I was in a car accident two weeks ago. It was positively terrifying. It was just before 6am. I was heading to the gym. I was heading westbound, he was heading eastbound. He made a left-hand turn into the driveway of a business immediately in front of me. I don’t think I even had time to take my foot off the gas, I was already that close when he turned. For a split second, I thought he was going fast enough that he would make it across before I hit.
The airbag deployed. It felt like getting punched in the face. At least, what I imagine getting punched in the face would feel like, as I’ve never actually been punched in the face. I felt my jaw and my lip start to swell immediately. An airbag deploys via what is basically a controlled explosion. Inside your car. Near your face. There was smoke and the smell of gunpowder. Both cars ended up in a ditch on the side of the road. I narrowly missed hitting a fire hydrant. I was terrified as I went into the ditch (that I couldn’t see because of the airbag in my face) that my car was going to roll, but thankfully it stayed upright.
Once the car came to rest, I was still pretty much freaking out and full of adrenaline. I had the presence of mind to put the car into park, and lower the windows to get rid of some of the burning smell and smoke. I also elected to not move. At all. With the exception of my arms. I didn’t know how badly I was or was not injured, so I figured I’d play it extra safe and not move. I was at a bit of an angle in the ditch, so this was a bit difficult. I remember looking forward (the airbag had deflated by now) and noticing that my headlight was on, so at least that wasn’t a factor in the guy not seeing me. And with the windows open, that’s what I’d heard him say. That he hadn’t seen me. I don’t know how you don’t see an SUV with its functioning headlights on coming almost straight for you… There was a constant beeping going on. I thought it was my car, so I turned off the ignition. The beeping continued. I asked one of the guys about it, and it turns out it was the other guy’s car.
The police arrived quickly. There were also other people that came to ask if I was ok. Because I wasn’t moving my neck at all, I didn’t get to really see any of these people. Coincidentally enough, one of the officers was someone I’d graduated high school with! An ambulance arrived shortly thereafter. They stabilized my neck and got me onto a stretcher. This is when I heard that my trainer, Kate was there. (I was within spitting distance of the gym when the crash happened) One of the other gym members passed the crash on the way there and recognized me and told her about it, so she came to make sure I was ok.
I was whisked off to the hospital, where I was asked my name and date of birth a million times. I got 6 x-rays, a cat scan and even an ultrasound. They found no injuries, but gave me a scrip for inflammation and a muscle relaxer for the inevitable stiff and soreness.
I found out on Monday that the car is a total loss, which wasn’t a big surprise, but still makes me really disappointed. I really loved my car! I wanted her to last me another 7 years! I was not ready to be parted from my dear friend who has been so good to me for the past 8 years! So I’m going to have to go shopping for a car this weekend. I have to give the rental back next Friday, so I don’t have too much time to make a decision, which I do not like. I also do not like car payments, so I’m likely to get something used so I can just pay cash using the money the insurance is giving me for my car.
All in all, a terrifying, horrible experience. I am so grateful that it wasn’t worse, and to everyone who was there for me: Kate, my mom who picked me up from the hospital, the police and EMS, my cousin Rosie who kept texting me and kept me from being bored while waiting at the hospital, the hospital staff who were all very nice and professional, and Chris who pampered me for the next few days.