Life

Grandma talks about her car accident – one year later

I know what you’re all probably thinking. How did grandma get in a car accident when she is the best driver in the world and always drives below the speed limit?? (This is not completely true. I am an okay driver, but I couldn’t parallel park if my life depended on it. I’m not joking). The car accident wasn’t my fault but I thought I would make a post about it because it’s so interesting how your brain processes memories and what details you remember a year later!

Some back story – On November 18, 2017, I was driving from downtown Calgary to my home in the suburbs and it was maybe seven or eight p.m. I was coming back from my little sister’s ninth birthday party. It was a clear day, it wasn’t snowing, and it was 5 degrees (I actually went and googled the weather for that day so I could be the most accurate as possible. No lies here folks).

I was driving on Deerfoot and it was really empty, which ended up being a very good thing because of the severity of the accident. I was driving 100 km/h when I got hit, which was probably the most terrifying part. I was in the far-right lane because my exit was coming up, and all of a sudden, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a car come FLYING towards me. I remember this moment so clearly, it’s almost like it happened in slow motion. I remember trying to swerve around it so that it wouldn’t hit me, but it did. The crazy part is, I don’t remember the moment when it actually hit me. It happened so fast that I think my mind has just forgotten it completely!

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My car after the crash – most of the impact was to the passenger side which is why I am so glad I didn’t have a passenger with me at the time

A question that I got a lot after my accident was, “What did it feel like when the airbags went off??” (the steering wheel and side curtain passenger air bag deployed during the crash) and my answer is always “I honestly don’t remember at all!” Not even the slightest memory exists that I can refer back to. It’s so strange. Although my mind completely erased the actual impact, I remember every single detail that happened after.

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I remember saying “oh my god, oh my god, oh my god.” And not even really being able to comprehend what had just happened. I remember the first thing I did was touch my face because it felt sore, and realized blood was gushing from my nose so that was a good time! Since I was the only person in the car when the crash happened, I didn’t even think to call 911, but some kind strangers parked their car on the side of the highway and came to see if I was okay and called for me. They gave me a sweater so that I could clean up the blood on my nose and stayed with me until the police came. It was so nice, there are so many good people left in this world!

I still didn’t really understand how bad the crash was until I got out of my vehicle and realized I was in the middle of Deerfoot. My car had been pushed from the far-right lane, to the middle of the highway, and this is why I was so glad the highway was empty, or there could have been more cars involved in the collision. There was actually a tweet made about the accident by a traffic twitter account because I closed down the highway for a bit LOL.

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Look! I’m famous!

In total three cars were effected, mine, the person who hit me, and another car that the first car hit after it hit me. Everyone involved was okay and no one was taken to hospital which was great and I am so thankful for that. Cars can be replaced but people can’t!

Here’s where this story has a really good lesson in it. When the crash happened, my phone battery was at 1%. This was just enough battery power to call my mom, my dad and Ahmed, who was in Egypt at the time. I didn’t say much to them, the only thing I said was “I got in a car accident but I’m okay don’t worry.” After speaking to them briefly, my phone died. I had no way to update them or tell them what was going on. Ahmed, in Egypt, later told me that he was freaking out and looking at plane tickets to Canada because he didn’t know how bad the crash was. I felt so bad that I worried him that much. Lesson learned, always make sure your phone is at more than 1% if you’re driving anywhere, or keep a phone charger in your car! How did they live in the old days without phones?? Crazy times.

I was scared to drive after the accident, but since I was in university, I had to go to school the next day and I lived very far from school where I refused to take public transportation because it would take me two hours. So, I went and got a rental car, and drove to school the next day! I feel like that was the best way to get over the initial shook, instead of not driving for weeks or months after the crash, I just went straight back into it. I still get really nervous if I pass the scene of a car accident because I re-live my crash over again, and sometimes I even start crying, but it’s gotten a lot easier with time.

The moral of this story is to always keep your phone charged so your boyfriend in Egypt knows you’re okay! Also, don’t speed! After the accident, I got the police report and it said the person who hit me was 17 years old, so the only explanation I can think of is that they were inexperienced and speeding when they hit me. I received 0% blame for the accident, and although my car got written off, I only got a nose bleed and a minor case of whiplash. Sometimes I wonder, “If I had left downtown just 5 minutes later I could’ve avoided the crash,” but I’ve learnt that you can’t spend your life thinking “what if” or it will drive you crazy. I am just so thankful that everyone was okay, and now I drive even more like a grandma!

That’s all for now, shout-out to whoever made it this far in the blog post, it was a long one

Peace-out

G-MA

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