Rear-End Collision by Sharon O’Donnell
Two days ago, on the way back home from his high school graduation practice, my middle son, David, was driving, with his girlfriend in the back seat and his best friend, Ben, in the passenger seat (she didn’t need the leg space that the front seat had so his tall friend sat up front). David was stopped at a red light, about to turn onto the exit from a city street to the Interstate when another car rear-ended him. The other car was going about 30 miles an hour, so the impact was definitely jarring. Initially, everyone seemed to be okay, and my husband drove down there right away to meet the policeman who had already been called. That afternoon, my son’s girlfriend began having some pain in her neck, and she went to the doctor for x-rays. The xrays were negative for broken bones, but of course other damage could still have been done. She’s been on pain meds to alleviate the soreness, and we hope she continues to get better. All three of them — my son, his girlfriend, and Ben — graduated this afternoon. I know the accident has also affected David some because he told me today that for the first time since January he had been having some anxiety the past few days. Some of that, I’m sure, is related to the fact that he’s graduating, and transitions are stressful. But I think being in his first car accident a few days earlier made the anxiety worse. I’m trying not to get too uptight about it and look at it as just natural that he – and most other graduating teens — feel this way. Yet, I know how anxiety can go from ‘normal’ anxiety to something completely off the charts, and it scares me.
To make things more stressful, the driver of the other car didn’t own the other car, and the owner did not have insurance (it expired in early May). Luckily, we had uninsured motorists’ insurance, but we still had to pay a $100 deductible to get the back bumper replaced, and it is our insurance company that will pay for any other damages that might arise. David didn’t understand how something can be someone else’s fault and the victim has to pay. Quite frankly, I don’t understand it either. I learned way back in Driver’s Ed that there is a law that requires a driver to have collision liability insurance to protect those around him/her. Since it is a LAW, shouldn’t the driver or owner of the car suffer some consequences? Knowing David, that probably quite him upset, got the thoughts swirling in his head again — and that’s not good for those with anxiety/OCD.
I also Goggled the driver, and up came a site called BUSTED that had a mugshot of the guy. He’s been arrested several times for larceny and possession of stolen goods. A real winner this guy.
I’m just hoping and praying David’s girlfriend feels better and that his anxiety stays in check and doesn’t flare. His college orientation is coming up this week, and he had been looking forward to it. He has to learn to let the anxiety flare and to know that how to get back in control again. Hope this week goes well. Please, God, let it go well.