We were supposed to fly to Reno yesterday (January 28th) for a week, staying at a condo we'd reserved. I was looking forward to trying out a Heavenly and Squaw Valley after all the snow they've had. I've never skied around Tahoe. Also of course we were going to make the rounds of the Reno casinos, which we actually prefer to Vegas. I had to cancel everything, non-refundable at this point, due to an auto accident last Sunday. The bottom line of this post is a plug for driving a modern car with the latest safety advances. In our case it was a 2016 Subaru Outback, our first new car in 14 years. One of the doctors who saw photos of the car said "Twenty years ago you wouldn't be alive." I've posted a picture(s) of our car post-accident, but I always seem to struggle with getting pictures to post correctly. One of the ambulance EMTs took them. My wife and I are both careful drivers. Haven't had a ticket or an at-fault accident that we can remember, and only one that was the other guy's fault about 10 or 12 years ago (minor). We were driving home to our Seattle suburb from a week-long stay on Lake Chelan in eastern Washington last Sunday. Around the town of Leavenworth, just on the east side of the Cascades, it started to snow. The Washington DOT site said only "traction tires advised" for U.S. 2, which s the lowest precautionary designation. It was still snowing about 10 miles west of Leavenworth, but there wasn't yet much accumulation on the road. We were well spaced going about 40 mph with a pickup ahead of us and a car behind. Approaching a curve, a van came around it heading eastbound, lost control, slid across the center lane (it is only a two lane road) and collided with us head-on (offset frontal collision on my side. I was driving). He was probably also going about 40, but we don't know. We were pushed off the road into an embankment and came to an abrupt stop. He pinballed off and slid to a stop in the middle of the road. It's so wonderful that so many people are good and helpful. We ended up spending until 1 am in two different hospitals, moved by ambulance. People on the scene made sure we were conscious and warm and didn't move until an ambulance arrived. The EMTs had to use the jaws to rip off my door, and my wife was taken out the back. I've got three fractured neck vertebra, a fractured lower back vertebra, and a fractured sternum. My wife has a fractured sternum and severe abdominal bruising and hematomas. I've got to wear a neck brace that supports itself by pressing on my fractured sternum 24/7 for at least 6 weeks. We're just thrilled to be here and have only injuries that with time should (hopefully) fully heal. I've got a bigger selection of prescription pills than I think I've had cumulatively my entire life (pain, muscle relaxant, anxiety, nausea). Though I'm very active these are the first broken bones I've ever had. The first hospital would not tell us the condition of the other driver (privacy laws), but from what we heard he needed an arm sling and was released in the afternoon. He has no insurance, an invalid driver's license, and has avoided contact with the police or our insurance company since the accident. His immigration status is unknown because Washington Troopers aren't allowed to ask or check (report just says 26 year old Hispanic male). As a result, we get to do battle with our own insurance company. Like most folks, I'd never bothered to read our policy. I found it interesting now that I have to see that I pay 2/3 as much for underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage as I do for my primary liability coverage. That's a 67% premium that responsible drivers pay to support those who ignore our "insurance required" laws. Getting back to my first sentence, I don't think I'd be writing this if we hadn't been driving our new car (just turned 4000 miles). Our older ones lack so many of its safety features. That's the most critical lesson of our experience. So, if you're on the fence about replacing your old car, consider that it's not your driving that makes the difference, it might be theirs.