Let me start by saying everyone is okay. Thank God. Every parent will know that dread when their kids get their driver’s license that someday they may get that phone call filled with the shaken voice. The one that says, “Mom, I’m so sorry, but I’ve had an accident.”
I’ve had to make that call a couple of times. In fact the last accident where I got plowed into from behind on the freeway and sent careening into the path of an oncoming RV, then shoved back into the concrete center divide, I didn’t even need to make the call. My mother and I both worked at the same school, travelling mostly the same path, and she happened to drive right by and saw my poor, battered vehicle on the side of the road, empty, and an ambulance nearby. I can only imagine what was going through her mind, and I was frantically trying to get her attention before the paramedics checked me over (I was okay, just whipped around a bit) so she wouldn’t be totally panicked.
I’m pretty sure every experienced driver has their story, or two or three. The Old Man was almost given up for dead when emergency crews showed up to his rolled over vehicle. He was barely conscious but could tell they thought he was done. He somehow managed to get their attention and the crew jumped into action to free him. He was much more beat up than I was from my accident, but thankfully made it. This was before we knew each other, and I guess I’m a little bit happy he survived.
My oldest son is a newer driver, and I knew it was only a matter of time. It doesn’t make me feel any better. I have two more to go and I have to fight hard not to jump into paranoia mode and try to protect them from what is likely inevitable. In fact, the second one will probably have his license in less than a year. I’m fighting tears just writing that.
All you can do is try to protect yourself. I’m a huge advocate of buying cars based on safety ratings. In fact, when I bought the car that got smashed up on the freeway, a Subaru Forester, I was telling my parents about all the safety features it had. My dad jokingly asked whom I was planning on hitting. I just said I was more worried about who was going to hit me. I had that car only 7 months when it got toasted. I went out and bought the exact same model just a few weeks later. If you walk away once…
So go hug your loved ones. Spend time with them. You just don’t know what the future holds. Oh, and get a safe car. Please.