I had a car accidentt and this is what I’ve learnt.
Highway’s exit lane. I stop the car, turn back to look at my daughter. BANG! Z’s hands thrown forward, her head moves not sure in which direction, rear windshield transforms into a rain of glass and BANG! My head lands on the steering wheel. I have to lift it up, the air bag’s gonna go off any second, it will hit me hard. BANG! The front of the car hit something, rain of glass lands on the hood. The noise seems to be constant and everywhere. (btw airbags don’t deploy in rear impact collisions).
I can hear Z crying in panic but I can’t gather my thoughts until someone opens my door and asks if I’m ok. The man hears a child cry so he jumps to the back door and wants to take Z out, I jump out knowing she will panic more if a stranger is the first person she sees. After I took Z out of the car, I realised my hands shake A LOT.
I look around. Plenty of small and big plastic and metal parts everywhere. The glass from the rear windshield: on the hood, on the roof, and inside. How the heck did it end up on the hood? I was never good in physics…
Long story short, a huge truck hit my car, so my car hit the car in front. The back of my beautiful station wagon mama mobile destroyed, in pieces, folded. A huge truck glued to my trunk. He was only going 40 km/h and yet my head hurt and I will probably never see my car again. (It’s not that I don’t know the most important is not the car but that we are both OK).
Nobody was hurt, although it must have looked (and indeed it felt) horrible and dangerous. The truck driver was asking me how many kids were in the car, another man told to sit down, my hands were shaking like never before.
But it could have been worse. If I haven’t buckled Z very tight, there was a big chance she’d have slipped out of her seat. Seriously. Only 40 km/h you think, but it was a humongous truck, the impact was big.
And then I think of thousand times she had my phone or an iPad or a bottle of water in her hands. How hard would it hit her? I don’t want to know.
You see, I’m generally very cautious and safety is really important to us. It is now an impulse to tighten Z’s belts and squeeze them hard. We always limit to minimum amount of loose objects in the car, we try to place as many as possible in the compartments, I try to remember to close my purse and not to have my phone lying around. But from time to time when she’s a pain I give in, and give her my mobile phone with Thomas the Engine on.
And it only takes this one time. I won’t risk it ever again.
So often I see babies carried in car seats with belts so loose they can easily slip out when carried, not to mention what the high impact can do to them in case of an accident.
So often I see cars full of crap, plastic toys, bottles, coins, tablets lying around. It’s like driving in a death trap.
So often I see dangerous activities for road trips: buckets hung above kids head, Legos, wooden toys and other hard objects. Seriously?! A bucket!? When we went on a 2-days road trip with our daughter the hardest objects were books, all hidden in a bag under passenger’s seat.
You can call me hysterical, you can call me overprotective but I’ve just had a car accident and this is what I learnt.