Long before you knew how to drive, you’ve realized accidents do happen.
A few years ago, I was driving my vintage, restored ’64 Volkswagen Beetle at Camp John Hay area.
As I was approaching the downhill curve, I heard a weird screeching sound between a metal and a concrete. My right rear wheel—yes, the entire wheel—broke out and rolled away. The rear part of the vehicle skidded on the pavement of the road.
Worse, I’m approaching a sharp curve to the right with two cars approaching my direction. Even if I’ll break, I still can’t stop and would hit the cars in front–an SUV and a van.
The split-second decision I have to make was to step on the unreliable break, steer the car to the right, crash it on the concrete right-side barriers, and hope for the best that the friction will cause the car to halt.
Several factors led me to quickly act that way: Presence of mind and reflexes.
I knew that the German Beetle’s body is tough. In fact, I have two friends who fell down on a 250-feet ravine and came out alive because mainly, the tough body of the Beetle remained intact.
I, too, was confident that the Beetle’s shell could keep me safe (that’s one of the reasons why I’m more confident in driving a car rather than a motorcycle).
I learned through personal experience that accidents happen at any time to any person. Both amateur and expert drivers knew that the risk of accidents is real.
We drive defensively, but we don’t have to be paranoid and think of accidents all the time.
Just like in life, we all know that driving takes a risk. But those risks do not stop us from taking the key, drive our car, and keep on moving ahead.
Even though we don’t use a single accident to define our driving skills or stop us from driving, accidents may be necessary for us to become better drivers.
Of course, nobody wants to have an accident that could make a huge damage to ourselves or even prove fatal. Such horrors on the road are some of the most painful human experiences many have gone through.
But then again, car accidents do not have to stop humans from enjoying the adventure of traveling to wonderful places.
Accidents, how often ugly they may be, helps us realize that no matter how much control we want to make our journey pleasant and safe, they come.
We do not have control over a drunk driver, text-addict youngster driving recklessly, car breakdown, or some aggressive drivers on the path to endangering the lives of others.
Personally, I’m reminded that I may have had accidents on the road or mistakes made in the past, but these words remained a powerful road sign in my journey.
“And we know that for those who love God all things (that includes accidents) work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
Yes, accidents do happen, but we keep on moving, hoping, and believing that everything would be better.
Glenn Plastina © 2018