17 July 2012

Happy to be alive

It’s thanks to my guardian angel that I am able to make this post today. I had a very close call in an accident yesterday morning. I consider it a miracle that both I and the other driver walked away unscathed. My car is totalled, but I have to keep reminding myself that metal is replaceable, while people aren’t. I got to sleep in my own bed last night and hug my child, while I could have just as easily been lying in the morgue. I still get the tremors when I think about it. 

In short – I am at fault. It is a hard and horrible thing to admit. I was turning left at a busy intersection that unfortunately doesn’t have a protected left turn. Just opposite me was another large vehicle making a left turn as well. I thought I could see around him although my view must have been partially obscured. I proceeded to make my turn only to find a large commercial truck barrelling down on me. I stopped a fraction of a second too late and he attempted to swerve around me to avoid T-boning the car. The passenger side of his truck ended up hitting my front passenger headlight and continued to slice straight across the front of the car. It knocked the front bumper clean off as well as some of the hood, leaving my engine exposed. 

With adrenaline running on high, I was surprisingly calm and had the good sense to pull my car out of the intersection and onto the side of a road. After making sure my neck was okay, I hopped out and ran to the truck to make sure the other driver was alright – that was my chief concern. Thankfully, we both walked away without injury, albeit a bit of stiffness in my neck. My car was goner, while the truck had a few scratches and some flat tires. We were very lucky. A fraction of a second off and I could have been hit directly in the side. I doubt I would have survived because the truck was pulling a 1 ½ ton loaded trailer. When I stopped to survey the damage and was being looked over by the paramedics, that’s when it really hit me. I started crying and shaking. I could have killed someone, Drew could have lost his mother and Dan could have lost his wife. 

I understand that accidents happen, but I can’t shake the horrible feeling of knowing that it was my error. I could have sworn the way was clear; I turn at that intersection almost daily and just never imagined I could do something like this. I am lucky that I can live to tell the tale and learn from it. This has shaken my confidence as a driver but I’ve got to get back out there, provided insurance will even still be affordable. I am currently waiting to hear back from the auto body shop to see the final assessment of the damage. I wouldn’t be surprised if insurance decides to write it off. See image below.

And this is how it happened – my car is the black box and the red one is the truck.

Please everyone. Be extra vigilant on the roads. If there is ever any doubt in your mind when making a turn, don’t proceed. Be damned with the cars behind you and take your time.

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