Life in perspective – car crashes, glass and tears.

This rant…ahem, post was written a couple of months ago, but, I was feeling too delicate to post it. Although the situation is still ongoing – lawyers and insurance companies take FOREVER, I thought I’d post it anyway. 🙂

***

On Saturday 13th February I was involved in a rather serious car crash. I say involved…I was driving to work when I approached a set of traffic lights at the Tetbury A46 junction in Gloucestershire, UK. I slowed down but then the lights turned to green as I approached so I thought, “Great, I can keep going!”

Two cars on the opposite side of the junction were indicating to turn right, across my path. They are supposed to wait and give way to incoming traffic, as the yellow signs say. They did not. The first black car crossed right in front of me, I flashed my lights at him and slammed my feet on the brakes. The second blue car hesitated and stopped, as they should. “Great I thought, bloody right, it’s my right of way!”. So I continued on…unfortunately the idiot woman in the blue car then changed her mind and thought she could somehow make her illegal right turn in front of me before I reached her. She was wrong.

As I’m crossing the road this woman’s car slams right into me, ramming into the side of my car, shattering the windows, setting off the door airbag (which I didn’t even know I had) and ramming my car off the road and towards a solid stone wall. With the force of the impact, according to the police themselves, if I had hit that wall head on I would not be here. They actually praised my driving! The strange thing is the whole thing happened in slow motion. I remember suddenly being slammed into then the wall coming up, I managed to turn the steering wheel and slam my foot on the brakes as I was sliding, missing the trees and solid wall completely and resting high way up the grassy verge.

I sat there in stunned silence, covered in glass. The woman who rammed me was already on her phone, I suspect she was on her phone when she crashed into me. She asked if I was alright but I couldn’t answer.

A very kind passer-by stopped and helped me. The car was filling up with smoke. The driver’s side was completely mangled, so he opened the passer door and helped me out. I was shaking violently and couldn’t stop crying. He put his coat around me and eased me back to his car to sit in the warmth. He and his kind lovely wife looked after me, gathered my bag and things and were just…amazing. I can’t thank them enough.

The police and ambulance turned up. The police took my statement, between my ridiculous sobbing.

The shock still hasn’t sunk in fully. In over twenty years of driving, I’ve never had a point on my licence or even a parking ticket and have never been involved in a crash.

The car, my beloved car, is completely totalled – a total right-off. Her car had damage to the front corner where she drove into me, but looks easily fixable. The woman in question looked wealthy, well-to-do, but me? I’m on minimum wage, money is so tight it keeps me awake at night. Long gone are the days when I was teaching and on a high salary when I could afford a new car. Since my illness ended my teaching career and a job I had slogged my guts out for 12 years, I am unable to work full-time and can’t teach at all as I get too dizzy and sick. So, having always worked, I found myself in a dire situation, no job but still with a hefty mortgage and huge bills to pay. I ended up finding a lovely part-time job working in a library with lovely supportive people which also gives me time to continue my writing. The only down-side, is that the pay is terrible, minimum wage, so when something like this happens it is truly devastating.

Despite having insurance, at best it will still leave me without a car in the short term (and living in the sticks that’s no joke) but could possibly leave me without a car in the long term. My car is 6 years old and worth very little now, so the probability of my being able to get the same car again on that money is remote to say the least.

The ambulance checked me out, whiplash, bruising, shock and a few cuts from the glass but miraculously unhurt given the force of the impact. Of course I was shaking uncontrollably and couldn’t stop crying. But I must say a huge THANK YOU to the Gloucestershire police and ambulance service and a MASSIVE thank you to my knight in shining armour, Neil Fraser and your wife…the kindness of strangers, eh? THANK YOU so much for looking after me, in my worst blubbering state. ❤ xxx

I was picked up and taken home, was sick with terrible head pain and promptly fell asleep for about 6 hours+. Amazing how the body goes into preservation mode and there is nothing as restorative as sleep. And yes, shock meant that I was absolutely FREEZING. So now I’m at home, finally awake and under a pile of duvets and copious amounts of sweet tea. My whole right side especially my hips, neck and shoulders are very painful and will no doubt come up in an assortment of bruise colours, but despite feeling rather sorry for myself, being desperately worried about the money/car situation and being very angry at that stupid cow who caused all this…I have also been very lucky and I know it.

So…in the spirit of recognising when something could have been so much worse…I forgive that driver. Yes your actions were stupid and thoughtless and I’ve been the victim of them, but, it was an accident an occurrence with no malice behind it. So, I forgive you.

Tomorrow, I will have to take a deep breath and deal with life again. My crunched car is still out there on that verge where it was rammed into, albeit with a police sticker on it. So tomorrow I will have to phone the insurance people, garages etc and get it towed and start the whole process. My lovely work colleague even phoned when I was asleep and has even sorted cover for my shifts on Monday knowing I’ll be too shaky, which I will be. I still have pretty bad head pain and pain all over really, but I am a lucky lady…

So…what is the lesson to be learned from this?

  • The kindness of strangers really is a thing, a beautiful thing.
  • When you’re feeling down, or if things are going badly, just take a deep breath and realise that things could be so much worse.
  • At the end of the day, despite our worries, the pain we may carry (emotional, mental or physical) …we are all pretty lucky. 🙂 xxxx

Love to you all and drive safe. ❤

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8 thoughts on “Life in perspective – car crashes, glass and tears.

  1. I’m so grateful you’re okay. I’ve been in a couple of car accidents, and it’s very upsetting. In one, I was injured, but was so in shock, I didn’t realize until later that I was hurt. The whole process of dealing with the loss of the car, police statements, insurance companies, etc just adds to the shock and trauma of the ordeal. I’m glad you’re able to forgive the aggressive, inattentive driver you hit you. With time, the trauma will fade and you’ll be able to put it from your mind. It takes time, though. Hugs to you, Sophie.

    • Aww, thank you so much. I’m so so sorry you’ve been through it too, it’s horrible isn’t it? I guess it’s a sign of the times nowadays, with so many cars on the roads and so many reckless dangerous drivers, I worry that this sort of thing will become a common occurrence for a lot of people. 😦 You’re spot on though, the whole process takes so so long. It’s been nearly four months and the legal side is still going on. So stressful and horrible. Really hope you’ve been able to get over it too honey and that you had a good resolution. Take care out there sweetie, you’re loved by a lot of people. 🙂 xxx

  2. M T McGuire says:

    Ouch and yeh, I hear you. Intriguing that you decided to post this now. Yesterday a car on the other carriageway slammed into the crash barrier on the central reservation just as we passed. I was glad to see the lady was ok. Everything stopped and nobody hit her but it’s sobering to think that without the barrier she would have slammed into us head on at 70mph. Not something any of us would have walked away from. Glad you were ok. Hope you got this sorted, that the whiplash has gone and you are now mobile again.

    All the best

    MTM

    • OMG!!!! Bloody hell! So pleased you’re okay! Shesh, that’s the thing isn’t it? At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how good a driver you are, how careful or skilled you may be, you cannot guarantee against idiot or reckless drivers. 😦 Thanks honey, still all ongoing. My whiplash is mostly gone but I’ll have the scar on my right breast forever I think. Hey ho. Could have been so much worse. Really pleased the barrier was there for you though. Yikes! xxx

  3. sjhigbee says:

    I swung by to see how you were – I’ve been crazy busy and hadn’t seen you for a while on the Reader stream… I’ve just read the above in shock. I knew you’d had an accident, but it sounds absolutely horrible. The blessing is that you are relatively unhurt – but I’m so very sorry about your car:(. I hope by now all the insurance stuff is sorted out… Hope to catch up with you at Fantasycon, if you’re going? Hugsxxx

    • Thank you sweetie, lol, no, four months on the insurance company are still dealing with stuff and I’m still out of pocket, but the whiplash has thankfully improved. Thank you sweetie. 😀 xxx No, sorry honey, FantasyCon this year is just a little to far for me this year, but have a great time. I’ll hopefully see you at BristolCon though! 😀 xxx

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