April 2, 2012

The Air Bags Worked

Written by  Russell Bowen

Approximately one week ago as I write this musing, I participated in an unexpected test of the air bags and seat belt in my wife's 1996 Saturn SL1 (of which she was the original owner) and a red Toyota.  I am very happy to say that the air bag test was successful on both vehicles.  In other words, I was in an accident.

Brief Description of Events:

I was heading south on a 4 lane highway planning to turn left across two lanes of traffic.  Traffic in the lane next to me (headed in the opposite direction) was backed up.  There was a gap in the traffic at the intersection and the driver of the next vehicle (a moped) paused to keep the gap open so I could turn left.  The moped driver waived me through.  As I was turning left, the car I was driving was hit pretty hard by a red Toyota.  I was spun around and stopped in the center of the intersection.  The moped driver left right away, but several other folks stayed and called the emergency crew and filed witness reports with the police.

Lessons Learned:

  1. Pay close attention to traffic patterns while driving.
  2. Do not trust the hand signals of other drivers.
  3. Drive defensively.
  4. Treat others (drivers, pedestrians, everyone) with humility and compassion.

Personal Reflections:

  • I am extremely grateful that no one was hurt in either vehicle.  There were two young adults in the red Toyota, and neither one was hurt.
  • I am truly impressed with the technology of air bags and seat belts.  Without this technology, the consequences would have been dramatically worse.
  • I feel a bit guilty.  While I was not ticketed by the police, I bear responsibility for the accident.  I am not sure I was fully cognizant that there were two lanes of traffic on the left, but I should have been.  This was an intersection that I have been through previously.  My insurance representative said that they would be compensating the owner of the other vehicle for their losses.  I do not blame the moped driver in any way.  I bear complete responsibility for my actions.
  • I've always considered myself to be a driver that does not take excess risk.  However, I know that my level of caution has increased.
  • I am somewhat embarassed.
  • I am grateful for my family.  My wife was not angry with me, and my children will eventually forgive me for wrecking their favorite car.
  • Safety professionals make mistakes too!
Read 3565 times Updated on May 29, 2012