The Accident On Langata Road
My new Toyota Kluger got less than 2 weeks on the road before some jackass rammed into it from behind. On the way down Langata Road, between two meetings, the car in front was attempting a completely reckless maneuvre, forcing me to stop. Familiar with the risks of driving in Nairobi, I had kept a sufficient distance to stop. Unfortunately, the driver behind hadn’t.
After uttering some of the 4-letter words that were inevitable in such a situation, I got out to check the damage. The back door and bumper did not look nice, to say the least. The car behind was in a far worse state. Fortunately, the driver himself had not been injured.
Although the cops took their sweet time to arrive, I was positively surprised when they finally got there. Kenyan police have a reputation somewhere between horrendous and despicable, and encounters with them are generally dreaded. The ones that arrived did not live up that reputation in any way. On the contrary, I was overwhelmed with their politeness and professionalism! They handled the situation in a very correct and friendly manner, with no money changing hands, or hints about “kitu kidogo” (bribes).
My last interaction with Kenyan police, was many years ago, when I was reporting a mugging. Getting an abstract then, meant sending somebody to make photocopies of the abstract form (a value-added service that by no means was free). After recording my statement at Langata Police Station, I discovered the procedure had changed altogether: These days, they will ask you to download and print the forms from the Kenya Police web site, and bring them to the police station. Better than in the old days, although I do see some room for improvement still..
After getting the police abstract, the next thing I dreaded was going to the insurance company. That became my next positive surprise!
Chartis insurance have a good reputation, and obviously for a good reason! After assessing the damage, they simply told me to get the back door, the bumper, the boot and the left back light changed. They then made a few phone calls, and gave me the directions to Motorways, in Industrial Area. Guess it was especially easy for them, as I was blame-free in the accident and they would have someone else to forward the bill to! 🙂
My third big and positive surprise came at the garage. Only 4-5 days to get the spare parts from Japan. I may even have my car back in less than 2 weeks!
Back to a rental car for a few days, then. For now, a slightly worn-down Toyota Corolla, although I’ve been promised something better by the beginning of next week. Guess I’ll have to cope with a week or 2 of sitting close to the tarmac while driving..