Tag Archives: Bad Driving

What not to do – Nissan Frontier Lessons

I’m stepping away from my 300ZX search for a bit to reflect on some other Nissan events in my life.  In late 2006 I traded in my GMC Sonoma (my least favorite vehicle ever) and my 1999 BMW M3 on a Silver 2007 Nissan Frontier SE Crew Cab.  It was the first time I’d ever purchased a brand new vehicle for myself and I loved it, it had plenty of horsepower and it had a 6 speed manual transmission so that just added to the fun-to-drive factor.  It wasn’t a sports car by any means but I enjoyed driving it.

In late June of 2007 it met an untimely demise due to my stupidity and aggressiveness on the road.  I was coming home from bowling with my co-workers on a rainy Thursday night.  It had been raining it seemed every day that June so everything was water logged and the roads were no exception.  I came to a point in the road where it was going to merge pretty soon and I was in the lane that needed to merge.  There were 2 or 3 cars that I could have either fallen in behind to merge or speed up and try to pass, I chose the latter.  I sped up to at least 60 mph (in a 45 mph zone) to pass these cars.  The road at this point dips down a hill then up and at the bottom of that hill I encountered a huge puddle of water filling the lane that I was in.  I hit the water at a much too high rate of speed and hydroplaned out of control across the other lane (thank God there were no cars coming that direction) and through a fence before it rolled upside down.  There I sat belted in my seat feeling like a complete moron for what I’d just done…  I remember thinking as I was skidding out of control towards the ditch how I was going to high-tail it out of there as soon as the skid came to a stop.  When I was upside down in the truck I knew the option to get the heck out of there wasn’t available.  I turned off the truck, unbuckled my seatbelt and crawled out of the passenger window into the mud waiting to face whatever consequences would come.

One of the guys that I tried to pass had stopped at the scene, he was a local fireman but was less there to help me out than to make sure he was around to tell the cops about my careless driving.  The police arrived and made sure I was OK then called the tow truck.  I had called Shelley as soon as I got out of the truck to let her know what happened so by this time she was on the scene and I was sitting in her minivan with her and our boys waiting for the tow truck.  The police issued me a careless driving citation which I completely earned, I actually think I got off pretty easy.  The tow truck finally arrived and had a pretty tough time getting the Frontier out from where it was.  They did quite a bit more damage to it trying to yank it out from behind the fence over a small concrete wall.  It was painful for me to watch and I’d like to think that I learned my lesson, I definitely no longer try to beat everyone to the merge anymore.

My insurance company, Progressive, ended up totaling out the pickup and I was on my way back to the Nissan dealer to try and find another truck just like it.  I guess July is the end of the model year for them and it was pretty slim pickings on their lot and at the other dealers they partnered with.  The 2008 models wouldn’t be in for a while so I had to choose from what they had available.  I ended up picking a maroon SE Crew Cab automatic, which I still have now.  I have learned to love that maroon truck just as much as the silver one but will always have regrets for what I did to that poor truck.

Here are some pictures I took while it was at the tow company shop-