This Spring Break, Consider My Story before Your Kids Drive Off into the Sunset
I’ll never forget the car crash I was in so many years ago. I was just 17, and it had been barely a year since I had passed my driver’s test. It was a summer’s evening, the sun had already set, and a soft rain was hitting my windshield. A mix of hot and cool had produced a foggy mist that didn’t seem to be affecting my visibility. I realized how wrong I was when something I couldn’t make out suddenly appeared on the road a few car lengths ahead of me. I slammed on the brakes before I even had time to process what the object was, but still, I hit it—a car, without its hazard lights on, unmoving in the middle of my lane.
I wouldn’t hold it against you if you assumed that, due to my young age, I must have been driving irresponsibly; perhaps going too fast, or driving under the influence. In fact, no speeding or alcohol was involved. (I still remember that I had been driving 10 under the speed limit). I was a good kid, got good grades, and definitely didn’t take as many risks as some of the other kids my age. That night was all about timing and luck. First bad luck, then good.
I was definitely unlucky to have crashed my older brother’s car. But I was also very, very lucky. I survived. As did the group of teens clustered on the road beside the car that had been in a minor collision just moments before my arrival. I could have swerved to the right and injured—or even killed—a number of them. But, luckily for all of us, I didn’t.
I was also smart enough to learn from their mistake. After the loud CRASH of metal hitting metal—and after I opened my eyes and realized I was still alive—I got out of my car to see the hood all but flattened by the impact. Still in a state of shock, I heard myself screaming, “Why didn’t you turn on your hazard lights?!?” Then I walked back to my car and promptly turned mine on.
Why am I telling you this story? Not to scare you into delaying your teen’s first driving lesson, nor to have you forbid them from driving with their friends, but instead to be aware—truly aware—that accidents happen when you least expect them. The young think they are invincible, and for good reason. They are healthy, energetic, and they’ve yet to experience moments that will remind them of their mortality. But that doesn’t mean they are immortal.
For this reason—and with Spring Break right around the corner—do the smart, loving thing before your children go on a trip: Get them the travel insurance they need. It could be as cheap as $25. And for the safety of your children, it’s worth every single penny.
Has a scary experience ever left you with an important life lesson? Share your story in the comment box below!