a responsible member of the community.

Been here and done that. My difference is I’m not a cop. I didn’t leave and called one of your brothers.

I did get a picture of the guys and car. My advantage was the dash cam footage of the other car backing into me while I let/waited for a boy on bicycle to get into better safe area.

I didn’t mention this them because of the distraction of the guy blaming me for not moving out of his way. That still ticks me off. When I looked into his car, a quick scan I saw what looked like a alcohol mix (orange drinks that was half empty).

The guy decided that my fault my damage I eat both and quickly left. This I mentioned to the dispatcher, I didn’t smell any alcohol, didn’t see any alcohol although the driver seemed a bit evasive and nervous. That I had video of him back into me . When the policed looked at the video the claim he showed signs of impairment.

I was told later a patrol came across the guy and someone decided to tell someone else he may be drinking. Sure enough the cop was through and found a couple a empty coolers and took him off the road.

Yes I was glad to have made the call. Thank fully I never went to court

Here's what I'd do: report it to the local authorities with all supporting information and statements.

I'd be concerned if I didn't (or you don't), one of her assertive and arrogant know it all relatives would create a story making you the culprit and the first question to you is likely "why didn't you report it?" I

hope it goes well and fortunately for you, you're aware of how easy things like this can go sideways if you don't look after your own responsibilities.

Thanks for sharing a real live situation and I'm looking forward to hearing about the outcome.

I suggest you obtain witnesses info.

Contact ICBC with details on your part of incident submitted witnessed info to them.

Have you got name and any insurance info regarding the other party involved? Was there a recording of the other license plate?

I know things happen so suddenly I feel you have done your duty on your part and did what is right

Were police involved other than you? A file created? I am very interested in the out come of replies.

Parking lots are very scary. People are like cattle. They always walk behind vehicles no care what so ever

Well, I have comments on parking lot drivers as long as a serpentine belt but to your question directly, ‘Yes’, you should direct this to ICBC. Although there may appear to be only a surface scruff on your plastic bumper/fender there is the potential for hidden structure damage underneath that only a close inspection might reveal.

Any concerns towards or regards for your ‘sparring partner’ should be irrelevant.

After following this site for several years, I cannot recall a time when so many individuals voiced (essentially) the same opinion.

Would be good to see you approach this issue in two different ways, simultaneously:

1. By submitting a report to the local RCMP Detachment, if for no other reason than generating a file number. Will be interesting to see if they actually do anything useful with it.

2. By submitting an ICBC damage claim. This will launch a process where it will become incumbent on ICBC to contact the other driver, and obtain their information and a statement from them as to what occurred, in their view. I think that having that RCMP file number would help to move things in the right direction. ICBC will in all likelihood ask for each of you, separately, to attend at the local Claims centre, with your vehicles where the damage (however minor) will be documented.

But beyond that, it's my belief that ICBC (Insurance Division) will relay information to ICBC (Licensing Division) regarding the circumstances, with consequent action that will not only assign blame (while getting your truck fixed) but will lead to the other driver being re-assessed as to whether they should still be allowed to hold a Driver License. 

I would have collected the information from those who offered it and then attempted to file a police report against her for causing the accident and failing to remain at the scene. Being somewhat cynical based on my previous interactions with police in similar situations, I would expect that there would be a 50/50 chance that I'd be told to forget it. I'd then make an appointment with ICBC to file a claim to ensure that she was financially liable for the incident even if/when the police chose to do nothing.

I know that ICBC used to offer the guilty party the chance to "take care of it on their own" thus preserving their discount. This is a practice that I strongly disagree with so I'd refuse to agree to this route in order to ensure that the cost to the woman was maximized.

Call me vindictive, but when you don't take responsibility for your mistake, I will do my best to come down on you "like a ton of bricks."

As someone who worked as a DriveAble assessor and dealt with seniors in varying stages of Cognitive challenge I see some very disturbing things in the woman's responses to the situation as it unfolded. The first was her sense of entitlement to have you move yourself and get out of her way when she attempted to back up. This is not a normal viewpoint. Her comments about you parking your truck elsewhere were also very odd. But the most concerning thing to me was her refusal to identify herself or exchange information and to act as though what she had done wrong was minimal and that you were effectively picking on her. These are common things that I encountered in my DriveAble assessment duties.

If this was me I would report this to ICBC as well as to RoadSafety BC if possible for the public good. In all likelihood this will happen again for her but next time it might be a child she backs over or some other vulnerable person/animal. The picture you took and her license plate info should allow someone to make sure she is even legally still out there. But that is just my 2 cents worth. It takes a village to raise a child and also to help our elders retain independence with dignity but not at the cost of bad impact on others.

Sorry to hear about the unpleasant exchange with a very unhappy person.

Like you say a small scuff is forgivable but the person’s rudeness not so much. My best advice (since you asked) is to document date time and witness statements etc. and put it into a file just in case.

Then forget it all happened and forgive that person so you can move on.

It is not worth letting her control your feelings, emotions and well being. You are merely a small speed bump in her rocky road of life, for her this type of exchange is likely common place.

I’m sure you will hear lots of comments regarding to get her in court. Make her pay; you sound like a nice person and I believe you will be over this sooner and feel better if you just let it go.

That’s it. My words of wisdom for the day.

Just a small scuff maybe, but given the woman’s attitude, I would get an estimate for the repair & send it to her with the proviso that she caused the accident therefore should pay for the repair. If not....I will tell her that I will have to inform my insurance agent. Then of course that puts some pressure on her to resolve the issue rather than be faced with questions about her driving ability from ICBC etc.

Call it revenge if you like but that’s the way I would feel about it.

I admire your patience in dealing with a rude and self-possessed senior citizen who obviously has some emotional issues. As a former police officer you must have had a belly full of this sort of nonsense during active service. Police officers obviously must have thick skins to deal with the lowest common denominators in our society. No wonder police officers are accused of being over- zealous in the performance of their duties. There is lots of scum out there to be dealt with.

This lady's behaviour is inexcusable and she is certainly old enough to know better. Shame on her! Given her age and propensity to be inexcusably rude she has probably exhibited this behaviour for a very long time. Why stop now?

Don't we all have a right to vent our vitriol on whomever and whenever we wish? Apparently this is acceptable in the U.S. White House. But then that is hardly a normal cultured environment. Sadly this kind of attitude is pervasive in too much social discourse today. Our society has run off the rails.

I wish you well in bringing this lady - if we can even call her that - to account. She could certainly do with an attitude adjustment.

Definitely report it to ICBC as she may need to be retested for safe driving.

Many seniors are still good drivers but many are also not! My grandma was driving in her 80s but ended up having a few fender benders and not remembering how they happened. Turns out she was in early stages of Alzheimer’s.

As a previous trained driving instructor I taught many seniors who have been sent the letter for re testing from ICBC. They failed their first exam then cone to me for training. All I have to say is thank goodness I had a brake on my passenger side when giving them a lesson!

So yes report as there could be many factors with the senior driver! Maybe she was grumpy and a safe driver but maybe she has medical reasons for her crash? Could be saving someone else from a worse crash by reporting:)

Sad since if she loses her licence she most likely loses her independence:( But.......?

If it were me in your position, I would have very little hesitation in contacting ICBC and probably the local Detachment as well. I wouldn't be editorializing the incident to either authority, just providing a statement of fact and the photographic evidence.

When my late father was around 80 years old, I had been hospitalized in Kelowna. My about-to-be wife was driven to KGH to visit me by my father. She related to me that she had been quite worried about her safety, as Dad hadn't seemed to fully aware of the traffic situation around him and his vehicle. He had been a licensed driver for over 60 years at that time, with very few incidents.

Knowing this, I would feel duty bound to report any driver that doesn't appear to understand what rules have to be followed, including the duty to provide information to another driver whose vehicle has been damaged in an incident.

This story frustrates me, but certainly doesn’t surprise me.

I for one am so sick of hearing about elderly people who should no longer be driving. You often hear of the car parked in front of a store and they put the car in drive instead of reverse. Last one I heard of a young boy was killed.

The fact that when she backed up you honked and she stopped indicates to me that she heard the horn and knew it was directed at her as opposed to being directed at someone somewhere else in the parking lot. The fact that she then said to heck with it and started backing up again is just plain crazy to me.

Ultimately we as a society need to start treating driving as a privilege, not a right. We need a system that can retest anyone, anytime at random, and maybe weighted so the older you get or more accidents you have the more likely you will be requested to be retested. Any driver should be able to prove competency at any point they have a license.

Obviously that type of change has a lot of political implications, and may never happen. So with regards to this situation and without knowing for sure if she should be behind the wheel or not, I think you need to report the accident for sure so at least there is a record of it.

All of this is not even touching the fact that she seemed so rude and clearly had no idea what just transpired!