Well, I was in a collision today. My 1995 Toyota Avalon is damaged on the front driver's side. I was coming home from the university during rush hour and I decided to take the expressway to avoid traffic lights. The route was essentially the same, except I replaced a segment of it that has a few dozen traffic lights with a slightly longer route that had none. Upon exiting the expressway, I took the service road to take a specific exit that took me to the parkway that I would have went onto the other way, but I did not make it. The exit goes into sort of a loop with trees blocking direct visibility of the road ahead. If you look at aerial imagery of the intersection of two major highways or a simple map, such a thing would resemble a four petal flower or bow, with the exits/entrances being on the edges of the pedals/ribbon. Anyway, I reduced my velocity from 55 mph to 45 mph, the speed limit as indicated by a sign. 2-5 seconds before the collision, I looked down at my speedometer and verified that I was traveling at 45 mph. I looked up at the street ahead and everything was normal. Then, I saw brake lights ahead and applied my brakes. The right lane (I was in the left) was more clear, so I checked to see if I could move over to it. I checked my mirror and my blind spot, I turned on my signal and began to move over. I looked ahead again, only to see another vehicle rapidly approaching mine and I realized that it was at a complete stop. I applied pressure to the brake pedal as hard as I could. When I was 10 feet away from the other vehicle, the ABS disengaged and I could hear the tires screeching. I narrowly avoided missing the vehicle, with the first foot of the driver side of my bumper striking the rear bumper of the other vehicle's passenger side. I heard a bop-like noise. I was in shock as the front of my vehicle had struck another vehicle. The cars ahead of the one mine struck then started to move. The driver of that car moved forward and over to the side of the road and I followed, parking behind her. She went out of her car first. I turned off my high beams, my radio and then my car. I got out of my car and went over to her, asking her if she was okay, if everyone was okay and if there was anyone else in her vehicle. She replied that she was fine and that there was no one with her in her vehicle. To cut a long story short, her vehicle and my Avalon's front bumper both sustained minimal damage, being scoffed at best. The rest of my Avalon, however, was not so lucky. The driver-side headlight was smashed, the hood was bent, the forward part of the driver's side (between the front wheels and the bumper) was warped and a piece of metal (which I believe was from the wheel well) was making contact with the tire. After the officer at the scene told me to move my car, I drove it along the exit/entrance ramp over to the side of the road out of traffic, but it was towed due to the piece of metal making contact with the tire. I was told that it was a "fender bender." The air bags did not deploy. Given that the ABS disengages at 30 mph and that I was 10 ft from her car when I started hearing the tires screech, I estimate that the impact velocity was 20 mph, which meant that the airbags had no reason to deploy. My seat belt performed its function marvelously. My parents came to pick me up, the officer at the scene wrote a police report and the woman from Geico told my mother over the phone that it was "unusual for someone so young to be such a good driver." Despite that, I feel terrible. Not only did I damage my beloved car, the car in which my late grandfather rode with me when I was young, the car that has been in my family for 12 years (and two generations), I inconvenienced another human being who was just going about her day. And not only did I do that, but I should have avoided the collision and failed to avoid it. When I looked forward again after beginning an avoidance maneuver as a safety precaution and saw that her vehicle was at a standstill, I realized that at the then current rates of change of my vehicle's position and velocity, the cars were going to collide in a very short period of time. If I had turned the wheel somewhat more than I did (and I could have), I would have avoided the collision altogether and we would have both been free to go about our days, but instead I turned the wheel only slightly more than I already had and froze, causing the collision. I have been thinking that if the speed limit was 40 mph instead of 45 mph, my Avalon's brakes' energy absorption would have caused a much greater reduction in velocity, such that I would have been approaching her vehicle at a lower velocity, not froze and had the necessary time to respond. I have also thought that if my Avalon had better brakes, I would have also been able to avoid the collision. I cannot change the past, but I know that I can change the future. I plan to go home by routes that give me better visibility of the road ahead from now on (those include every route but that one, which my mother had thought was a dangerous route because of the particular point where the collision occurred, several months before the collision occurred) and after my Avalon is repaired, I would like to upgrade its brakes, so that I will be able to avoid collisions in similar situations, should I ever find myself in one. I want the brakes' longevity to remain the same, but their force of friction to be enhanced. I believe that this could be done with special disc brakes that cover the entire disc to maximize their surface area, which will help, because while surface area does not affect the brakes' frictional force, it does affect the rate at which the brakes' temperature increases, which can affect the brakes' frictional force, particularly when the brakes' contact surface melts/sublimates (I am not sure whether they turn into a gas or a liquid) lubricating the discs. While that does not necessarily cause a brake failure as one might think as a result of the rates of cooling of the brakes, the rate of evacuation of the created lubricant, etcetera, it should modify the brakes' constant of friction, making it smaller, making the brakes apply a smaller force, making the braking distance increase from its theoretical value. I recall reading about such brakes at some site about car bibles, so they should exist. That leaves the question, does such a brake upgrade exist for my Toyota Avalon?