Why I will (probably) never run a yellow light again (and other insights into a first-time experience)

Car accidents suck.

We know this as fact because they’re a part of everyday life, whether we want to acknowledge it or not. We’re intrigued by them because we’re nosy, we want to know what happened, how it happened, who was involved, whether they’re okay or not. We want to have a part in helping, in saving someone or calming them down. For most of us, we never believe one will ever happen to us. We see them all the time, we hear the sirens and wonder where they’re going. We sit in traffic because of them. We drive by them, rubbernecking to get the best look. Sometimes we’re even (un)fortunate enough to witness one. But none of it compares to the reality of being in one.

I wish I could still say I’ve never been in a car accident. To still have the pride of knowing I’ve done everything I can as a driver to avoid a crash. But I know things happen, things we can’t plan for, things we never anticipated. You can’t have that many close calls without ever knowing what the real thing feels like.

It doesn’t happen like you think it would. There’s no slow-motion flashback of your life, no replay of all the things you’re going to miss if you die. You don’t even have time to react because by the time you realize what’s happening, it’s already over. Cue: aftershock.

I always thought the sound of two cars colliding was exactly how they portray it in the movies. That crunching sound when one car smashes into the other. But it’s nothing like that. I heard the screeching tires, his brakes working overtime to stop the impact; I don’t even remember seeing him. I just remember the popping sound of his front end meeting my right rear tire.

It’s kind of like popping a balloon. Or uncorking a loud bottle of champagne. It’s fast and loud and nothing like what I expected a car crash to sound like.

But it sure hurt like hell.

My poor baby. Fingers crossed they can put her back together again.

I would imagine side impacts hurt a lot worse than front or rear impacts. While hanging out in a neck brace, on a backboard in the ambulance, the EMT, who genuinely entertained my witty remarks and blubbering commentary, confirmed my beliefs (it would make sense that your body can’t get thrown sideways without a little residual pain. or a lot). Thankfully for me, I walked away with nothing but some seriously sore body parts (see: strained neck and bruised ribs), but it was more than enough to completely rock me to my core.

Even now, several days later, it still feels surreal, like it was a dream I had, or something I made up in my mind. I didn’t even scream- sure, in my head I was yelling “did I just get hit? was I in a car accident?!” but no words ever came out of my mouth. I didn’t even hit the brakes- I really didn’t need to, I guess. His car slammed me sideways and stopped me facing the wrong direction. My first thoughts were “did that just happen?”; my mind raced, not knowing what to do. My windshield wipers were going off; I couldn’t figure out how to turn them off. I didn’t know what to do, did I move my car out of the road? My first thought was to call my parents. Some nice man came over to see if I was okay, and I put him on the phone with my dad. Thank god for that guy, cause I was crying so hard I couldn’t get the words out: I was in a car accident.

It’s weird to analyze the thoughts that enter your head when you’ve had an accident. I didn’t want to move for fear of further injury, so I waited in my car for the ambulance. Looking around, I noticed there wasn’t any inside damage to my car; nothing had gotten thrown around much, there was no broken glass or jagged car parts jutting in at me. I thanked god I had dropped my laptop off at home before going back out; I would have been pissed if my computer had been busted. Same thing with my phone; surprisingly it was fine, everything was fine. The only thing that had fallen onto the ground was a check. I was anxious about that check. I didn’t want it to get lost or be left behind, and I couldn’t move to bend down and retrieve it. When the EMT came in on the passenger’s side, I kindly asked him to shove it in my purse. When my dad arrived (I explicitly demanded I not be taken to the hospital until he got there), he took my purse, and I finally stopped worrying someone was going to jack my stuff. Now all I had to worry about was the pain in my back and the bruises from my seatbelt.

I’d like to say being in a car accident has opened my eyes and changed my life- and maybe it would have moreso if it had been worse (though I’m very grateful it wasn’t). Yes, I treat driving a little differently than I used to. Yes, I’m a little more cautious of all the a-holes on the road. Yes, I value my life and hope I never have to go through this (or put anyone through this) again. Will I never run a yellow light again? Probably not.

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151 Comments

Filed under car accident, community, Florida, rescue, Society, Transportation

151 responses to “Why I will (probably) never run a yellow light again (and other insights into a first-time experience)

  1. Wow – so sorry to hear about your accident! Glad you will recover as the body damage to you was less than the car! Very scary, but like you said, becoming more and more a fact of life on the road! Have a happy holiday and hope you have plenty of time to recover.

  2. So glad you’re ok — it is quite the surreal experience, isn’t it? And I agree with the sound … it’s definitely something that stays with you. I’m MANY years post-my-first-accident, and I can still hear it if I think about it!

    Keep avoiding the a-holes…

    πŸ˜‰

    • It’s definitely hard to describe- I think I did an okay job though! I hope you were able to walk away from your accident as I did mine. It’s quite impossible for society to avoid car accidents on such a daily basis. It’s a shame, but we are all in such a rush we don’t consider the consequences until after they’ve happened. Though I always considered myself a fairly defensive driver, I definitely find myself driving a ton more cautiously now (also probably doesn’t help I’m terrified of damaging my rental car!). Thanks for reading!

  3. Do not worry they can put your car back again. You wrote this post so beautifully. Best wishes to you.

  4. My experience with this is that most drivers under 45 are too immature to drive an automobile. First, they believe speed signs are to be ignored. Second, riding a car’s bumper in front of them, while driving at 70 mph is not unusual or unsafe in any way. Third, they believe driving an automobile should always be looked at as a fun experience, and not treated seriously, as one having a weapon in their hands when they hold the steering wheel, while in motion. Out-racing the other drivers, in their feeble minds, is what driving is all about. How do I qualify to make such statements? I will soon be
    seventy years of age, and have had no tickets or accidents in the last thirty
    years of my life.
    seventy, and have not had a ticket or accident of any kind in the last thirty years.

    • I agree (almost) completely. Unfortunately old age has its disadvantages, and putting a little old lady, who drives very slow and timid, on the road with a young motor head who can’t keep from going at least 20 over the speed limit is the perfect recipe for disaster. Taking away everything I have from this experience, I’d like to think this will be my first and last accident. It’s certainly something to be proud of having a safe driving record for such a period of time! Thanks for reading.

    • Might I suggest to Texas’ Poet KNOCK ON SOME WOOD!!!! You are just asking for that a-hole to run into you from no where! πŸ™‚
      I had my first accident on the way to have surgery one morning almost 20 years ago. I was just sick. The (way over 45 year old) woman just starting going at the stop sign when it was my turn and I was already in motion. In my inexperience, I thought she would stop. She didn’t. Only cost me $400.00 (b/c her son was an attorney, I had to pay, said the his firend the judge.) And I had to pay out of pocket b/c it was less than my deductible. Anyway, you ALWAYS have to watch out for the Other Guy, b/c s/he is NEVER EVER watching out for you! I have only had one otehr accident since then, and it was a rear end TAP in a morning back up. And I am now knocking on wood! Keep up the safe driving! AmberLena

      • Oh, absolutely, you have to drive like everyone on the road is out to hit you, otherwise they actually WILL hit you. Unfortunately, I didn’t even see the other driver, otherwise I certainly would have avoided the situation altogether! Let’s hope you and I both avoid further accidents. Thanks for reading!

    • Laura

      Never say Never…about anything in life…stay humble…

    • Ouch – age bias at work. I’m only 39, and I have never had a ticket and haven’t had an accident in 17 years. I think everyone is different and there are reckless and just plain bad drivers at every age. I’d say anyone who would read a text while driving is too immature to drive. That would be abetter discriminator.

      • If we implemented that rule, and kept everyone who texts or talks while they drive off the road, there would hardly be anyone left! πŸ™‚

  5. Eeeek. I once had my car flip over in the MIDDLE of a highway (in the grassy area). If it had kept going I would’ve went into oncoming traffic (a Home Depot big rig, no less). So I get the very fear and frustration and just weird feelings following an accident. The world itself feels unsafe for a while afterwards…
    Glad that you’re fine. Your baby (car) will be, too.

    • Anything worse and I’m not sure I could have handled it- I was already a slobbery mess when the ambulance came for me! Were you lucky enough to avoid serious injury in that wreck? Flipping your car can’t be the easiest thing to walk away from!

      • I hear you. See, this is why for YEARS I absolutely wear my seatbelt, secondary to the law. If I hadn’t when the car flipped I would’ve slammed my head against the roof which was crushed inward on the passenger side. Like you I had bruises and such. The real issue was my emotional state. Scary stuff. But don’t let it get too deep or it can become angst-y each time you drive. And remember: with all of the vehicles on the road, there really are few serious accidents. This is true.

  6. That sounds so scary! Glad that you’re okay.
    Things like this make you feel so shaken up, don’t they?
    I freaked out big-time earlier today because when I pulled out of a junction I stupidly put the car in 2nd gear instead of in 1st. It nearly stalled on me because it’s such a small car. I ended up in the middle of a busy highway, frantically pumping the gas pedal trying to get the car across the road and panicking as oncoming traffic was heading straight for me at 60 mph.
    But I got home safe, thank goodness! It’s taught me a lesson though — to always check which gear I’m in before pulling out onto a highway!
    Stay safe.

    • It definitely makes you open your eyes a bit wider and look at things from a different angle. I’m glad you made it home safe! That sounds very scary. I’m glad I drive an automatic, I wouldn’t know what I was doing with gears and shifting and all that! I’d certainly cause an accident driving manual πŸ™‚

  7. Rae

    I’ll never forget my first accident. Luckily no one was injured, unless you count me hyperventilating and freaking the heck out.

  8. David Navarre

    I’ve been about 7 years accident-free and 10 years since I’ve had any ticket of any kind, but being in an accident doesn’t require that you’ve done anything wrong. Many people who’ve been in accidents have “done everything [they] can as a driver to avoid a crash”, but they got hit by someone anyway. My worst accident involved a driver whose car skidded across a median and into another car before hitting mine. The only way either of us who got hit could have avoided that accident would have been to not drive that night. That one did, honestly, proceed in slow motion for me. I’ve been in a few other accidents, but they were all just fender-benders. I notice most people are responding with memories of their “first” accident, so be careful out there, but don’t go thinking you can’t easily have another, make every effort reduce the risk and don’t go blaming drivers who drive within their skills (slow drivers).

    • Everyone needs to be accountable and just drive safer, whether that means slowing down or looking both ways more than twice. Unfortunately, you can be the safest driver you can be, but if the other drivers on the road are not doing their best to be aware and alert, there will always be accidents. Congrats on being accident-free! I hope you don’t find yourself in another accident.

  9. I am so glad you are okay! I was in an accident once. The guy ran a red while sight seeing with his family. Thankfully, everyone (including me) was okay. Except, my hot coffee was smashed all over me (I was most annoyed about the coffee – it was tasting great!).
    I still don’t get the rubbernecking at this point, honestly.
    Oh, and I am glad you dropped your laptop off, too!

    • Thanks, I’m very grateful. It’s funny the things you think or get upset about. I was very annoyed I was wearing a skirt, because the EMTs had to maneuver me onto the backboard to get me out of the car. They were nice enough to cover me with a sheet, though! Thankfully you and I both had minor accidents, but they’re accidents nonetheless. I wish we lived in an accident-free world. I think there should be a new law implemented requiring drivers to retake their driving test either upon reaching a certain age or after receiving so many citations or something!

  10. It is a shock when you have an auto accident. It’s like “this can’t be real. Please let me back time up and do this again.” Hope everything goes better for you.
    Connie
    http://7thandvine.wordpress.com/

    • I agree. I sat there initially thinking “this didn’t just happen, let me go back and do it again.” If only it were that easy! Thanks for your warm wishes.

  11. livingalifeworthliving

    I hope I never have to experience even the smallest moving wreck.

    I am glad you are well enough to write this blog. Well enough to inspire others to be cautious.

    • Thank you. Even if I inspire one person I will feel I’ve done some good. Obviously, though, the more I inspire to be more cautious, the better! Thanks for reading.

  12. About a year ago, a man pulled out in front of us. My daughter ran off the highway to avoid him, but he hit us anyway. No one was hurt, but I still cring when a car or truck get’s a little close.

    • I can understand! Other people on the road scare me, they are so unpredictable. I try and drive as safely and defensively as possible, but sometimes it doesn’t matter.

  13. This reminds me of a song I wrote earlier this year, “Yellow Lights.” It’s about all the warnings we see for decisions we make in life, but sometimes pay them no attention. Your inclusion of the word “probably” makes the whole post about human tendency instead of just about you.

    • It’s very true. We tend to ignore the warning signs, thinking we’re invincible. We think it will never happen to us, because we know how to avoid it, but then it does. Unfortunately, we are a society that only seems to learn or change our ways based on experience (and even then some of us won’t change), so until we find away to learn before the mistake happens, things will remain the same.

    • Laura

      Thank you for your additional insight to human tendencies. Probably is unsure…humans are unsure…connection with one’s instincts helps to illeviate probably.

  14. Great opening! Way to achieve victory from defeat!

  15. I wished nobody had to go through things like this. But having one of those smaller accidents might not be all bad. Driving a little differently and more cautious afterwards is good, isn’t it? Be thankful.

  16. driving is a sport. er…i guess not. the car will be fine. i trust you will be as well.

  17. I used my car computer to track my speed in town for a whole month. 19 miles per hour was the average. Since there are times I sit at zero (like red lights) so I assume the upper end of that average must be about 40-45 mph. Which makes sense since there is a haf-mile stretch (one-way) where the speed limit tops out at 45 mph. Based on an average speed of 19 mph I’ve always assumed I’d be okay if somehow I got caught in an accident on surface streets. I imagine a t-bone would be the worst and red light runners problematic where I live.

    The #1 thing most important then about driving is to always give it your full attention. No distractions. Always be thinking about what other drivers might do.

    When at a red light and about to accelerate on a green, what I like to do is use the cars next to me as blockers. What that means is that I hesitate for a moment and let the cars on my left and right pull out first. Then I pull out, too. If someone comes along to t-bone my blocker will absorb most of the energy.

    • That’s pretty smart thinking! You seem to give the due precautions to driving that most people ignore. Most people don’t treat driving as a serious thing, one that deserves complete attention and zero distractions. I know I’m guilty of using my phone while driving just like everyone else, I just wish they would pass a law against it. Getting tickets for doing it might deter a lot of people from texting or talking while driving, which, at least in Florida, is a big cause of accidents.

  18. Man, do I know what you’re saying. I totaled out a car and it happened so fast that I didn’t have time to think. I guess my subconscious took over and did what it had to do. It was the other guy’s fault but that didn’t make the accident any less scary. He ran a stop sign, late at night, in the dark, and I clipped his tail and his truck flipped and rolled down the street. He walked out of it without a scratch, and so did I.

    It’s a surreal experience where God and angels definitely step in.

    Val
    http://valentinedefrancis.wordpress.com

  19. It’s scary to think that no matter how good a driver you are, you are putting your life into the hands of others whenever you are in a car. Suddenly the NYC subway is looking pretty good!

    • I have to say, I missed driving while I studied in London, but the tube made it very convenient to get around and I didn’t have to freak about crazy drivers- especially because they drive on the other side of the road!

  20. Gaw, car accidents really stink! Sorry to hear that you experienced it. The experience teaches you to realize how precious every second of life really is as I experienced it with my own brother. Good thing you are well!

  21. Abigail

    In early November, I was riding with my brother and we got in a car accident. Completely his fault. Earlier that week he also side swiped a car. So now I get nervous on “dangerous” looking turns when riding with people. It’s horrible. I haven’t even ridden with him since then. Luckily, we were only going maybe 10 MPH when we hit the other car, so it wasn’t that bad. Just weird, as you said. Kinda like, “That car is way too close. Oh good, we’re going to miss it oh–” CRUNCH. AH! “He just hit a car.” Though we didn’t have the shattering glass sound effect, it did kinda sound like the movies to me. (Then again, we hit dead center.)

    • You don’t really think about it, but we put our lives at great risk getting in the car someone else is driving. It’s not something we can always avoid, but I prefer to drive when I can, even if that means I have passengers (though I guess that’s putting them at risk, too!).

  22. prosewithabbitude

    Nicely written and glad you are ok.Two years ago at this time I was recovering from a bad accident wherein I was the victim of a tractor trailer hit and run. I walked away rather unscathed unlike my car which was totaled. How you describe the experience and emotion is completely true!

  23. ryoko861

    Glad your ok! Yes, it is scary getting into a car accident, even fender benders can have an impact!
    I got a ticket for running a yellow light once. But I would be damned if I was going to jam my brakes on for a yellow light.
    Yes, be cautious now, but don’t let it consume you when you’re driving. There’s nothing worse than getting behind an overly cautious driver. Relax. Just drive.

  24. I have been on the receiving end of a few hits and the line about the windshield wipers rang true for me.
    I hope you recover quickly. It is surprising how much pain you can have without a mark on you, isn’t it?

  25. Glad you are OK. This was well written. All I can say is just drive defensively because others are not. (And now you’ve gained some solid “life experiences “/ authentic emotions to draw on – Nothing is ever a waste to a writer) Take care.

  26. Glad to hear you came out of that okay! We see so many victims of auto accidents, especially due to the negligence of other drivers on their phones. We agree with shoutabyss, drive with your full attention on driving.

    Take it easy – especially with that soreness!

  27. I don’t think having a car accident has to be a bad experience. I had an accident about 10 years ago. I was that crazy speeding driver, and lost control doing over 100MPH lucky for me the ground was soft from days of heavy rain and i walked away from my totaled Rav4. I’ve had that car rebuilt, i don’t put stock in attaching emotion to objects, but to this day I believe that car sacrificed itself for my benefit. Back on point though. I’ve become a much better driver since that accident. I have learnt what situational awareness is. Not only what the guy in front is doing, but what the guys 2 to 3 cars in front of him are doing. I know what the guy behind me is doing, I know what the guy beside me is doing. I have avoided so many accidents, just by making sure I know that the other drivers around me are doing. Every time i have to break hard, I watch me rear view to see if the guy has noticed that I am stopping. I know which lane is free in case I have to switch lanes in an emergency. I always wear closed shoes so that I don’t get peddle damage on my feet. I don’t believe in defensive driving. I believe in driving defensively. I took a course in offensive driving (they teach you how to control your car when it is on the verge of losing control). Being a safe driver, is so much more than skill or awareness. It is not a mindset, it is not something you do when you are behind the wheel. It is a lifestyle. make sure your tyres are in good condition, make sure your breaks are in good condition, have the ABS tested, find and empty strech of road every month or so and slam on the brakes. Make sure you know what it feels like and train yourself to control your car in an emergency. Just last month 2 months ago, my rear suspension cracked and my rear left type almost came off while i was driving to work, I was fortunate enough to have trained myself over the past 10 years to control my car, when it is going out of control, that I was able to rescue the situation, control the car and park it properly. An accident that you walk away from is a good accident esp if (as in my situation) you learn from it and train yourself to drive defensively. Last tip, if you are going into an accident that you can not avoid, take your feet off the peddles and plant them on the floor. Most cars (even ones currently in manufacturing) have solid pedals. That means in a head on accident, if the engine bay gets pushed into the passenger cabin, the peddles will be forced up towards the steering wheel. If your foot is on the peddle, then it will be smashed as the peddle makes it’s way up.

    Take care. and glad your experience wasn’t written by someone else.

    • What great insight. I wish everyone could think the same way when driving. It needs to be taken more seriously. Glad you walked away from your accident, but also glad it helped motivate you to be a more cautious driver. Thanks for reading!

  28. Happy to hear you are safe and well… accidents are traumatizing no matter how big or small! I’ve been hit both in my car and as a pedestrian and regardless of how much time passes I’m terrified of other drivers.

  29. Good that you weren’t hurt more !!!
    Always drive defensively. (and look out for the idiots)

  30. I was in an accident (rear ended) and your right, it sounds like a big popping noise not a crunch or crash sound. Hopefully your insurance cover’s your rehab and it’s nothing more then sore muscles.

  31. It’s something you never really forget. My family and I were involved in one the worst possible kinds of wreck: the other driver crossed into our lane, hit us head on and died because of it. I’m simply glad you didn’t have anything worse than that. My wife and I are actually very glad you’re okay.

  32. Glad to hear you made it out of your accident ok, and thank goodness for reliable dads! Those little accidents make us realize how easy it is to have the big one. These days all you see are people distracted by their mobile phones while they are driving, it makes me crazy. It is now illegal here but people have to want to stop doing it. A girl who goes to school with my boys was in an accident with her mother, another driver was texting and drove into them. She now has to grow up without her mother and the memory of being trapped in the car with her when she died. I think a reminder of how precious life is can be good for all of us sometimes.

  33. I was in a crash at traffic lights when I was a learner driver. I’ve forever since had a fear of lights changing when I’m approaching them. I’d stopped, the guy behind didn’t. Wrote our car off. So as opposed to you I have more a problem with having to stop at lights.

  34. Hamid Lorette

    I remember when I was on the freeway going about 70 mph and the front wheel came off the car. The mechanic forgot to tighten the bolts. I went sliding to the left edge of the freeway thinking this was going to be it for me. Luckily, the car stopped and I was able to get out with no injuries. I tell you what though, I always tighten the bolts after getting new tires now, that was a close call. Nicely written article. Thank you.

  35. I’m sorry you had to go through that. I’ve had three (the first was my fault, the other two weren’t), and it always sucks. The first was the worst out of the three – I will never forget the sound or the smell! I am glad you are okay and I hope your car is okay too.

    • It’s such an odd sound. It’s nothing like I’d pictured. Stay safe out there! There are some crazy drivers in this world (most of them live in Florida).

  36. Even small car accidents can change your driving personality for good. Glad you’re ok!

    • Not that I’d wish it on anyone, but sometimes you really do need to experience it in order to open your eyes and change. I’d love to rewind and not have an accident, but I’m definitely trying to be more cautious than I was before. Thanks for reading!

  37. Glad that you came out of it unmarked. I’ve been in more car accidents than I care to admit to, and they never get any easier. Even the smallest ones really shake you up.

  38. Dan

    So glad you’re OK. πŸ™‚ You should think about getting a four-door car now!

  39. barcncpt44

    I know the feeling when getting into a wreck. I ran into the side of a school bus running a stop sign with kids on. The good news that everyone was okay.

  40. Now I feel bad for my previous comment, I thought you were a guy…sorry!

  41. Jasmine Hunter

    I just had a car accident today, and I’m still freaking out. No one was hurt but my car is completely messed up, similar to your picture. The other car had no damages. I ran into an SUV on a rainy day. I’m mainly just worried about how I’m going to get another car, but we’ll see what the insurance company says.

    But I can completely relate to everything you said here. I didn’t cry, but I almost did a few times talking to my dad and my friends as I waited for the police to show up. Of course, they never did show up, which made it even harder for me to cope. I had to drive my car home, and it was the longest drive of my life. Everything scared me, and it didn’t help that it was raining and dark.

    I guess, I’m just thankful that it wasn’t worse and that my engine still works. I hope everything works out for you! We can get through it together.

    • Oh my gosh! I’m glad no one was hurt, but it is frustrating and stressful wondering what’s going to happen with the damages and costs. Thankfully my insurance company set me up with a rental the next day, and I just found out they will be able to fix my car. Looking forward to getting it back! Stay safe out there, especially now with the holidays.

  42. thank god you are ok julia….. lyf does have a weird way of teching us lessons…….. glad u have learnt yours!

  43. I’m glad you alright. Don’t let the yellow lights stop you though πŸ˜‰

  44. I was in a minor accident once; nothing quite as bad as yours. Some motorcycle hit me while I was changing lanes. I couldn’t drive properly for a while after that. I became incredibly paranoid of blind spots and lane changes.
    If that minor bang-up shook me up so much, I can’t imagine how it must’ve been like for you. I hope you get over it, and get more comfortable behind the wheel again. I’m glad you weren’t too badly hurt too!

    • Thank you. I’m definitely a lot more nervous about blind spots, but I’m just trying to stay aware of what everyone around me is doing. It’s all you can do, really.

  45. dmitry

    hope you’re ok.

  46. Your post is well written. Best wishes to you. and glad you recovered the accident.

  47. It does shakes one up. Thank God you re ok. Please take care.

  48. Every day we are a gnat’s breath away from potential disaster, listening or reading to other’s experiences probably divert many of them. Nothing however compares to walking the walk. We will all avoid disasters by being more aware, but not all of them. Keep aware and stay safe over the Christmas holidays.

  49. Wow…. I don’t know what to say. Reminds me of when my sis took a wide turn and the front corner got nicked. My knee hit that thing you wind down the window with and got bruised for some time, but like you say, it really does rock your core… no matter how small the accident is!

  50. Glad to hear you are okay. I remember my first accident – I was a passenger and some drunk kid who stole his moms car rear-ended us. I ended up with whiplash and bruises too. I still freak out when I am driving and someone is riding behind me a little to close.

  51. It sucks that you were in an accident, but it definitely does change your perspective.
    I was hit by a teenager who just got his licence. He had a harem in his car and ran a red light, while I had my 2 girls in the car. My one was 9 months old. It was so scary because if it had been a second or 2 later, I think we all would have been dead.
    It changes how you think and definitely how you perceive driving. Luckily it didn’t scare me off driving, but I’m way more aware of everything going on around me.

  52. I’m 25, but basically a new, wreck-free driver. I lived in NYC for 6 years without a car and now I’m back in small town, Kentucky driving. I have a weird sense of “I know it will eventually happen.” I do my best to be safe, but sometimes I need a reminder so, thanks for posting this!

    On a much more somber note, my grandparents were both killed in a car accident in October. I’ve now imagined all of my loved ones getting in horrific car accidents. It’s awful. I guess it is a blessing to get the needed reality check, but it’s also quite a burden to realize that anything can happen at any moment.

    Be safe, everyone!

  53. singlegirlmodernworld

    Accidents are terrifing! I was in one a few years back only three days before my birthday. Some guy didn’t look before merging on a major highway and just slammed right into the side of my car. Before I knew what was happening I was spinning, and the world quickly became very fuzzy after my glasses went flying off. I was a few hours before the shock wore off and I felt the pain in my neck and the huge bruise on my chest from the seatbelt.

    I guess the important part is this: cars can be fixed/replaced, eventually you will recover and be able to drive again without fear, and that you’re alright.

    Feel better!

    I guess the important part is this: cars can be replaced, and eventually you recover and can drive again

  54. Couple of months back I met with one.. I was driving to office after dropping my children at school, having a safe distance to the vehicle in front of me. Suddenly a car with tinted glasses came in between us from the other track without any indication and hit the car in front of me and stopped….. She was over mobile phone or making herself beautiful before she reaches the office. I had no option other than hitting her car because the distance was too short that I can stop. As you know I was on the fault.. she too.. It was minor like your’s.. But I had to pay for the mistake of careless driver.

  55. Miriam Joy

    My dad was in a car accident a couple of years ago. When he rang us up he said that he was fine, but of course I was freaking out because he’s one for ‘just saying that’! I was helping at a community event at the time, run by local churches, and we asked the volunteers there to pray for him. They did – and when he came home, he didn’t even have a bruise, even though the car was totalled!

  56. Glad you’re ok! I feel ya, I got hit by a semi and walked out with just a bump on the head and bruised ribs from the seatbelt. Reminder of how lucky you are.

  57. I’ve rolled my car before AND smashed into a telephone pole, I walked away both times…but those backboards hurt like hell.

  58. Hey,

    I know how you feel and I know the mentality behind it. I was driving along perfectly, everything was going fine, and then I realized I was coming in too fast to a corner and since I freaked out because I knew I was going to be in a car accident, instead of pressing the brakes, my leg was shaking too much and I accidentally stepped on the gas.

    I had the same reaction though…. my mind was screaming… “What just happened?” Then my body started shaking and I remember freaking out and being out of breath. Luckily for me, the only damage done to my car from the front-end crash was a plastic case covering my license plate.

    I got shaken to the core and a bit of bruising on my leg, but other than that, I was fine. Anyways, God Bless and Merry Christmas to you πŸ™‚ I hope your recovery goes well.

    All the best,
    R.Q.

    P.S. I am truly glad you’re okay πŸ™‚

  59. Being in the Chicago area I drive defensively with an offensive twist. You gotta look out for the other guy but get where you are going. Always look around even if sitting still, you never know whats coming. Like a previous comment, some accidents just happen and the only way to avoid them was to just not be there. So we have to drive, just don’t drive scared. Keep an eye out, drive safe! Glad you were okay.

  60. Hello! I am writing to inform you that I have nominated you for the Versatile Bloggers Award! I hope that you will accept this award and proceed to follow the rules found within and no one will get hurt.

    http://mynameisnotchad.wordpress.com/2011/12/21/versatility-is-my-middle-name/

    Keep writing! I love your stuff! You are the reason people keep writing.

  61. Had my first prang yesterday in the staff car park with my friend and colleague. Very minor but so awkward being in the same office as someone you’ve just had an accident with. Feel an odd sense of relief that I’ve finally had a prang. I know it doesn’t mean I won’t have a worse one one day but not having had one at all was making me feel doomed.

  62. This is a blog I could have written on Sat Dec 17th at about 5:10pm pacific time. My roommate and I were in a cab on our way to a friends house for an early Christmas dinner. The cab was driven by our friend who has been driving for years. I was sitting in the front chatting with the driver when we came to a red light at an intersection. The light turned green and we proceeded to go. Now I will mention that our cab was a Toyota Prius so we didn’t launch forward or anything. Halfway through the intersection there was a bang and we stopped. I saw the white hood of a car just as it struck us on the passenger side.
    No one was seriously hurt, but the front right tire of the cab was angled funny and the wheel well was indented. The person driving the other car plain and simply didn’t see that their light was red. They just drove straight through. I was sore for two days and very freaked out for a few hours.
    It makes you really notice how quickly things can change and luckily this time it was just a few sore muscles.
    For awhile now I make it a point to let my friends and family know that I love them and how much I love having them in my life because you never know when that day will come when you won’t be able to tell them.
    Please try to not be impatient while driving and pay attention to the road. It only takes a second for your life to change, let the change not involve getting into an accident or driving drunk. Thanks!

    • I agree, it’s important to not only be very patient while driving, but to be extremely aware of what’s going on around you. I don’t even condone people who use their phones while waiting at a red light, because you should still be paying attention to what the flow of traffic is doing in case someone should cause an accident that might take you with it. I don’t think people take driving seriously, and that needs to change.

  63. The very first time my car got hit I had the same post-accident reaction. I didn’t even have my foot on the break and didn’t realize it until my friend in the passengers seat said “Break! Break!” I was just blank, no clue what to do or where to go. It’s so surreal. Glad you’re okay.. and if the neck pain continues, take it from someone who knows – skip the physical therapy and go straight to chiropractor!

  64. Oh my…glad you didn’t sustain any serious injuries. Hope they’re able to fix your car.

  65. Eva McCane

    i run yellow lights on a regular basis, and this will make me think twice. ok…maybe 1 1/2 times, but i’ll be more careful πŸ™‚ good blog. thanks for sharing! http://www.icouldntmakethisshitup.wordpress.com

    • I know, it’s a very hard habit to kick. I found myself stopping a lot more today, for example, but there were still a few times I sped up to make it. Everyone needs to slow down and realize there’s no rush to get anywhere, an extra few minutes of waiting at a light is a small sacrifice to avoiding a crash!

  66. Caleb J Malcom

    I was involved in my first, and hopefully only, car wreck three years ago this coming February. As for you it was a huge eye opener for me. A man ran a light as I had the right away and destroyed my car. I don’t remember any sounds of the wreck the sounds I do remember was that of all the different fluids dripping from the car onto the sidewalk. No one was seriously hurt, but the more serious pain came for me later when I found out the other driver didn’t have insurance. Yeah full coverage on your car only goes so far against an uninsured driver, who happened to be this well off college professor. Never got the money I had to shell out to pay for the rest of the damages, but we live in learn. I’m glad your incident came out fairly injury free as well.

    • That’s rough! Just another way you can’t trust other drivers. Thankfully my insurance is covering everything, including the hospital bill and my rental car. Looking forward to getting my car back soon, but I think I will be a little timid at first, as it’s a very tiny car!

  67. Glad to hear you’re okay – it’s a wild experience, getting in a wreck, isn’t it? I found your reaction particularly interesting and, well, smart. When I got in my first car accident, I immediately got out of my car and tried to run across the highway to see if the other person was okay. Somebody stopped me, luckily. Sounds like you kept it together much, much better! It’s depressing, though, so keep your chin up. : )

    Excellent post – congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    • Yeah, the other driver only had a bloody nose; he came over to see if I was okay, as well as some bystanders. Thanks for the support, it’s my first Freshly Pressed post and I have to say I’ve been pretty excited about it the last 24 hours! Never had this many hits on my blog, so hopefully I can continue to entertain the masses! πŸ™‚

  68. I am glad you’re okay. I’ve only been in one car accident and it wasn’t….light. The car behind was going so ridiculously fast and tried to avoid us but he couldn’t. If the guy’s car still worked – he would’ve hit and run for sure. We hit the person in front of us due to the impact. My husband and I sensed that he has something to hide ’cause he kept telling us to forget this ever happened. We later found out that he had a warrent for arrest. The person in front of us didn’t have a license. What a night. The car accident was on firday the 13th. Oh-the-humour. πŸ˜€

  69. Pingback: Why I will (probably) never run a yellow light again (and other insights into a first-time experience) | mindoverMadness « Judithsmarkworld

  70. I haven’t even driven a car yet, seeing as I’m only 13 years old. But I did see a motorcycle accident when I was little — some guy on his motorcycle crashed into the metal fencing on the side of the road. His motorcycle was jammed completely under the low metal (this was the strangest bit of all; I guess he was going pretty dang fast) and he flew a considerable number of yards. He wasn’t wearing a good helmet, and half his face was messed-up and bloody.
    I’ve been scared of motorcycles ever since.
    Glad you aren’t maimed for life. πŸ˜‰

    • Yikes. Motorcycles scare me too, I don’t think I would ever get on one. Be careful once you start learning how to drive (still a few years away, I assume) and make sure you take it seriously. It’s a privilege that requires a certain level of respect. And always be careful driving with your friends, especially if they’re new drivers. Would hate for you to experience any sort of accident! It’s no fun 😦

  71. Because I’m curious πŸ˜‰ did the a-hole who hit you run a red light to cause the accident? Hope you feel better soon! I still remember my first accident when my sister was driving, i was in junior high. Because of movies, my brother and i ran from the car yelling “it’s gonna blow up!!” Embarrassing, even though it was a bad accident.

    • He sped up to make the light before it turned red as I was turning left- I saw the other cars stop when it turned yellow but I didn’t even see him. Now I’m just trying to avoid the situation altogether by not waiting in the intersection. Sometimes I sit at a light longer, but it’s a small price to pay to stay safe. I hope everyone walked away from your accident. It’s a scary thing, especially when someone gets seriously injured. I took the worst of it; the other driver just had a bloody nose from hitting his air bag, so thankfully neither one of us was seriously hurt.

  72. Thanks for sharing yours story. I count myself lucky that I have only ever been in a small collision where someone hit the rear of my car as I stalled trying to pull away. It seems this wasn’t enough for me to calm down on the road. It took my Reiki training to make me appreciate that sometimes the needs of others are greater.
    I now drive in a calm state and when I encounter motorists that are taking chances I encourage them (in my mind) to “go safely and please don’t hurt anyone, including yourself”. I then let it go. After all they may be hurrying to be with an ill loved one. They may just be late for a (seemingly) really important meeting. Either way that is their drama and I don’t need to take in on board.
    I hope that you continue to be safe and that your baby is soon back in pristine condition. Surprising the love we can have for our cars, but nevertheless real.

    • I agree, you can do everything you can on your end, but the other drivers are going to do what they’re going to do. I just try and stay out of the way. And I just found out my car is fixable- should have it back in a few weeks! πŸ™‚

  73. i got hit by a car monday while on a bike with the dog. Ill never stop anywhere in a crosswalk again, always well outside the line! Or else someone might end up banged up like me or worse!

    • Oh no, I hope you and your dog are okay! That’s even worse, getting hit as a pedestrian. I know someone who recently got hit by a car (who fled the scene) and ended up with two broken legs. I imagine it hurts a lot worse, because there’s no heavy-duty machine to absorb the worst of the blow.

  74. so.. just to confirm. Were you at fault in this accident? You ran a yellow that turned red and someone jumped a green? Did you get charged?
    Or was it the fault of the other person?

    What I see most often is people turning left on a yellow while someone tries to run it going straight and they create a huge mess in the intersection that makes everyone else late for their day.

    We need self-driving cars and soon.

    • I turned left on a yellow because oncoming traffic had stopped. But he came out of nowhere to try and make it before the light turned red. He was pretty far back and I didn’t see him, and he was going pretty fast to catch the light before it turned red, so he hit me pretty hard. So we were both at fault for running yellows. Thankfully traffic was still able to get around us until the police were able to move our cars. I don’t even sit in the middle of the intersection and wait anymore. If I can’t make it before it turns yellow, I don’t need to be a sitting duck in the middle of the road.

      And I agree, self-driving cars would probably lower accident rates. We have self-parking cars, so hopefully it’s in the (near) future!

  75. They have cameras on seemingly every street light nowadays, especially around my area in Long Island. I think it has made people be more cautious when driving but it still doesn’t stop people from getting into accidents and running red lights. Hopefully very soon, we will all go back to the drawing board and try and look for solutions to make transportation safer for everyone. Great post :))

    jonwatersauthor.wordpress.com

  76. This is the reason why i do not allow my girl to drive my machine πŸ˜‰

  77. I’ve been in more car accidents than I’d care to say. The life of any big city girl…certain things can’t be avoided. But I’ll tell you this. Sometimes, we’re damn lucky. And it sounds like you were. Even though I’m an accident veteran persΓ©, (and not because I’m a bad driver, only one accident occurred while I was driving, I’ve had awesome passenger luck too) I still can’t stop my heart from racing a million miles an hour or my hands from shaking like I were some addict in withdrawal. It is what it is: downright frightening. The only think we can do is to say a prayer each time we get in to make sure we get out.

    Feel better.

  78. You have wonderfully and artistically articulated your car accident experience. A few months back I have been victim of the road accident, unlike you I was on bike, all open to injuries I was too lucky enough to save the day. in aftermath of accident I got more cautious, more confident, more speeding and better level of road experience. I feel an upgrade in my road awareness.
    I must say that road accident is one most tragic thing that happens and takes lives of dozens each year. There are trick of the trades available to save the same, only problem with them is different levels of willingness of people to try them. Mankind must come up with better solution to this problem than just best practices to be followed.

  79. thank goodness it wasn’t more serious and you are ok! i was in a car accident (i wasn’t driving) years ago. it wasn’t very serious. no one was hurt. just some whiplash. but the memory has stayed with me all this time. i am still fearful on the road.

    • I just saw a minor accident today in my rearview mirror- I wasn’t far ahead of it. Brought back the feeling of the whole experience. I wish it wasn’t true, but no matter how careful you are, it’s really in the hands of the other drivers on the road as to whether they’ll hit you or not.

  80. Sports & Concert Updates

    The street is filled with idiots (Sometimes it maybe us). πŸ™‚

    Hope you are doing well and your poor baby (Car) is back in shape. πŸ™‚

  81. Scopipod

    I find it both interesting and inspiring how you have such an upbeat manner about the whole thing. You’re absolutely right how car crashes are always highly dramatized (and usually in the same way), with the flashbacks and such. Then again, in the movies there’s often some horrific outcome as well. Fortunately that wasn’t the case here. I hope. Anyway, I really like how you convey the seriousness of the event without turning it into I Am Legend or something. πŸ™‚ Good job

  82. This is why I am scared of driving. Glad you are okay.

  83. Hey I know what you mean…I even did one of those lawyer accident commercials…lol

  84. Who hasn’t had a little fender bender? How I haven’t had more is beyond me! I drove so much and there are about a gazillion more people driving now than when I got my license in 1543! LOL

  85. Glad you are ok! Accidents do suck. Actually dealing with the insurance companies after is worse than the accident. πŸ™‚

  86. Pingback: How I would want to be shipwrecked, or lost to sea (and a brief book review in between) | mindoverMadness

  87. Pingback: Blogs I liked | Muhammad Attique's Blog

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