'Stop! We're Going to Crash'
What to Expect After You've Crashed Your Car & How to Deal With That Guilt
It’s been four days and I still can’t believe I crashed my car. Literally, I just whammed that car’s rear end as if I had intentionally done it; as if it was Fast and Furious and I was Vin Diesel trying to rough up some bad guys. You ever wonder whether he stops before he crashes his car and worries about his insurance? Probably not.
Ugh, and I just feel so stupid! If only I left the café a minute later, if I only I just paid attention to the road, if I only just turned my steering wheel so I could miss the car. I keep replaying the impact over and over again. I still feel it physically, the metal on metal, my brother yelling for me to stop. I still feel awful about it. I can’t really imagine how other people feel with worse accidents.
I left the car unharmed. Well I barely count a sore neck and a swollen lip much, but my car? Geez, my car was totaled. Still, the worst was probably when I had to call my parents to come; when the initial worry my brother had for me dissipated, and he was just angry I crashed. And I know this might sound morbid, but man I’d pick a three month coma over the amount of yelling I got. Okay, maybe not three months, but you know what I mean? Maybe if I had like, a broken leg or something, they wouldn’t worry about the car too much, but me instead. Then again, I have Asian parents and, well, pretty much self-explanatory at this point.
All jokes aside, if you have crashed your car, it is definitely not the end of the world. I repeat! Not the end of the world! For me, I’m just glad my brother and I are okay, and although I still feel really stupid, I’m trying my best to forgive myself. I know it’s hard, especially with the insurance company and the other driver busy analyzing faults. “Is it my fault, is it your fault, 100 percent fault or partial fault, blah blah blah…” ignore it. Yes you caused the accident. So what! What’s done is done, and there is absolutely no point in you self-blaming yourself. Forgive instead. Trust that you did the best you could with the hand you were dealt.
How many times have you walked or ran and tripped, right? It happens. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad walker or runner, and it’s the same case with your accident. Just because you had this slip up doesn’t mean you’re a bad driver. Yes, it’s probably going to take a while for you to get behind the wheels again, but that’s alright. Mistakes happen so that you become wiser and learn from it. I know tons of people who have become that much better and safer of a driver because of a bad accident.
Now is the time for your sense of agency to kick in. Be your own hero. So you crashed this car, what are you going to do about it? Are you going to save up and get a new one? Are you going to kick it back and take the bus for a bit? How about renting a car? The solutions are endless. Rest assured that sometimes the best hands you could be in are your own.
So breathe and take it easy on yourself. Report what you need to report, call your insurance company, fix your car or impound it, apologize to whoever is upset, and just take responsibility for your very common and human mistake. At the end of the day, the most valuable thing in that car is alright, and that’s what important (I’m referring to you! In case you didn’t get that).