Crashed my Car in the Snow

Crashed my Car in the Snow: Not surprising with all these Imperial Walkers around

Traffic in Michigan, photo by @TheRealCyberelf

So, my week of getting into good sleep habits has got off to a really bad start: Yesterday morning I crashed my car in the snow.

It had just started snowing and my son called to say he’d forgotten to take his backpack (with his lunch in) to school.

So I got myself ready enough, put the backpack and my two-year-old into the car and set off on the snowy roads, not thinking much about it.

I noticed a little bit of skidding at a junction on the way, but remembered to keep slowing down gradually and braking slowly, with gaps in between and it was ok.

But the last road to the school is on a turning at the bottom of a hill. And I couldn’t slow down. I tried low gears, and braking like before, but couldn’t slow down or turn and I crashed head on into the wall around a traffic island.

My toddler was frightened and crying, and I was in shock myself, but we were both ok. I put the car in neutral and turned off the engine, then got us out. I was afraid that the car would catch fire.

The front of the car was a mess, dented and crumpled, with parts of the bumper hanging down on each side. The wall didn’t look too good either: the slabs along the top were knocked off into the garden (not that unusual for this wall, as it turned out!).

Then the first passerby stopped, and I discovered I had had the good fortune to crash right in front of a paramedic. He asked if we were ok and why we were out of the car.

Then he had a look at the car and told me I had probably cracked the radiator, which sounded expensive, but I could drive it over to park at the side of the road, and he reassured me it wasn’t going to catch fire or explode.

I was very lucky: firstly that neither of us were hurt, and then to have crashed in front of such a Good Samaritan. Then a police car stopped and gave me the number to report the accident.

Crashed my Car in the Snow, thanks to those pesky Imperial Walkers on the road

More Imperial Walkers in the Snow, in Michigan, by Robert Scott Miller

While he was there, a red car and another police car came round the corner and skidded in the same place I did.

Then I was very lucky that my husband was able to get out of work and wait for a tow truck with us. And then one of the other mothers from school came by and took my two year old to her house to get out of the cold. And I kept thinking ‘and I didn’t even get the backpack to the school…’ So she took that too! People have been so kind.

It’s weird: I hardly had any car accidents before we moved here, but in the last year and a half I’ve had three pretty bad ones, each time with some of my children in the car. I don’t know why. The first two genuinely weren’t my fault at all, but this one was all on me: I just wasn’t that used to driving on snow.

My friend from Minnesota describes it as ‘that moment when you realise your car is steering like a boat!’

Anyway, after the first crash, the back corner of the car was so badly dented that we got nearly $4,000 from the other drivers insurance to fix it. But we ended up not fixing it: we got plane tickets to my parents’ golden wedding with the money instead.

So yesterday I stood in the snow, thinking ‘that’s it: I’ve completely trashed the car.’ And then: ‘thank goodness we didn’t spend that money on fixing the back end, only for me to destroy the front end.’ And then, ‘this is one of the least fun ways I’ve ever spent thousands of dollars…’

So the car is at the mechanic’s, waiting to see if it’s damaged too expensively to fix (it is 🙁 ).

My husband has taken it very well so far. It was very cold, and the tow truck was held up sorting out all the emergency accidents on the freeway, so he even brought me a cup of tea in a flask. I’ve been very lucky and unlucky. A day, and more, can change things just like that.


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