Money Costing Carelessness

Yesterday I was rushing, and being careless.  It has cost me $234 so far.

What did I do, well,  I was rushing to pick my son up from daycare, and I hit the curb while parking fast and hard.  I tore a dime size  hole in the sidewall rendering the tire destroyed.

So what is the context of this mistake.  Certainly this is a rare event.  I have done this before.  The first was in my first year of driving, and I think I did it again about 3-4 years ago. This time was all about me rushing home.  My wife left yesterday for her latest business trip.  She’ll be away for 10 days on this one, and I had left work early to get my son from daycare so that he could see mom off.

I was lucky yesterday for 2 things.  First, thank you dad for making sure that my sister and I know how to change a tire.  That was part of my parents rules for driving.

Dad also taught me how to do donuts in the car on snowy roads.  That was an advanced lesson that my sister did not get due to her rational view that in bad weather she would just not drive.  Well, in my case, it paid off.  I was driving once in Cincinnati bad around 2000 in a early winter day where the forecast was for rain.  Well, it was winter, and a few spots, like the one on the hill that my then girlfriend lived on had turned icy.  One second I am driving hill, at the correct speed for the conditions (a tad below the speed limit), and the next I am sliding across the hill.  Those advanced lessons from my dad helped me to know what it felt like to be sliding, and how to give me the best chance to recover.  Recover I did as the car found traction on the side of the road.  That was important, since I had only about a foot or two more, and I would have been rolling down a steep hill, sideways.  There were a few other close calls that knowing how to give myself the best chance to recover from a skid helped.  My sister still avoids driving in bad weather.

But back to my primary story.  So I quickly replaced the tire, which still took the better part of an hour while other parents and workers at the daycare came and left according to their schedules. This being the first time I did this with my current SUV, that I had to read the manual to figure out how to get the spare off.

I did all of this before I went to get the boy out of school. He was most definitely waiting for me.  The best part though is that I managed to get him home about 5 minutes before my wife left for the airport.  So, crisis averted.

Today, though, I took the day off of work to get a few chores done that are harder to do with him, and to check out the car.  It seems okay, but it is making a bit more noise while driving than before.  I am hoping this is simply road noise due to the fact that I am running on the donut ( aka spare tire), but I won’t know for sure until I get the tire back from the tire shop.  That will be later today.  If I am very unlucky then there will be another post with this being a more expensive repair.

A little bit of a postscript here, what do you call a spare tire.  A few of my uncles were auto mechanics, and dad helped out his brothers from time to time.  He’s quite good if not as good as his older brother who owned his own shop for a many years. They call spare tires donuts, but other folks have told me other common names for them.  I find stuff like this quite funny and interesting.  I’m a bit of a etymology enthusiast.


  1. I’ve done this not once, but twice myself. I feel so stupid when I do it because it’s easily avoidable if I take my time and have some more patience when driving.

    The first time had me hit a notoriously bad curb in front of my house and required me to switch the tire for a dummy and get a brand new set of two (because you don’t want the tread to be unbalanced on your tires). To make sure I’d be covered the next time this aggressive curb punctured my tire, I purchased insurance for <10% of the replacement cost of the tire. I knew I’d do it again just because of the curb.

    I was correct in thinking I’d pop it again and didn’t pay anything for the new tire. I hope I don’t hit the curb again but if I do, I’ve still got coverage.

    But I agree with you thanking your dad on teaching you how to replace a tire. That’s an invaluable lesson I’ll be sure to teach my kids as well. Basic car maintenance skills go a long way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I only have about 7,000 miles on this car and these tires, so buying one is no problem for me. The other times I did it were with more wear, so I purchased 2 as well. I guess that is a small grace there.

      I figure three times in 26 years of driving is not too bad. For that reason I skipped the insurance. Well see how well I did.


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