Last week I was driving down the middle lane of a three-lane highway on my way to see a new client. A semi was in front of me and there were cars to my left and right. Suddenly, I heard a loud thwunk, my pickup truck lurched forward – as did I. My seatbelt stopped me from hitting the steering wheel, the headrest kept my head from snapping back. I looked into my rear view mirror. There was no one behind me. I looked ahead. The road looked safe. My truck hadn’t veered. What had just happened? I glanced in the mirror again and I saw a car careening sideways across traffic to the right, and another vehicle crossing lanes to the left heading into the guard rail. One of those cars had rear-ended me as it spun out of control.
It was more than a mile before I could safely stop and check for damage. When I bought my horse trailer, I splurged on a new truck, partly for safety reasons. You hear a lot about recalls and dangerous cars, but the fact is that vehicle engineers have designed very effective safety features. This photo shows the back end of the truck after the accident. The bumper absorbed the impact without getting a dent. It did exactly what it was engineered to do.
Doesn’t look too bad, does it? I drove the truck to the body shop, just to double check that it was okay. It’s a good thing that I did because the garage owner pointed out that the bumper was smashed into the truck and the hitch attachment on the underside was ruined.
It took me a couple of days before I could bring myself to drive on the highway again. Until then, I drove backroads to get to my horse. I spent time sitting on the floor of Tonka’s stall while he ate. Thank goodness that whuffly breaths and the sounds of a horse chewing hay were all the healing that I needed.