My friend Annika recently made a post about various car accidents she's been in. Which reminded me of my first car. It looked a lot like this:
I was 16 going on 17 when I got my 1990 Chevrolet Corsica LT. It was an automatic, 4-door with A/C. In other words, everything I could have wanted in a car, other than power windows and locks. (I know what you're thinking: Was I 16 or 36?)
I loved my car. I used New Car Scent air fresheners exclusively and drove it all over the place with abandon. Freedom! Joy! This was the start of my senior year and adulthood was just around the corner.
Then the accidents started happening and driving became less fun.
1. The first happened just a few weeks after I got my license. (I had the car a couple of months before the license. And I pretty much, um, never drove it illegally while my mom was at work.) I can't really go into the details of this accident (I know, what a way to start this list!), but let's just say that I was kind of having an upsetting, emotional day a few weeks after my boyfriend broke up with me. I was a little distracted, perhaps, and there was a hit-and-run in the police report and the accident itself might have mostly been my fault. I was the hitter, but it was the other driver did the running, so it kind of mostly worked out better for me. EXCEPT FOR THE BURDEN OF KEEPING THIS SECRET FOR ALL OF THESE YEARS.
2. After a month in the shop, I think it was, I got my car back! Hooray! Things were going to be different this time! One day, I decided to head to the mall to buy a new coat. The highway ended, but I didn't know it because I'd never driven on it before. Also, it was raining like a mofo. The person in front of me slammed on their brakes, and I skidded into them. This was another hit and run where I hit and the other driver ran. For reals, yos. Also, I was cited for "driving too fast for the conditions" and had to go to court to plead my case. My fine was reduced, but not by much. Also, I never did buy a coat and was cold the whole school year.
3. The damage after accident #2 was a lot worse than the first and the car was in the shop for well over a month. The day after I brought it home, my mom and sister and I piled in to go to my great-grandpa's memorial. My mom had a headache, so I had to drive. It was raining. I was on I-5, going along nervous as all get out. There was an accident directly in front of me. I slammed on the brakes, skidded a little within my lane, and came to a complete stop, managing not to hit the other cars. Then the car behind me slammed into my car, spun us around, and yeah. My car was immediately towed back to the shop. That was the first accident that truly wasn't my fault. Later, I had to testify as a witness in court against the other driver who'd hit my car, who didn't have insurance. Good times.
4. The fourth incident wasn't my fault at all. I wasn't even driving. The reason I wasn't driving was because I was wearing a ridiculoulsy huge straw hat that kept getting bumped off by the head rest. So this was a few weeks after I'd graduated. My boyfriend drove us to church. In the parking lot, some girl I'd gone to high school with backed into my car. Totally her fault. But her friends bullied me into doing NOTHING about it. I'm still filled with rage when I think about it, if you must know the truth. Luckily, I rarely think about it.
5. The fifth accident happened on the day I bought all my textbooks for college. I was happy, I was excited, I was starting my new life as a non-high school student. I got in my car after leaving the campus bookstore, cranked up the radio, backed out of my parking spot, and totalled the car that happened to be flying by behind me at almost-but-not-quite the speed of light.
All five of these accidents happened when I was age 17 between the months of October and September. I've never had an accident since. I also choose to be a passenger whenever I have the opportunity.