A bit over two months ago we were involved in a car accident. It happened on a highway through a town about 40 minutes from home. It was dual lanes in each direction and we were in the right lane. There was another car in the left lane. As we were driving along, a car pulled out of a servo exit straight into the left lane. He realised that there was a car in the lane and managed to back up in time. I maintained my speed rather than slowing down because I didn't want to end up in the other driver's blind spot if they decided to try to move into the right lane. Next thing I knew, Thunder Maker was telling me to "watch out". As I looked to the left, I realised that the vehicle that had been trying to leave the servo before was now immediately to my left and was going to be in front of me in about 2 seconds. I hit the breaks, but didn't even have time for them to engage before I hit the side of the nose of his car. It all happened so quickly, yet so slowly at the same time. I remember thinking as we impacted "Thunder Maker is going to kill me!" After all, it was his car I was driving.
Both children had been sleeping in the back at the time, but they weren't asleep for long. I heard Wombat squeaking in the back and Seagull was shrieking in distress. Once I knew that everyone in our car was OK, I forced my door open to get out and check on the people in the other car. I saw them both get out as I was opening my door. Once my feet hit the ground, my knees very nearly joined them. The only thing keeping me upright was that I was hanging off the car door. My attention turned to Seagull at this point. He was still screaming and I really wanted to get him out of the car and give him a cuddle, but I couldn't make my legs work to walk the three steps to his door to open it. By this stage, there was a really nice bloke who had witnessed the whole thing who had stopped to offer whatever assistance he could. He told me to go sit down on the bench seat that was on the other side of the road and he'd bring the kids over.
Once the police came and took statements, we were left to organise a tow. We also had to organise to get back home. The bloke who had been helping us out offered to drive us back home, but we couldn't use the kids' car seats due to them being involved in the accident and he had none, so we had to decline. I ended up calling a friend of mine who has two children about the same age as mine and asking her to come get us.
We had to wait about 6 weeks before finding out that the insurance company had approved the repair of the car. Thunder Maker had been to the smash repairer and explained to him that we really wanted the car back (we wouldn't have gotten enough back to buy a new one if it had been written off), so he made the extra special effort to prove that the chassis wasn't bent and that it was going to be cheaper to repair it than to pay us out.
Today, Thunder Maker and I had separate places to be and he had misplaced his phone. We were hoping to hear back about the car today, so I dropped in to find out how the car was going. They were in the process of doing up the last bolts and were going to clean and polish the car before giving it back. The smash repairer told me that it was lucky I hit the other vehicle square on, because if I had have hit at an angle, I would have bent the chassis.
It was a very sweet moment picking up the car this afternoon. It's going to be very odd not having to juggle our movements and working out who gets to take the car any more. It's going to be very good being able to put the children's car seats back into the other car. My car is very small and Thunder Maker is very tall. He has to sit in the passenger seat turned to the side when I am driving because Wombat's car seat is behind the passenger seat and is rear facing, so the passenger seat has to be right forward to fit the car seat in. The best thing of all is, we are actually going to be able to go away for Easter and my uni residential now. Can anyone say "road trip?"