You can replace a car, not your life.

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Today looked like it was going to be a really great day. My brother Alex had purchased VIP tickets for himself and I to Summer Slaughter at the Grove in Anaheim. We were extremely excited to go out today and see a ton of different bands; Erra in particular for myself.

We had thought about taking an Uber to get there but then we decided that we weren’t going to drink and we would rather not pay the cost so we decided to drive. I took my new M4 out for the trip. We are just cruising along going down the Freeway, minding our own business when I see a Cadillac CTS in front of me hit the brakes. And I see that it hit the brakes hard, so I do the same. Now, I had been following behind it at a safe distance so slowing down was not a problem for me.

But then we saw the ford van in our rearview. Time slowed down. And we knew.

BAM

Direct impact. Right into our rear bumper. We both feel the jerk. But then,

BAM

Another impact. Right into the Cadillac in front of us.

It all happened so fast. All I knew was that I had just been in my first car accident. Alex and I get out of the car immediately, the other drivers and passengers are getting out too, and we are all looking to see if we are all okay.

The woman in front of me is at first upset thinking that I crashed into her, but then the man from behind quickly informs us all that it was his fault as he crashed into us which then pushed us into the Cadillac in front of us. The man claimed that another car had cut him off which caused him to swerve into the carpool lane and then his brakes locked up and he crashed into us.

Who knows. He may be telling the truth, he may not be. All that we do know for certain is that he was driving by himself in the carpool lane and he was the one that caused the accident.

We exchanged licenses and insurance and soon the cops were on the scene. They took everyone’s information and filed a report. My car was the worst off as it was the bumper car in the middle of the accident. The front bumper of the Van rammed into the rear bumper of my M4 which caused my front bumper to ram into the rear bumper of the Cadillac.

That’s a good amount of body damage.

But there was more. My car wouldn’t start. I tried to turn it back on, but all the lights, especially the engine light was on and that car would not turn back on. Smoke was even coming out of my air vents for a little bit. Not a good sign. Next a tow truck came to move it to the other side of the freeway out of the carpool lane, and then the highway patrol took everyone’s information and compiled a report. Soon enough the big tow truck was here, yes we had to wait for another one, the first one was only to just clear the road out, but eventually we were on our merry way to drop my most likely totaled car off at a collision repair shop.

And man it sure looks like toast to be honest.

And it is a shame because I just bought it only a few weeks ago! I don’t even have my license plates for the car yet. Come on give me a break. But at the end of the day, the whole incident really hit home to me and it taught me a valuable lesson.

You can replace cars, but you cannot replace your life.

Sure I am disappointed that my car is wrecked, and that Alex and I missed our metal show, but we have to be so thankful for that we are alive. The police who we spoke with made it clear that our situation was one of the better accidents that they have seen, of which they come across regularly. One officer remarked that seeing the car messed up was much better than seeing brains on the pavement.

And he is right. Today I have to thank God that I am alright and that my brother and I seem to be okay. I am sure tomorrow we are going to really feel it as the adrenaline will be all gone and only then will we know how we will truly be feeling.

Regardless we didn’t die. And I also have to thank BMW for designing a safe car. I mean we got hit today. The impacts that we felt were real, and they were forceful. I know that I can without a doubt stand behind the BMW brand completely now. I have seen all angles of their cars. Their style, their performance, and now their safety. If we were in my girl’s car, a fiat 500, we would not be in so great of a condition I can tell you that much right now. The fact that the M4 Coupe is a longer body I think allowed for the impact to accordion throughout the vehicle and absorb damage without truly endangering my brother and I.

And for real, the Van was in fine shape. Big cars can really take a hit. It would have even been safer to drive an SUV. Think about that next time you are buying a car. Sure, you are going to spend more money on gas, but if you get in an accident you are going to be as safe as you can possibly get. And remember, money comes and goes, but your life just goes.

As far as we know you only get one, so be thankful for the one you have, and remember to keep things in perspective. Even though I just got a new BMW, and it was without a doubt the nicest car I have ever been in, it really isn’t worth getting all worked up about. Because that car is replaceable. Even if it ends up costing money, whatever. I can get more money. I can’t get another life.

And I know this is something that everyone reading this probably understands, but trust me experiencing an event like this is different. I was a philosophy major, my whole education has to been to think. Many times I understand things rationally, but it isn’t until I actually experience the events for myself that I can say I truly know. Now after today, I truly know that you can replace cars, yes even expensive ones like BMWs, but not your life.

I want to end this post by asking the reader to reflect. How do you drive? Do you unnecessarily speed? Do you weave between lanes? Do you tailgate people? God forbid to you play with your phone? Or Text and drive?

Please, remember that you are not on the road alone. Your actions can literally be the deciding factor between life and death. Be safe out there on the road. Not just for yourself, but also for others. I am a safe driver, and I have never been issued a speeding ticket in my life or any kind of moving violation, but that did not prevent me from getting into a car accident.

These kinds of events are just not always up to you.

Please, be safe and courteous when you drive. And for god’s sake. Don’t ride a motorcycle. We would be dead right now if we were on one today.

 

-Nolan

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