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A car accident can be a traumatic thing. I've experienced a number of vehicle accidents in my life. I have to say, as the years go by, the safety of the vehicles have gotten better. My reactions have changed not only because I've been in these accidents before but because of my confidence in the vehicles themselves.
Twenty years ago, I got into a huge car accident. I was still a teenager and it was my first car accident, so it freaked me out of driving for a number of years. I still remember that day pretty clearly and I also remember having head problems because my head had smacked the window during the collision. I was making a routine left hand turn when out of nowhere, a car came speeding in and hit the tail of my car. The impact was so hard that my car spun horizontally in the air at least one or two rotations and landed on an island knocking out a traffic light and a police cruiser waiting at the stop light.
Back in those days, we believed the bigger the car the more security you have in your car. In a way, that mentality still stays true. That's potentially the reason why so many people purchase SUV's and trucks. I understand this mentality especially after getting into such an accident. I was still shaken up since I had nothing to help me but my seat-belt.
It took me quite some time, but I eventually started driving again. I got pretty confident in driving. After a number of years without incident, I got cocky and eventually bought a motorcycle. Then during one unexpected rainy day, while trying to slow down for a red light, my rear tire got caught on some debris on the ground. My motorcycle started to wobble and I tried to fight it and get the motorcycle to straighten up. I wasn't so lucky because the motorcycle rolled over me and we rolled. Luckily, my helmet protected my head. I was bruised all over and I wasn't able to move the right side of my body. Needless to say, it freaked me out. Not too long after a friend of mine died in a motorcycle accident. I decided I would wait a while before getting back on a motorcycle.
So I went back to driving cars. The money that I saved from the motorcycle allowed me to buy a new car. I enjoyed a few more years accident-free and then one fateful night while waiting at a red light a driver was texting and smashed the rear of my car. It's not the first time I've been hit from behind waiting at a red light but usually, it's a car sliding on water or skidding and then it's just a tip on the bumper. This accident totally crushed the back part of my car. It made me very wary of red light stops. Really what can you do at a red light though? You're supposed to stay stopped.
A number of years later I became confident in driving again. Then recently on the highway, I was driving on a one-lane highway and I see a car driving the other direction swerving in front of me. I try to slow down but it's winter, so my tires can only slow down so much. The other car soon starts slipping into my lane and hits me head on. The impact was so powerful it threw my car into the snowbank on the side of the road. I didn't even realize my glasses disappeared. The airbags had deployed and our seat belts worked like a charm. I have to say this is the first time I didn't feel so stressed after an accident. It's not as though my car is a big car.
Maybe it's because I've become desensitized by the situation or the fact that I know that vehicles are getting increasingly safe that I don't feel as much fear coming out of these situations. I know if this was years back I would have much more anxiety that I do today. Don't get me wrong, I still get a little freaked out and I'm sure my story might change once I start driving again, but I have to get up and get back to driving.