A brush with death (part 2)

It is not life itself that’s so important. It’s about living rightly!
-Anonymous

Today is my anniversary. An unusual anniversary. Today marks one year since I had that life-threatening car accident on the morning of August 13, 2015. It was a bright Thursday morning.

I had a bad feeling that day when I woke up. Even though I had planned since the previous week to travel and drive myself the to school, I woke up & suddenly didn’t feel like making the journey again.

I went back into the house to call my dad’s attention to what I thought was a bad sound from the car engine. He played down my worries & reassured me nothing was wrong with the car. With that in mind, I zoomed off.

I got into the middle of Iwo road and a lot of people looking for free ride to Osun state beckoned me to stop. I carried nobody. I still can’t fathom whether that was the best or worst decision I ever made. For if I had stopped to give a lift, perhaps the danger would pass me by. Or perhaps, by the time I started speeding the passenger would have cautioned me.

On the other hand, if I stopped to pick someone and the accident happened same way, what if I survive and the passenger dies? If I were to decide, I’d want to believe the second option. Going by the suddenness of the accident (it all happened under a slit second), the vehicle motion and impact on the rock inside the roadside bush, it was likely any passenger would have died or broken a leg at least.

Besides, a careless passenger would not have used the seat-belt. I wouldn’t have told my passenger to use the belt. Back then, I merely used it because I was fresh from driving school & my teachers harped on it. It was a thing of instincts, not because I ever thought the safety belts could ever save my life. It was more of following a norm than of careful thought.

I drove with speed. One of my cool friends who was the President of Prima Strata- an educational club in my Faculty, was putting up an induction party that night for inductees. I was a club member so he had called to invite me and asked to use my car for dropping ladies going home late. With all that in mind, I thought more about the late-night party as I drove and less about handling the car in my charge.

I had planned being in school till the next day even though I told my parents I’d be back home same day. (I knew they’d persuade me to be home that day so I simply said what I knew they wanted to hear.)

As I said earlier, I was speeding & had carelessly exceeded the speed limits. Normally I shouldn’t even travel alone or drive such long distance journey being barely 6 months out of a 3-week driving school program. I hope young people who would be opportuned to read this would learn from me & not be as suicidal as I was.

I enjoyed (well, I still do) driving, especially when music from the CD player is blazing through the bass speaker. So for the duration of time which I drove before the accident, I was fixated on a particular song (Takoto) from 9ice’s sophomore album. Ever since, I’ve dreaded the mere sound of that song. The song still sends shivers down my spine anytime I hear it being played, bringing memories I’d rather forget, my brush with death.

Midway through my journey, I was going to overtake an articulated lorry when I suddenly bumped into a pothole. I panicked & hit the brake suddenly with force. Within that split second I had lost control of my car, my vision was blurry due to flames emitting from the engine, the car was somersaulting e.t.c. The experience is indescribable, I wish I could explain every detail but I can’t.

Luckily for me, a Police checkpoint was nearby on the other side of the highway. Those men rushed to my side. I was already climbing out of the car when they got to me. By then I still thought the car would explode so I was rushing to be out.

One of the Police eyewitnesses said my car was practically floating in the air. How I survived such landing, I do not know. But I do know a large rock situated in the bush nearby stopped the car, permanently condemning the rear bumper. The car got damaged beyond recognition.

My use of the seat belt also helped, including the airbags. Perhaps I would have flown out of the car while it tumbled. When I see commuters hiding from the road safety officials, I just pity their ignorance. The Road Safety Corps are basically ‘begging’ you to save your own lives! Fastening the seat belts and having an airbag-enabled car could make a difference in any accident.

Please tell somebody you know to tell somebody they know!!!

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