Last minute lady

Wear Your Seatbelt!

Not to be a total downer, but I feel compelled to share this story with you guys. This past Sunday, my family and I took a drive to go try a great pizza place in another town. We had a fabulous lunch and were just driving around looking at the other great restaurants in the area (truth be told, I was researching for this site). My husband was driving our station wagon, I was in the passenger’s seat and my children, ages 5 and 3, were in the backseat. The last thing I remember is slowing down as we approached a red light. Next thing I knew, I felt my back and head slam against the back of my seat and a I heard a huge bang. I had absolutely no thoughts in my head about what was going on and I didn’t immediately turn around to check on my kids, which I think will forever haunt me. I think of myself as a James Bond kind of mom-there to protect my kids against all danger! All I could do was sit there and think to myself, “I’ve just broken my back.” I had no other thought in my head. A few seconds later, I heard the words come out of my mouth, almost in slow motion, “what just happened?” I could hear my husband yelling, “are you okay?” to my 5 year old as she was sitting still looking straight ahead, as was my son. He answered me, “we’ve just been hot by a car.” Hearing those words made me turn my head to look out the window but I couldn’t see the other car and I remember thinking that I couldn’t understand what the words meant that came out of his mouth. Just then I heard my daughter cry and I snapped to. I screamed and jumped out of the car and into the backseat. The kids were actually, miraculously completely fine. I grabbed my son out of his seat and carried him to the curb-I just wanted them out of the car! My husband grabbed my daughter and we met on the curb. I looked at our car and it looked like one of those crash test dummy commercials driving full speed into a wall. The front and the back were crumpled. Again, miraculously, all four of us were okay physically.

As it turned out, there was a young man driving behind us who fell asleep at the wheel after being up all night working at a club and then going directly to his day job. He dozed off behind us and drove into the back of our car at full speed. The cops said we actually saved his life because if he had hit a pole, there would have been no give to the object he hit and we gave.

In my trance like state, I approached the young man, who seemed to also be okay, luckily, but only because his car veered slightly to the left as he was driving and the whole front of his car crumpled, except the part right around him. I said very calmly, “you almost killed my entire family and yourself. Whatever you’re doing with your job situation is not working. Take a nap.” He looked so sad, he felt genuinely bad and he said, “I need both jobs.” I felt terrible for him.

Now a few days later, I am mad at him for not being responsible. I still feel guilty that I didn’t jump to my children’s attention and I am grateful that my husband had his wits about him quicker than I did. I now know I was in a state of shock. I keep replaying in my mind the what ifs and what could have been and how lucky we are to be alive.

Being a positive thinker, my take away is this-we could not have changed anything we did that day and life goes on. We were just out for a drive. However, we played by the rules, we had our seat belts on, the kids were in real car seats and that is what saved us. We were prepared. I can’t imagine what would have happened if I slacked off that day and took my seatbelt off for that split second.

Just wanted to share a lesson with all of you that hopefully will not be one you’ll need to experience for yourselves.


7 Responses to “Wear Your Seatbelt!”

  1. leoni says:

    wow, seems that you were really lucky there.
    You knew in your heart that your children were safe in those seats. If they would not have been seated there I believe you would have acted differently and accordingly to that situation. I can understand your what-if’s tho…

  2. Val says:

    God had His hand protecting u all that day. A extra guardian angel for your family! Yea God!!!

  3. Bella says:

    I am so glad that all is doing well, but I do understand what you are going through. Two years ago, I was hit head on by truck and walk away without a scratch. The only thing that saved me was my vehicle. You are honestly going through the emotions right now and you just need to let yourself do that and that is ok, and then at the end of each day let that all go and enjoy your family!!

  4. Stacy says:

    All of those involved were very lucky. I always wear my seatbelt. Having worked in an ER for several years (I am a dialysis nurse now) I know that seat belts can save lives.

  5. Brenda Corey says:

    20 years ago I was hit from behind by a tractor trailer truck and it landed on top of my vehicle. My husband was killed instantly. The car was dragged down the interstate with me still inside. I was wearing my seatbelt..it saved my life and the life of my unborn child.

    6 years ago, two children and my husband were traveling on the interstate when we were hit from behind. Tragically my husband was killed instantly, we were all wearing seatbelts which saved our lives, but unfortunately the seatbelt my husband was wearing failed, which ejected him from the vehicle with the seatbelt still attached. My children suffered only minor physical injuries. But they sustained a lot of mental injuries. 6 years later we are on the road to recovery. I am so glad your family only suffered minor injuries.

  6. Kryste says:

    I am terrified of being in a car wreck, and now even more mortified because I have a one-year-old son. I’ve realized, though, that there’s noting more that I can do – we wear our seatbelts, my son has his carseat, I drive extra careful, don’t speed, and am aware of what is going on around me.

    I’m glad that you and your family are fine.

    I think that it’s really sad that there are people in the world who have to work so much that they’re falling asleep at the wheel. I had a friend whose cousin died because of the same thing. It happens here all of the time, because of a certain factory in town that overworks people. They’re constantly falling asleep while driving…

  7. Anna says:

    I’m glad you and your family were not hurt
    in this accident. It does make us appreciate
    when we are not hurt in these accidents.

    We had a death in the family a week before
    Montana mandated wearing seat belts twenty
    years ago.

    My step brother and wife were out late with
    their kids that tragic night. My snl fell
    asleep and awoke grabbing the steering wheel
    from my brother. My snl died immediately
    leaving a family of 6.They were thrown from their truck. Their daughter was 5 years old and had to be hospitalized. My niece grew up without her mother. My brother raised his step sons and daughter. Fortunately, my brother wasn’t hurt so he could take care of
    their kids. He is a fantastic dad.

    I always try to wear my seat belt.

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