If you’re in a car a lot, you’ll end up with some pretty scary moments. I got to thinking though a few of mine, and there’s one that sticks out from the rest by a mile. I’ll get to it soon, but here are a few of the others in no particular order:
When my mom hit black ice in our mini van and ended up in a field. I was in elementary school, and this was the first time I realized that I wasn’t completely safe, and that my parents don’t always have control. It was somewhat of a turning point in my young life, and pretty confusing/terrifying. This was at least twenty years ago and I still have a distinct memory of it.
Pretty much any moment of the carny van. This included having 10 people in the back while my brother raced his friends, the doors literally falling off, tricking people into thinking we were crashing, and so much more.
Witnessing the aftermath of a fatal accident. Read that link if you want to know the full story, but seeing a dead body and a child crying that he had just lost his father still gives me chills.
Seeing police lights light up behind you. I HATE that moment. The scariest for me was my first ticket, which I got only a few months after I had gotten my license. The worst was the drive home wondering what I was going to tell my parents. I had gotten the ticked for speeding (62 in a 55) and my brother got an additional ticket for “following too close.” Yep.
Getting caught in a flood. This would be the second scariest. I was in Texas on backroads I didn’t know, during a thunderstorm, in the woods, at night. The road went over a little hill, and then BAM, I was in water up to the tops of my tires. It came out of nowhere. I looked to my left and in the lightning saw nothing but water, and a fence that probably separated the road from the creek-turned-rapids. There was nothing I could do but keep going, and after an extremely long 10 to 15 seconds, I was on the other side. I got to an intersection where a policeman told me that all other roads were blocked and that I had to turn back around and go through the water again. Knowing what I know now, I never would have done this, but another car was doing the same thing so I crossed my fingers and plowed back through. Sheesh.
At least I didn’t end up like this guy:
There are plenty others. Just last night I was almost hit when a car attempted to overtake another one, coming toward me over a blind hill and curve. It was at night, but here’s where it happened:
Probably the worst place to pass another car.
Ok, if you’ve made it this far, you’re probably wondering what’s number one. Here it is:
And The Award for Most Terrifying Moment in a Car Goes to…
When it was time to drive my newborn baby home from the hospital.
Yep. Nothing compares to that. And no, there wasn’t a near accident or anything like that. What made it terrifying was that we were walking out of the hospital with this tiny little child that wasn’t even 48 hours old, and they were letting us! I kept waiting for someone to say “Hey now, you can’t just take a baby home! You have to be here another week at least! You haven’t even started your parenting training yet!” Sure, they had looked him over and made us vow not to shake him, but then we were on our own. I’ve had LEGO™ sets that had more instructions.
I probably checked 50 times to make sure the car seat was installed correctly. Then when I got into the car, I adjusted my mirrors and sat up straight like I was in my drivers test. I triple checked behind me to make sure the coast was clear, and then backed out of the parking spot as carefully as possible. There was a slight drizzle, and I wondered how slick the roads would be. That’s something that I have never thought about before in the rain, but suddenly it seemed extremely important.
All of a sudden, I was aware of EVERYTHING. It’s the afternoon, will school traffic make the roads too busy? Should I take the backroads, or will they be too wet? What’s the optimal speed for my windshield wipers? Should I take the interstate? Surely I can’t travel at 65 mph with a BABY??? Don’t other cars know that I have a baby on board? Why are they driving so fast?? I NEED A BABY ON BOARD SIGN, STAT!
I had instantly become the world’s safest driver. I checked every blindspot, turned on my signals well in advance, hit the breaks, and never once passed over the speed limit. I left plenty of space between me and the next car, took each turn wide and slow, and looked both ways twice at every intersection. And then…
We made it home just fine.