Tuesday, March 20, 2007

My First Car Accident

I had hoped Tuesday would be better than Monday, and it was better until I was rear-ended driving home tonight.

Am I okay, you ask? For the most part, yes. I feel like my brain rattled around a bit, and my knee slammed into my steering column pretty hard, so that will likely bruise, but mostly I'm shaken.

How is the car? The car is good. Cosmetically, there are a few scratches in the rear bumper, one very tiny dent in the license plate hollow. A thumbnail size piece of my (twelve-years-old-and-crazy-ugly) license plate frame is chipped. I'm not sure if there is any damage to the car underneath the bumper, but I think not. Dad will definitely look later.

So what happened? I was driving home, coming into Lebanon on Airport Road between 2nd Street and the Highway when the cars in front of me all stopped suddenly for the light. I'd allowed a marginal distance, but with the application of brakes, gritting of teeth, and a load of determination, I narrowly missed rear-ending the red Mustang in front of me (sad thought: I was more worried about damaging the Mustang than my own car). My tires locked up, and I'm sure I left some marks on the pavement. Just as I stopped completely, I saw the cloud of smoke and burned rubber float over me. A second later, I heard more tires screeching and flew forward. My foot never left the brake. I was not going to hit the car in front of me. I was not going to become a sandwich. The sound of the impact was impressive--that noise alone scared the shit out of me. Surprisingly, the airbag did not deploy. I pulled into the next available driveway, exchanged information with the woman who rear-ended me, and examined my car. I thought she'd put the trunk under my hood by all the noise and jarring, but nope... no dents to speak of...

I don't know how fast she was going, but I'd stopped. If that's what an impact feels like at 5 or 10mph, I can't imagine how painful and frightening 5o, 60, or 70mph must be, and I am sure I don't want to find out. Heck, I don't even want to drive to work tomorrow.

Actually, the weirdest/coolest part of the accident was my pop can. I had it sitting in a cup-holder in my dash/console. The cup-holder slide-tray thingy slid forward with the impact, and the pop can dented in about an inch.

Oh, and the brakes? Yeah... remember that I got new ones last week. Talk about small miracles...

The accident could have been so much worse. You can't imagine the thanks I've sent up already or the thanking I have yet to do.

3 comments:

Mom of Three said...

Glad you're okay! Whew!

Those things will shake you up for a long time mentally. Just remember to take deep, long breaths if you start to stress.

The Guy Who Writes This said...

Isn't it amazing how loud accidents are? Glad you are OK.

Javier Hoppes said...

The loud and screeching sound during a car accident is the most traumatic of all. When I had my first car accident, I wasn’t neither bruised nor hurt in any way, but the memory and the sound has haunted me even now. I hope you were able to recover quite well from your car accident.

-Javier Hoppes