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Friday, 25 April 2014

After affects of a car crash

Goodness me I didn't realise so much time had passed since I have been on here. I can't even tell you exactly what I have been doing either. Well apart from colds/flue, collapsed lung, Chicken pox and a car accident, you know the norm.

Well the accident wasn't really nor and to be honest it has left me and my eldest son a little traumatised. I need to get this off my chest so please bare with me.

Just over three weeks ago I dropped my daughter off at another school, as she was taking part in a school sing off. I was on my way back home with my six year old boy, who was off school with chicken pox, and my nineteen month old baby, driving down a country road. The weather was much like today (hence my need to write about it now), grey, drizzly fog making the roads all slippery and visibility poor.

We were driving up a hill when a car came around the corner too fast and headed towards the high and dense verge. In their attempt to avoid the verge, they turned the steering wheel hard and fast in he other direction, causing the car to venture onto my side of the road.

I slowed down, looking for somewhere to go, but with trees either side of the road, I was stuck.

By this time, the driver was still fighting to control the car and was heading back onto their side of the road, heading straight for the trees. I saw the woman turn the steering wheel again and I knew she was going to hit me. All I could do was say "Sorry Boy's."

It was the smell of smoke that made me open my eyes. I don't think I lost consciousness, but it took a few moments to remember what had happened before and for the realisation that I had been hit, to sink in. The air bags had deployed and my nose felt like it was bleeding, my hand burned and was quite sore. I heard my baby and my older son crying and knew I had to get them out of the car to safety.

As I was getting my boy's out of the car, the driver of the other car also got out and three children, two of which were not hers, screaming and clearly very shaken up. She was just standing in the middle of the road with these children around her. I told her to bring the children over with me, upon to the verge out of the way of any cars that may come around the bend. Then I called the police.

I knew my car wouldn't drive anywhere and we were both completely blocking the road. I didn't actually know where I was and the signal was crap. A lady pulled up behind me and got out of her car. The relief I felt when I saw it was another mother from my children's school. She was able to talk to the police while I tended to my boy's, making sure they were not hurt.

I then called my hubby to come and get us, trying to convince him it wasn't that bad. Who was I kidding. I had to take pictures of the car and as I walked around the front to see the damage for the first time, I cried.

I don't know if my tears where relief that we had got out ok, or the fear of how much worse it could have been if we weren't sensible and wore our seatbelts. Possibly both.

The police arrived shortly after that. They were with the other driver mostly, taking her statement, but eventually it was my turn. My son asked if I was going to get arrested lol Bless him. I gave a statement and took a breath test. The very inconsiderate officer told me I could keep the plastic bit as a souvenir... As if I want one. Little did I know at the time that the after affects of the crash would be all the souvenir I would need.

The driver was late getting the children to school, and although the road is a 60mph, she didn't take into consideration the bad weather conditions, or notice of the sharp bend. As a result she caused a totally unnecessary crash.

I didn't think the crash would cause such a mental scar to both my son's and myself.

In the days followed, my baby would cry and ask to get out of the car when we drove down a tree lined street. My older son kept talking about car crashes and what would happen with various vehicles crashing. For example a lorry and a car, would someone die? Every time I heard him talking, or my baby cry, I got angry with the lady. When a car drives slightly on my side of the road to over take a parked vehicle, my son asks if we are going to crash. He tells me his throat swells up and he can't breath for a second. It just breaks my heart that he is suffering so much but I understand exactly how he feels, I am exactly the same. I find myself holding my breath, or holding on to the steering wheel so tight my hands cramp. I cry when I am a passenger because I don't have control of the car. Today the weather is so similar to the morning of the accident and I cried again. My son was nervous in the car and reliving the incident all over again.  It just isn't fair.

All of our physical injuries are soft tissue and will heal in time, but I fear the mental scars are deep and will last a long time. I didn't cause the accident, but I couldn't protect my boys either. That's the hardest thing. I had to sit and watch this driver head straight for us and there was nothing I could do to avoid it.

I'm sure in time we will cope better, but I hope that we, or anyone I know, never has to experience this.

So my parting message. If you are a driver who takes risks, ask yourself, "Is it really worth it?" The children in the other car have it far worse than mine. Their trauma started the moment she lost control of the car. Could you live with yourself inflicting such mental trauma on innocent people?

J.P. Stevens