- Welcome to this week’s Moms Talk Q&A. We’re running it a couple days late, unfortunately, but next week we’ll be back on track and publish it on Wednesday.
I feel even stronger about the importance of designated drivers and not drinking and driving now than ever before.
Last Saturday night I decided to be the designated driver for a couple friends. Even though it was already about 10 p.m. on a Saturday night, I met them where they were already hanging out with a promise to drop them off. After all, I had a full tank of gas so why not do something good for them? I wanted them to get home safely.
After dropping off two friends I was driving home alone toward Reston shortly before 2 a.m. I was going to go get a chocolate shake at the 24-hour McDonalds on Elden Street so I got off the Dulles Toll Road at Centreville Road. At the end of the exit ramp I stopped for the red light and when it turned green I pulled into the intersection. The last thing I remember seeing was a set of headlights coming at me.
A drunken driver ran the red light and hit me. He actually didn’t stop. He just kept driving.
There are a few holes in my memory from the time I was hit to when I was in a hospital bed in the emergency room. For example, I don’t remember seeing the scene of my accident, police and rescue arriving or the inside of the ambulance. I do remember the feel of the grass as I sat on the side of the road, and the paramedic insisting that I remember his name.
I still don’t know who the people are who helped me. I’m thankful that there were any other drivers around at all at that late hour. The police told me two motorists stopped to help—a man who helped me out of my car, and a woman who called 911. I wish I could thank them. (If either of you are reading, THANK YOU.)
I was incredibly lucky. I walked away with very minor injuries. A few large bruises and a couple small burns from the air bags and seat belt. A massive headache from hitting my head on the window. Sore and creaky muscles and joints. But no broken bones, no major injuries.
Because of this accident my life has been upended. At first I couldn’t sleep, but in the past few days I’ve tired easily. I had to take time off work. I’ll have medical bills from the hospital visit, ambulance ride and CT scan. I was without a car for five days, and my likely totaled Dodge Caliber spent this week collecting lot fees after being towed.
I didn’t really cry much until I actually saw my car. I couldn’t believe the damage, or that I walked away from it. It definitely made me appreciate my life a little more. Things are finally starting to get pieced together, but I will never forget the panic, the confusion, the anger and the pain I felt. Or still feel.
I finally picked up a rental car last night and I was anxious. Will I be OK behind the wheel? How will it feel? Will I be afraid? Yes, a little. But I mostly just felt cautious. Looking all directions before going through a light. Driving a little slower than usual (to the irritation of toll road users). Everything will be OK, but there’s a lot more left to deal with.
I can only imagine what the victims of alcohol-related car accidents have to go through when . When there are major injuries . So because it’s at the forefront of my mind, this week I thought I’d ask our how they talk to their children about drunken driving.
Do you talk to your children, teens or even adult children about drunken driving? How often? What do you include in that conversation? Do you think they’re listening? Are on the issue? Do you think there are better ways to deliver the message to them?
Let us know what you think in the comments below.