Sunday, October 8

your life does not flash in front of your eyes, mostly the inside of your car flashes in front of your eyes

I totalled our car about 4 hours ago. We're fine, really. Max seems completely intact, he has a small friction burn on his neck from the seat belt. Leah has a pain in her foot, but no visible bruising and she can wiggle her toes and put weight on it. I have some shooting pain in my left arm, about a 2 on the pain scale, but I saw a paramedic and we both agreed that this is probably just a sprain from gripping the wheel too tightly during the impact.

Okay, so, as near as I can figure it here is what happened.

We were in the passing lane, on the 401 coming east back from a bucolic day of hay rides, corn labyrinths and apple picking (couldn't you just barf?). We were going with the flow of traffic, maybe 115-125 clicks when the car in front of me (yes there were at least 3 chevrons between us) suddenly swerved.

Now there was a large (about a metre long) piece of truck tire lying across the lane in front of me. I swerved, the car started to fish tail wildly, I lost complete control and hit the divider going pretty fast. At the point of impact we were turned 90 degrees to the lane just about. The airbags fired, the hood flew up and covereed the windshield, we were blind and deaf and right in the middle of oncoming traffic.

No one hit us. This is the actual miracle, since we would have been t-boned and I at the very least would have had to watch as my wife was killed or injured right in front of me. I remember that I could smell smoke, which I assumed was a fire but which occurred to me later was probably just the smell the airbags make when they explode out of their respective compartments. I got directly out of the car and got away from it. We stood on the inside shoulder, lifted Max up onto the divider and did a cursory check for injury.

The car got towed to an impound lot. I'll never see that car again, it's totalled for sure. Now I just have to wait for a cheque from the insurance and start all over again.

Some random thoughts about what was expected versus what happened. Time does indeed seem to slow down, so that every thing that happens during impact seems quite compartmentalized and distinct. You do not go into shock, or at least I didn't, but Leah got very dizzy and had to sit down until her colour returned. I did not have any problem getting right back in the car and driving again about an hour later when we had been given a rental. I did drive a little "extra careful" at first, but no fear or anxiety to speak of. I am totally exhausted now, and it's only 8 o'clock. I do not have any sense of heightened sensation, like the whole "air smells sweeter since I brushed with death" phenomenon.

So I'm home, and I'm sure I'll spend the next few weeks thinking about how I might adjust my driving habits, but other than that all this is is a bureaucratic process that will result either in being given some money, or having to pay some. On to other things.

2 Comments:

Blogger Urban Faery said...

I send you hugs and car-fearing love! I'm glad you're all safe and sound!

12:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude - that is crazy cary and I am really glad that you are all OK. Sending you good thoughts from your old Amex pal :)

9:39 AM  

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