Every night on my drive home from work, before I get onto the highway (35 for you locals) I take a peek and see what traffic is like. Being that I typically work until 6:30, it isn't too bad. Unfortunately last night... it was bumper to bumper for as far as the eye could see. My first thought? "Dang it, there is a wreck and it's going to cause me to sit here all evening when I could be home with my lovies."
Turns out I was right. There was a wreck... on the OPPOSITE side of the highway. So why was the North bound side of the highway at a stand still? The answer: Because the wreck was so bad that the fire department had to use both sides of the highway to get to the injured people. As I drove past the wreck I couldn't help but see at least 6 cars that were involved crushed to pieces. Some just had the bumper pushed in, others were missing the entire back half.
I saw a man just sitting in the driver's seat with his head back, waiting for the whole thing to end. Another woman whose brand-spankin' new car had done a complete 90 degree turn into the concrete wall dividing the North and South lanes sitting in her seat talking to an officer balling her eyes out. Another woman behind her, laying on a stretcher with her neck stabilized. And then at least 3 more cars behind them... all involved.
My heart immediately sank and I felt tears well up in my eyes. Right then I said a prayer and asked God that he take care of every single person involved. The next thought I had was that I was the biggest B alive. How could I complain about getting home later than usual while these people aren't getting to go home now at all. So there I sat comfortably in my car, thanking Him that I was on my way home to my loved ones while these people were being hauled off to the hospital.
I quickly then reminded myself that driving is a privilege that we all take for granted and think we are the best at. I don't care who you are, how well you think you can drive, one small mistake and you could be crushed to pieces. I will be the first to admit that when I find out there is a wreck up ahead I curse the thought of it.
In February of 2011, I got in a wreck (my first and only). I was going 70 mph on the same highway and while I had enough time to slow down enough to where I didn't get hurt, I was still going fast enough for my car to be considered totalled and the air bags to deploy. If you have never been in a wreck, know that it is one of the scariest things to have to deal with. I was balling my eyes out and was so shaken up I wasn't sleeping well for a week. Thoughts of it just kept running through my head and kept me tossing and turning wondering "what if I would have been paying better attention?"
The whole point of this post is to just remind us all that car accidents are called accidents for a reason. Nobody wants to get in one, nobody means to get in one, and nobody wants to be stuck behind one. Just remember the next time you're waiting in traffic due to one, say a little prayer for the people involved rather than curse them. I know that's what I'll be doing.