6 years ago today I crashed my car, well I say crashed more attempted to squeeze it into a gap that wasn’t big enough. It was a road that I drove down regularly, only about a minute from home and I knew it was tight but kept going. With the parked van to my left and traffic on the other side of the road facing the opposite direction I tried to squeeze my little car through the gap and then bang. My passenger side wing mirror hit the parked van, folded in and smashed the window. I stopped, my heart was in my mouth and I was in shock. I pulled past the van and over to the side of the road. The van driver ran over to see if I was ok. I was immediately apologetic saying I would pay for any damage. He said there was none and just wanted to check we were alright. Yes, T was in my car, sitting in the back on the passenger side. I looked back at her and I remember her looking scared. There was glass all over the seat in the front and on the floor and on the floor at her feet. The van driver asked if we had far to go, I told him no I only lived at the bottom of the next road. He told me to take a minute before driving home and not to worry about it because we were ok.
I took a deep breath and limped us home.
I remember getting out of the car when we got home and surveying the damage. There were scrapes all down the side, the wing mirror was smashed and my passenger side window was in bits. I took T in and fell to pieces. I remember ringing my Mum, she told me it was only metal and could be fixed, we couldn’t. The window was repaired that evening by a really nice repairman who had to work in the dark and pouring rain but got it replaced. The car went in the next day and I got a shiny new courtesy car for a week.
Everything was fixed and paid for but I remember finding pieces of glass for months after every time I moved the seat forward one would fall out.
It was a horrendous experience and I remember feeling such a failure having to give T crisps and a yoghurt for her dinner that night because I had caused this big mess I had to spend ages on the phone sorting out.
I’m still nervous of that road in rush hour and as we have moved now I haven’t had to drive down it in a while, if I did though I know I would be holding my breath.
These days I’m much more careful with my driving, it only takes just one time to make you realise what precious cargo you are carrying and how lucky we were to both be ok.