Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Selfish Reason I'll Never Speed Again

It was a busy Sunday, I had spent the morning packing up my husband's truck to drive north and drop my son with Grandma. I never thought just a couple hours into the drive my one year old son and I would be in an ambulance headed to the hospital.

Damage from the accident


It all happened so fast. I started fishtailing over some black ice, and couldn't regain control of the vehicle. Before I knew it we were rolling.

I remember everything: thinking that if I hit the car next to me we would all die, glass flying sideways across my face as the vehicle was flipping, and the most vivid memory of all -- frantically reaching to see if my son was alive once the truck came to a standstill.

It's a moment I wish upon no parent. The first possible second I could I ripped my seat belt off, lunged into the back seat, threw off the debris that was covering my son, and screamed his name. But this is a good story. I don't know how, but my son was completely uninjured.

damage from the crash
In the aftermath of the crash the inevitable questions started about what exactly happened. The truth is I've always been a pretty big follower of the 10% rule when it comes to speeding, thinking it was totally fine to go faster than the posted speed limit as long as it was within ten percent. This crash could not have changed my thinking more.

I replay that moment in my head - reaching back for my son not knowing if he was alive - and I sometimes envision the more morbid outcome. It makes me so sick to think about how many parents have experienced that horror as their reality.

We were lucky. And with this crash there isn't much that I had control of. But I did have complete control of how fast I was going.

Simply put: I will never speed again because I don't want to blame myself for the death of my child.

Speeding might not be the principle cause of an accident, but it certainly undoubtedly impacts the severity of the damage. There are so many variables with driving that you can't control. I know now that the rules of the road within my control need to be respected, if for not other reason than so there is no question on my part if the worst happens again.

I'm not suggesting I'm going to now drive at granny speeds, or that when my son isn't with me I'll be a speed demon. I'm just saying that I will drive at the posted limit from this point forward, even in those areas of the city where everyone goes above it. So keep my story in mind the next time you are frustrated behind someone coasting at that marker, and be kind. They may have just got in a rollover accident, like me, or possibly they know the impact of speed in an even worse way than I do.



12 comments:

  1. How terrifying that must have been! Really glad you guys are okay and there were no serious health affects! I am naturally a stickler for rules and never go even a mile over the speed limit--but all of us need to watch out for those extra conditions like rain or ice that mean we need to go even slower. We one time slid right off the road and into the ditch while my husband was driving, thankfully it was practically a slow-motion slide off, because we were only going probably 30 miles an hour to begin with, but the ice made it so that the car simply wouldn't stop! Winter driving is scary!

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    1. Wow yes and think of how much worse that could have been if you were going faster. Driving for the conditions is so important. Thank you for sharing!

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  2. Thank you for your honesty. I have also thought that going a little above was fine. This is convicting in the best way. So thankful that you guys are safe.

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  3. Oh my gosh what an incredibly powerful story with an important message. I am terrified of getting into a wreck with my toddler in the backseat. I was in a car accident in high school where the driver flipped our Jeep Liberty three times and to this day I get nauseous thinking about it - I can't imagine if I had been driving with my daughter. Thank God you are both okay!

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    1. I am so grateful as well. Your accident probably made you a much safer driver in the long run!

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  4. OMG! What a terrifying ordeal to experience - I'm so thankful that the outcome wasn't worse for you two. Vehicles can be replaced. Having been in an accident with my son in the backseat, it's not something I wish on anyone. Its terrifying and horrible!

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    1. So horrible. And thank god for a good car seat!

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  5. I can't even imagine! I know when a truck didn't stop and drove in to the side of us my immediate thought before he even hit us was "Thank God Oran is on the other side". I didn't even get angry with the truck that sent our SUV to the scrap yard. My first words to the stressed guy were, "Well at least our son's ok!" A few years ago, I would've torn verbal strips off him!

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    1. Yours was so horrible but at least you were not at fault. The guilt is really horrible!

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  6. Oh my goodness! Now I understand when you said, "Life happened." I'm so sorry you had to go through this, but I'm SO HAPPY you and your son are safe.. here. Driving is scary. It's crazy because most of us do it every day and do not think of all the different scenarios and road rules.
    My family and I were in an accident this summer and it was a game changer for sure. I'll be honest, I'm all sorts of anxious when the traffic gets heavy or people around me speed; it rains here often, so that adds to it.
    I'm thankful that you can tell your story and warn other parents. Thanks for sharing with us.
    XOXO

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  7. I had an incident similar to yours, meeting the back end of a semi-truck. I totalled my car, but I survived relatively unscathed. The police told me if I had been going any faster I wouldn't have. I learned speed does matter. Just 10 miles an hour can be the difference between surviving an accident or not.

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