Monday Madness: The Car Wreck

Monday: A day greatly feared by the workforce for being the first day of many peoples’ work week, and with that comes a slew of mishaps and bad luck. You’ll find very few who hear the word “Monday” and don’t shiver in fear at the events that day will bring. Despite having to work every single weekend, I am no different than the rest. For my own personal reasons, I too, fear the “Monday”.

This past Monday was the perfect example of why I dislike these days. I had a pile of work I had to attend to that I was not able to get to on Saturday nor Sunday, and with the looming threat of the large bosses being in town later that evening, everything was expected to be pristine. This had everyone in their own topsy turvy moods, and my empathy was of course eating it all up, and I kept running into corners where things were going awry.

By the time my shift was over on Monday, I was ready to go home and not look back, happy to forget my workplace existed for the next four days (the pros to being a part-time working full-time mom). It was this eagerness to escape that would lead to my downfall this terrible Monday, giving it the end such a bad day had to prove that everything can, in fact, get worse.

I was in my car waiting to exit the parking lot, blocked out from getting into the left-most lane due to the amount of traffic sitting at the red light. Alas, one of the people in the middle lane was one I knew, and he was kindly waving to me that he would let me get all the way over once the lanes began to empty. Right around this time, said light finally turned green and the lane next to him began to empty, but now came the pressure from anxiety: I had to quickly get over there to show my appreciation for his kindness, and so that the traffic behind him was no longer held up.

I looked once to see if anyone was coming from the right lane and it was clear as I looked back up towards the one giving me a clear way through. No one coming from the lane I wanted to get in, and I began my way through… without checking the right lane again.

I’ve never been in a car accident before, but I’ve heard how they come fast and I never once questioned that. But like many things I’ve experienced in my life where that phrase fits, it’s just something you don’t fully understand until you’ve been in that setting. I looked as I was already halfway in the lane, and not only did I see a car coming straight for me, but I saw a cop’s SUV coming straight for me.

Time slowed as I watched the impact happen even before the vehicles made contact and I was slamming on my breaks. I felt the force of the massive SUV striking my compact Mazda 6, crushing in the front driver’s wheel and all I knew was everything was trying to go white. Everything was blurred as my glasses flew off my face, and coupled with the fact that I found myself struggling to keep consciousness, I was in the midst of a panic as to what would happen if I did pass out.

I managed to stay awake. And it didn’t take long for me to slowly start to fathom what had happened, another good sign that I was incredibly grateful for. I had just been involved in a car accident, as terrifying as it was, but I was awake. And nothing was hurting. As the cop came forward and began to ask me if I was okay, I knew what he was asking me, and I answered that I was. When made sure I was fine, I was able to produce my license and send him a text message of my insurance. I was breathing, I was awake, I was conscious, and I knew what was happening.

The fire department was called to check up on me, and I found shortly before their arrival that I must have hit my head on something due to a knot that was forming upon my head and a small, unbleeding cut accompanied with it. They explained to me how I would be feeling sore the next day. They explained to me the numbness or tingles I should look out for in order to seek treatment, since I refused an ambulance. I was clear, and I understood. Through all the craziness and how fast everything happened, I was surprised at how I was not panicking. Surely, a temporary thing.

When I finally wandered out of the car so I could send a picture to my husband, whom was in the midst of fury and panic, that was when I noticed the first sign of any pain. It hurt to put any pressure on my right foot. Otherwise, I was able to walk, I was moving, I was fine, and I was alive. I cooperated with the supervisor of the cop that hit me as he asked me questions, being the honest person I am and telling them the truths of the accident. The came to tow the car; I was cited with a ticket for reckless driving. Considering my plates were out of state and expired by well over a year, I am lucky it wasn’t worse.

As the time went on, I realized my foot was hurting worse. By the time my husband arrived with my sister-in-law, wrought with fury with the fact that the car, our only car, was totaled, I had come to the conclusion a trip to the ER was necessary after all. After I received my citation and got my information on the steps I needed to take, they dropped me off at the ER since my husband had to get home with our kids.

X-rays and a CT scan were done, and the news came back that I was officially in the clear: no broken bones and no concussion. However, due to the fact that I could hardly walk, I was given a post-op shoe and crutches to help me get around as I continued to heal. They reiterated the same speech the fire department gave me, about how I’d be sore the next day and what to look out for if I needed to come back, then sent me on my way.

I am fortunate. Had the police officer that hit me not swerved and aimed for my engine instead, the outcome could have been completely different. I could not be alive, or I could have had much worse injuries. Considering the force with which I was hit, hobbling around for the duration of my days off with crutches and a stiff, uncomfortable shoe is a damned miracle. The true panic I was expecting has still not settled in; I think the fact of what could have happened has simply change my way of thinking in this scenario. The material loss in our car and the annoyances through dealing with the insurance company and the fact that we now have to continue paying for a car we no longer have just… does not bother me. Not as much as it normally would, anyway.

Tomorrow, we go to sign the papers to basically sign over the car and allow the insurance to settle the loan from totaling the vehicle. We won’t see a dime of it since it will go back to the dealer we bought it from since we still owe about $5.5k on. After being stuck in these payments for 3 1/2 years, we were coming up on finally being done with it later this year. Words cannot explain the guilt I face that we still have to abide by that for a car we no long own. With an amount of $3k for the car from the insurance, and $1k being taken out for my deductible, after everything, we will have $2k taken off what we still owe.

Now we face relying on help from others until we can afford our own vehicle. And once we get that vehicle, we face the spike in insurance payments. We face a whole world that we have never had to see before because, for the most part, we are safe drivers. And I can guarantee if my children had been with me, this would not have happened. This was my anxiousness to get home after a terrible day. This was my desire to not hold up traffic. This was carelessness.

This was showing me that everything could always be worse. I was able to go home to my family Monday night. Many others in my same situation with different outcomes were not able to do so. Take my mistakes and use them to help better yourselves; no matter how stressed and eager you are to get away from what has spurned you, pay attention to your surroundings. Because things could always be worse.

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