I, too, have a drunk driver story. I was fifteen years old. My mother was driving; I was in the front passenger seat. What happened was a blur. A jeep driven by a man with white hair was coming at us – head on. Mom swerved the car to the right. The jeep hit us on the driver’s side. I hit the passenger side door. I heard the crackle of shattering glass and the crunch of folding metal.
My mother was crying. She didn't say anything about pain; she just kept sobbing that her glasses were broken. I opened the passenger door. “Mom, we have to get out of the car,” I told her. Her door wouldn't open. She continued to cry.
Someone had called the police. Someone had called my dad. Not sure how any of this happened because there were no cell phones back then. Mom went to the hospital. Dad took me home.
I was not injured – not even a scratch. Looking back, I know that my mother saved my life that day. By turning the car, she saved us from a head-on collision that would likely have cost us both our lives. Our 1963 Rambler station wagon did not have seat belts. My mother took the impact, suffering whiplash-type injuries and severe bruising. 40+ years later, her neck still bothers her from time to time.
The driver who hit us was both drunk and under-insured.
Shortly thereafter I became every Driver’s Ed instructor’s nightmare. I was terrified behind the wheel. I stopped at every intersection, even if I had the right of way – just to make sure the other driver stopped. After I finally learned to drive, a friend laughed at me for putting my seat belt on just to move the car across the parking lot. I still do this, by the way.
After telling of the severe injuries she sustained and her long road to recovery, Adrian’s blog post went on to say, “I think just the act of getting behind the wheel of a car after you've been drinking, is a form of attempted murder. If you don't manage to kill or injure someone, it's really just a matter of luck. It just means that someone didn't happen to get into your path that night. Even if I were willing to take that chance with MY life, it certainly isn't a decision I'm willing to make for someone else's life."
I concur wholeheartedly.