Thursday, March 19, 2009

Rattled

My best friend and I were in a car accident last week. A car of teenagers flew through a red light and t-boned my friend's van. The driver of the other car broke her wrist, but still found the energy to leap out of her crappy turquoise car and start screaming at my friend, "You ran the red light!"

As if. I guess that means that all of the other driver sitting patiently at the traffic light going the same direction as the teenage missile were mistaken? Or coincidentally all from a country where it's considered a courtesy to stop at green lights?

We were lucky not to have any injuries, although my friend's van had to be towed to a repair shop. Because none of the third-party witnesses bothered to call the police or stop to check if we were OK, my friend will likely have to pay her full deductible. The police cannot declare either party at fault unless they (the cop) actually witnessed the accident.

My friend and I have totally opposite reactions in times of stress. In the minutes following the crash, she sobbed and was unable to say anything but, "Oh, my God! Oh, my God!" I felt completely calm and tried to talk soothingly to her, especially when she began to shake all over, as if she were in shock. I called 911 and gathered her insurance and registration from the glove compartment for the police. By the time her husband arrived, about half an hour later, she was still shaky and upset. I felt eerily calm and rational.

By mid-afternoon, she was back to normal, phoning insurance agents, arranging a rental car, and starting to get royally pissed over the whole situation. I found myself imagining a succession of "what ifs" and became suddenly paralyzed with fear. Thank God the kids weren't with us...thank God she wasn't going faster...thank God we weren't hit into oncoming traffic...

Even now, a week later, I am unnaturally wary about driving. I find myself panicky when a driver out in front of me, even when there's plenty of room. A flash of color in my peripheral vision makes me break out in a cold sweat. I create excuses not to drive across town, when normally I would welcome the chance to get out of the house.

This, too, shall pass, right?

6 comments:

smalltownmom said...

Yes, it will pass. But how frightening for you and your friend.

Jen on the Edge said...

How scary. I'm glad you both are okay.

Lora and Mike said...

It WILL pass. I promise. :)

Country Girl said...

Sorry this happend to you! My Mom was in an accident last week on her way here and she was a wreck emotionally and did not even wannot physically. I too was in an accident as a teenager. I was a passenger and we were hit by a dumptruck on my side. Back then we didn't where seat belts. Thankfully we were both ok but I had PTSD from the event for months.
Hope your feeling better soon.

Country Girl said...

Sorry for the error. My lap top has a way of jumping around.
It was suppose to say emotionally not physically and she did not even want to drive home.Opps...I did not proofread until after I sent.

Grandma said...

Like I have always said, your writing on events in your and your family's everyday life, puts the reader right there with you. While reading this posting about the accident, I could feel all the emotions you felt at the time. I knew there would not be another chapter posting on the subject, so I had to call you to get the rest of the story as to how you two were doing. We are happy to learn that both of you are doing fine.