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Holy fucking hell.

"A two-car crash at 2:40 a.m. yesterday on Hyde Park Avenue at the Milton Street Bridge killed an unidentified 24-year-old Hyde Park man and injured four others, police said."

That was my car, driven by a RelayRides driver :(. Allegedly, he drove into the oncoming traffic lane, collided head-on, and died in the resulting collision.

RelayRides is obviously being super helpful and have already submitted an insurance claim on my behalf and are handling all of the financial issues, but gah. I really wish people would drive safely.
State police are still investigating the causes of four unrelated car accidents that killed one man and hospitalized several other people over the weekend, officials said yesterday. A two-car crash at...
Liz Fong-Jones's profile photoJelena Pjesivac-Grbovic (Pjesa)'s profile photoMichael Crusoe's profile photo謝予穎's profile photo
Wow, scary. Is the car repairable? Even if it is - I'm not sure I'd be comfortable driving a car where someone died. Gives me the shivers. :(
+Amy Roberts All indications point to totaled, but I haven't seen the car yet. What you said about the creeps :/
+Sai I would prefer not to speculate on reasons, because of the unlikely possibility that there might be litigation.
How awful. Good luck with RelayRides and your insurance company. I hope they don't charge it against your insurance rating :-(.
+Amanda Walker Won't be charged against my driving record or against my insurance; RelayRides maintains separate insurance for when my car is being borrowed.
+Liz Fong-Jones As a general rule, insurance will declare a car totaled anytime there is even the slightest damage to the frame, because frame damage is expensive to repair.
+Desiree Arceneaux Yeah. The ding on my car from a month ago? $2000 in damage on a $7000 car. Little bit gah that I paid the $500 deductible only to only get to use the car for another few weeks.

If the driver was wearing a seatbelt and still died, then this suggests that the front compartment is irreparably damaged. And if he didn't wear a seatbelt, things might be different in terms of the state of the car, but yeah, why would you not wear a seatbelt? >.<
+Jean-Baptiste Queru Yeah, agreed. My first thoughts were for the family of the person who died and for the family that was struck :/

I can be out a few thousand dollars if I have to, but life is precious and irrecoverable :/
+Liz Fong-Jones You'd be amazed how many people fail to wear a seatbelt, and without a seatbelt you are almost guaranteed to die in an otherwise completely survivable impact -- head goes into windshield, neck snaps. It's actually one of the things we EMTs are trained to look for when we're approaching an accident scene.
That must have been a hell of a phone call. \:
+Desiree Arceneaux - It's sad that many people fail to realize the severe violence of an impact at city street speeds (not highway speeds). Those impressive IIHS crash tests are done at street speeds, because higher speeds are essentially too hard to design crash resistance for. A 40mph crash is equivalent to a 54ft free fall.
Ack, thinking of you and the victims. Hope those in the other car come out OK too.
+Riff Zifnab Yeah. I knew something was very wrong when I got an voicemail saying I should call RelayRides's VP of customer service on her personal cellphone regardless of the time. I was thinking either accident or stolen car but never imagined this :/
+Liz Fong-Jones At least RR are trying to handle it well? Must be a pretty bad situation for them too. :-/
+Jean-Baptiste Queru FWIW, sobering stat: most motorcycle deaths and injuries occur in city traffic, @ <40 mph, within a few miles of home. Highways are more fatal per accident but have way fewer accidents. (Citation: Hurt Report.)
Horrible, sorry to hear that. Wishing the victims the best.
exclamation bleeped out That's terrible. I am so sorry.
+eKate K You can curse if you want to. This is a pretty appropriate situation for it.
I don't even have an expletive harsh enough for this, I just. Wow. I'm so sorry, that's horrible.
Liz - I'm Shelby, the founder of RelayRides. We were clearly devastated when we heard the news today - First and foremost for the family of the driver, but of course, for the inconvenience this will cause to you as well. We 100% commit to making sure that everyone involved in this tragedy is taken care of as well as humanly possible. I'll give you a shout tomorrow - please don't hesitate to contact me if you need anything.
System needs an "oh fuck" button. :-/
+Eli Brandt Or some signal for "I appreciate that you posted this / sympathize / etc" distinct from "I enjoy or support the contents of what you posted/reshared". +1 / like conflates badly. :-/
+Sai agree. Dunno how to do the UI... some places people comment with . or similar to mean this but . won't fly as a UI label.

Maybe allow the poster to replace the +1 button with a brief expression of how they're feeling, which readers can express empathy with?
+Eli Brandt Did you mean literal period or is that a typo? I have that as an idiosyncratic IM minimal ACK (gotten from +Alex Fink), but have never seen it elsewhere.

One thing you could do would be to not replace the +1, but just show a small radial 8 basic emotions selector after click, to reinforce that +1 can mean any of various things that are appreciative of the post but not necessarily just happy in content.
Literal period as the body of the comment, yep. I see it on Metafilter and some parts of Livejournal.

A predefined emotion menu might be a nice simple solution. I wonder how a menu of facial expressions would compare to one of words; would it feel more like a response and less like a statement?
+Eli Brandt You might need both. People really suck at recognizing facial emotions, and cultures vary in how they stereotype emotional faces — eg Japanese vs Americans overfocus on eyes and mouth respectively. (FWIW, proving the former statement was part of my master's thesis.)
I was thinking that the fuzziness of faces might be useful, to reduce worrying about if I'm expressing not quite the appropriate shade of emotion, or the menu doesn't have quite what I feel. But the tradeoffs might not work out well. Faces being much harder to read for some people than for others is an accessibility issue too.

That's an interesting difference. Does it show up in how illustrations of faces are stylized?

(Suddenly I feel how off-topic I am from the person who died. Blug.)
+Eli Brandt If the stylization is explicitly cultural, that's just linguistically handled (unless we're talking fusiform lesions or the like). If it's not — eg Duchenne smile around eyes — then yes people will still suck. Re shades… it's complicated, but tl;dr you should be able to narrow down to a handful of emotion-components, or even just two. Cf. Ekman and two-factor theory.

(And yeah… even when wanting to express empathy, I geek out. Hazard of it being my academic interest.)
Sorry to hear about this.
That's really awful. I feel badly for everyone involved. It's another reminder of how horrifyingly routine it is for people to be killed in traffic accidents in this country.

Also +Shelby Clark, kudos for learning from AirBnB's example of how to handle an incident like this - quickly, personally, and with a commitment to helping those affected.
Wow... just wow. Thinking of all involved.
A little belated but... wow. That's just an amazing amount of awful packed up in one day.
Hi +Liz Fong-Jones. I'm contacting you from Auto Rental News magazine. I'm sorry to hear about the unfortunate news. I would be interested in talking to you about your experience in dealing with the accident (even just to discuss). We cover the peer-to-peer car sharing market. My email is
+Joanne Tucker Until any legal issues are resolved, I can't offer much in the way of opinion, only what factually has happened thus far. Do not want to speculate, for obvious reasons.
Hey, I'm about to share my car in RelayRides and I'm wondering whether they made you whole here--nothing in the news says anything. Obviously, I'll back slowly away if they didn't.
+Babu Mengelepouti I signed a confidentiality agreement regarding the settlement itself. Relayrides' insurer paid for a lawyer but I also hired my own at my own expense, for which I wasn't reimbursed.
Perhaps a question that doesn't breach confidentiality: Now that all is said and done are you still renting your car on relay rides? 
+Liz Fong-Jones Does that advice depend on your particular history, or would it apply if this hadn't happened (but with current RR policy)?
+Sai I'm not a lawyer, so I'm not really qualified to answer that question as it would probably constitute practicing law to advise others.
Also, it's not RR's policy that matters - it's what the letter of state law and case law says about who's liable in a carsharing accident.
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