As it turns out, the accident was totally not my fault. The woman in the car in front of me called me today and I asked her what she remembers about the sequence of events. She said she’s absolutely sure that the car behind me went into me first and then he sent me flying so that I went into her. She knew this because she first heard the “boom” and then she felt her own car get hit after that.
It felt good to know I actually hadn’t hit her first. Until she told me that I wasn’t actually sure what happened. The scenario I had pieced together was that I had hit her first, then he hit me from behind and then I hit her a second time. But actually I slammed on the breaks without hitting her and then he hit me.
I thought: What does that do to the lesson learned about teaching me to keep a safe distance from the car in front. I realized that it really doesn’t matter. Even if I am in the right, it’s a good lesson to learn to keep that distance and I will be even more careful now that this has happened to me. It won’t avoid the kind of accident that I had if someone rams into me from behind but it’s just generally a good lesson.