what i learned from being in an accident

by - March 10, 2018

It was an unusually warm, March afternoon, the sun shining through the windows warming up the seat of my car. Sitting next to me was my younger sister who I had picked up from school.
I was going the regular route home, and I put on my left turn signal in order to turn into my neighborhood, slowing down way in advance of my turn. There isn't a distinct turn lane for turning left, so you always have to keep an eye behind you to make sure everyone goes around you.
One car goes around me. 
Another car is in the process of going around me. 
Two cars went around me until a third car came up behind me, obviously approaching way too fast to be able to brake. I tried to see if I could continue going straight, but when I looked ahead of me, there was a car still trying to go around me. If I went forward, I risked getting hit by that person.
There was incoming traffic still coming from the opposite direction, so it was impossible for me to turn left into my neighborhood.
I wanted to escape, but I just couldn't. 
I'm grateful for many reasons that I will touch on later, but it is a terrible feeling to be in a situation that you can't avoid, especially when it's not your fault. 
I hear the squealing of brakes as the jeep behind me comes to a halting stop, and there was two seconds of dead silence. For a moment, I breathed a sigh of relief because I thought he had somehow managed to bring his monster to a stop.
Then I heard the sound that you'll only know if you've ever been in an accident.
A loud crunching noise filled the air.
I'm going to be completely honest with you, I don't really remember thinking a whole lot except complete shock, terror, and my head coming back and hitting the seat behind me. Tears filled my eyes and I was just so upset that this driver wasn't paying attention and that now my car was damaged because of his recklessness. (Yes, of course, his car had no damage).

This leads me to a few main things that I learned from being in my first accident.

1. Kill 'em with kindness
I asked if everyone else was okay in the car that hit me, although it wasn't my fault. Did the other driver ask if I was okay? Nope, of course not. But sometimes it's best to show them Jesus, even if you don't understand why you've just been put into a situation that wasn't your fault and is going to be difficult for you to deal with. It was super hard and frustrating, but I know that Jesus was definitely there at the scene because I could've been super rude and critical, but I chose to keep my mouth shut.
This in no way justifies him crashing into me, and there were a lot of reasonable things I probably could've said to his face, but I didn't want to regret saying anything in that moment of shock, so I kept my mouth shut. 

2. We weren't hurt 
This accident majorly ruined my car (thousands of dollars worth), but I just experienced minor soreness and my sister was completely fine. If he had hit us full speed, we probably would've been seriously hurt. I'm glad it wasn't my fault and that the other guy will pay for the cost of fixing my car.

3. Leave lots of room between you and the car in front of you
I would say that I'm a fairly good driver most of the time, following most rules on the road. But it's easy to get impatient and get really close to people if they aren't driving as fast as you want to. 
This was an important reminder for me to just keep space between me and the car in front of me so I have enough time to react...whether it is them slamming on their breaks or perhaps dodging something else in the road. 

Have you ever been in an accident? What was your experience? 

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  1. So glad that everyone was okay!

  2. I've been in an accident before, but I had the opposite experience-- the person I crashed into was giving me really dirty glares. I'm so happy you got out of it safely and treated everyone kindly!!!

    xoxo Abigail Lennah | ups & downs

  3. Thankful to Jesus you were okay!

  4. I'm glad you're safe, Lauren! I'm so proud that you were able to show kindness even though none was being shone to you. That is a perfect example of true strength. <3