I was in a car accident pretty recently. A lot of snow had fallen, school had not been delayed, and the roads had not been plowed in the slightest. Not even Main Street, the street that runs through the very heart of our town. To make matters worse, I don't even live on Main Street; I live in a neighborhood hidden in the woods.
I left for school much earlier than normal. I figured that with the horrendous weather I would drive super slowly and cautiously because my commute would be twice as long. And I did. That didn't help my car from skidding under me and losing control of my wheel.
I kid you not, I was going maybe 8 miles per hour around a curb that typically is taken at speeds of 25 miles per hour. I made it around the curb safely, but after the curb and onto the straightaway, my wheels refused to turn due to all the snow, and it kept turning- right into a guard rail on the opposite side of the road. Fortunately, no cars were in the other lane.
That guard rail saved my life. I had never really considered the importance of guard rails before, but it embraced my car and even though the rail definitely bent under the weight, it did its job and prevented me from falling into a ditch. If that guard rail hadn't been there, who knows where I would be today. Alive? Disabled?
Kudos to my seat belt too. If I hadn't been wearing it (I always do), the guard rail may not have made a difference. Sure, it would have stopped my car, but would it have prevented me from flying through my front windshield?
The point is, I faced a major reality check that day. Although it wasn't my first car accident, it was the first one where my safety and well-being had been extremely compromised. It made me rethink all the stupid moves that drivers make, such as breaking the speed limit, not wearing seatbelts, texting, etc. I wasn't even distracted; I was totally focused! It was an act of nature that sent me spinning out of control.
So here's my two cents from this experience: Always wear your seat belt. Do not get distracted. Do not drive if you feel as if the weather or the road conditions will affect your driving. And all the other little things. Here's a couple of other driving hints: It's not cool to speed, to text, to not wear your seatbelt, or to make incomplete stops at stop signs and traffic lights. You only put yourself and others at danger, and when accidents like this happen (and they do) you are not going to want the reason to be because you were acting as a careless driver.
My car was damaged. It received a lot less damage than I anticipated, but I had also anticipated arriving to school safely and without accident. Accidents are unplanned. Make sure you have all the coverage you need to cover yourself in case something like this happens to you. If your car gets out of control, there's no telling what it could hit- a guard rail, a tree, a house, another car...
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