The Accident This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     After a long day, my mom picked me up from volleyball practice. We, along with my sister, were on our way home when all of a sudden we noticed a pizza delivery car turning onto the road from a driveway. “What is he doing?” I knew he was not going to make it because the car in his lane was speeding. I saw the white car hit the pizza car from behind, not realizing that we were about to be hit too.

The accident happened so fast that I did not know how it all played out until the next day. When I opened my eyes, I couldn’t believe what had happened. I remember saying to myself, Oh my God, I’m going to die. My mom had avoided hitting a utility pole by steering into the woods. The windows were shattered and the left side was crushed in. Luckily, my sister had been sitting on the passenger side of the back seat, so she only had a few cuts on her face. The worst part was the smoke coming from the delivery car. I wondered if our car had caught fire too. My mom and I were not hurt except for whiplash, but we were taken to the emergency room as a precaution.

The best part of the whole thing was the ride in the ambulance. I got to wear a fancy neck brace and lie on a stretcher. The ride was a little uncomfortable because I’d never ridden while lying down before and I got a little dizzy.

The wait in the ER wasn’t long, but that turned out to be one of the longest nights of my life. My mom kept wondering what would have happened if my sister had been sitting on the other side of the car or if she had not steered clear of the utility pole. I had seen my mom cry only twice before. I could not close my eyes to sleep without reliving the accident.

The next few days I was in a lot of pain. My neck hurt, and I had muscle knots in my throat, which made it uncomfortable to swallow. When we went to the repair shop, the mechanic explained that the car was beyond repair. Ironically, my mom had been considering getting a new car, and now she had no choice.

As weird as it sounds, I believe the accident was meant to happen. It has made me a better driver and has opened my eyes to the reality of the world. I have had my license for three months now, and I am still afraid to make left turns. I worry that I will misjudge the distance of oncoming cars, like the delivery man did. Since the accident, it has been hard for me to watch kids in my school speed out of the parking lot as if they were playing a game. I get furious because I know what can happen when you speed. I am also wary of getting into another teenager’s car because after I saw how well my mom handled our car when we were hit, I wonder if my friends would be able to deal with a similar situation. Only time and experience can make a person a good driver.

People think that driving on the real road is like driving in a video game; except in real life, there are no second chances.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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