I tend to think of myself as a pretty good driver. I may be a bit careless at times, but I try not to do anything exceptionally stupid. Mistakes can happen though, as I found out for myself.
Let me set the scene.
I had been on the roads for a full year without any incidents and, being the teenager that I was, I felt quite confident in my abilities to avoid a crash. Okay, maybe I was a bit too confident…
I had finished my day at uni and was driving home when I decided to stop off at the shops on the way. It had been raining all day so my shoes were wet and slippery, plus visibility was poor even with the windscreen wipers on the fastest setting.
I had to merge left in order to enter the shopping complex so I checked my mirrors and turned my head to see if there were any cars in my way. There weren’t any. I indicated and started merging while turning my head again, just in case. To my disbelief there was a car there! A huge, white 4×4 that must’ve been sitting in my blind-spot.
I went to hit the brakes and swerve back into my lane, but my foot slipped off the pedal and I slammed into the back of the car in front of me. Turns out there was a red-light up ahead that I didn’t see while I was merging.
I hit their car with so much force that I pushed it into the car in front of it! We managed to pull in to the car-park to sort everything out. I felt so bad. I had just caused some serious damage to a car with a mother, father, and their three young children in it. I mainly spoke with the father, exchanging details and the like, and luckily for me he was very kind. He even said that he felt bad for me, being my first crash and all.
It was later revealed to me that it was his wife’s first time in a car in a very long time due to a head-on collision on a highway that left her hospitalised. Boy did I feel terrible after that.
Everything was sorted out in the following weeks. I paid them for the damage I had caused. I had my car fixed, and I concluded that I was better-off for it. Slamming into the rear-end of that car made me realise that being on the roads can be dangerous and that I should definitely take more care to assess my surroundings. I’d like to think that now, as a result of my experience, I’m a better driver. I’m definitely more experienced.