The thing about car accidents is that they happen all the time, with hundreds, maybe even thousands, a day, and we are so accustomed to hearing about them that we don’t really care. We are exposed to so much violence and tragedy in the world that our mind has become numb to them. Car accidents have become a daily occurrence to why traffic is backed up and people are late for work.
But the other thing about car accidents is that they are literally terrifying.
And tonight I had a very close call with death.
I was driving home from work and sat at a red light waiting to cross over a divided highway with two lanes on each side.
My light turned green and I casually glanced in both directions, a habit that my dad taught me early on, because sometimes cars don’t stop. So I looked, no cars were coming and I slowly hit the gas to cross over. I almost reached the middle of the divided highway when a tractor-trailer sped through the red light. I braked and slammed on my horn, angry at the driver’s recklessness of ignoring the red light and driving way over the speed limit.
“Was the driver asleep? Drunk? Just didn’t want to stop?”
I kept driving and realized if I never paused at the green light, it could have been a much closer call. I surely would have been dead if the truck hit me. And being asleep or drunk are both such stupid reasons for someone to die.
Out of nowhere, tears welled in my eyes.
I think to myself, “I’m alive. Calm down. I’m still alive.”
And before I knew it my face was wet with tears and ugly crying noises escaped from my mouth.
“What if…What if…What if.”
I sobbed the rest of the way home.