Thursday, June 14, 2012

Umm, yeah. Brakes on a car are kinda important

So, I feel a bit silly blogging about this, but since it's still bothering me, I might as well, right? 

On Monday, my mom came over to help me unpack from our vacation, and we went to Dallas so she could go to the Korean grocery store. My favorite thrift store is right by there, so I went in there afterwards. No luck with any finds though, which rarely happens. 

I was driving, like I always do when we're together. My mom was in the passenger seat, and Ava (22 months) was in the backseat. Her car is a 1999 Toyota 4-Runner. Nothing fancy, and it's older and huge. I was driving about 40 mph in the right lane and coming up to a bunch of cars waiting at a red light. I tap the brakes, and nothing. Brake pedal to the floor, still going 40ish. I always give myself plenty of time to stop, and actually had time to think "Am I hitting the gas?" and looked at my foot, and yup, it was on the brake. Still, nothing. 

So, rather than rear end a bunch of cars, I turned the wheel to the right and jumped the curb. Not thinking about it, just instinct I guess. Ever jump a curb at 40? It's a pretty big jump. The brakes still weren't working at this point, but the curb jump slowed us down enough that I was finally able to coast to a stop. 

My mom didn't know what was going on at this point, she thought I had swerved to avoid another car. I was a bit shaken up at this point, and called hubby. I explained to him what happened, and he immediately left work to come get us (we were about 40 minutes from the house, and he made it there in 25). I then called Triple A and they sent out a tow truck. 

We went next door to Taco Cabana to get Ava out of the heat and wait for Jake. I was doing okay until I saw him walk in, and though I had been shaking the whole time, that's when the tears started. He just gave me a big hug.

The tow company towed my mom's truck back to her house. I don't know if there is any damage to the truck from the jump, but I know it's a lot less than there would have been if I rear ended someone. I showed Jake the curb that I jumped, and he said he wouldn't be surprised if I bent a tire, it was a pretty big curb to hit.

My mom said she was glad that I was driving, and that she wouldn't have thought to jump the curb. She would have just panicked and kept driving straight. 

I had nightmares about it that night. In my dreams, I didn't jump the curb and just rear ended all of those cars. And now, 3 days later, my heart still races when I'm driving my van and I go to hit the brake. I can feel my body tense up until I'm 100% sure that I'm slowing down. 

I feel so silly to still be freaked out by it. I mean, technically nothing bad happened. Brakes went out, I jumped the curb, no one got hurt. So why am I still so spazzy about it? Jake said it could have ended much differently. I mean, I'm barely 24 weeks pregnant, Alli isn't big enough to be on her own. Jake said I probably saved my kid's lives. I dunno. I mean, so many things had to have been just right for us to be unharmed and not hit anything. I happened to be in the right lane with no one beside us. There wasn't a light pole on the exact spot that I jumped the curb. There were no cars in the parking lot where we ended up. No one was walking on the sidewalk. Somebody was looking out for us that day.

I coincidentally had an OB appt soon after, and Alli is fine. Measuring right on, still kicking me in the ribs constantly. All is well. Now if I can just stop being such a weirdo about it all, I'd feel much better. 

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Amanda said... [Reply to comment]

I'd be freaking out big time! So pleased you are all okay, give yourself a break though, breaks just giving out doesn't happen everyday so it's no surprise you are shaken up!

Leah said... [Reply to comment]

the pregnancy hormones make it worse. i had my 20-week ultrasound a few days ago and my doctor was entirely unconcerned about something that he saw that was "questionable", and I am sooooo upset about it anyway. I think you handled it very, very well too. hang in there girl!

~Leah

keri @ shaken together said... [Reply to comment]

I was in an accident about 3 years ago (airport shuttle van ran a red light and totaled by SUV) and I STILL have weird issues about driving. SO glad you and yours were unharmed and that your quick thinking ended this in the best possible way!!

Rebecca @ My Girlish Whims said... [Reply to comment]

eck scary!! I've had my brakes give out on me twice before...it's no fun!!! Luckily I have good ebrake reactions so I avoided hitting one too...but it sure does get your blood racing!!!!!

Megan said... [Reply to comment]

I'm sure that was terrifying!!!! Thank God for your quick instincts! Around Christmas I was a guy ran a red light over by Firewheel and would have t-boned me if my Aunt hadn't seen him coming and causing me to slam on my brakes, I'm still scared thinking about it, he was doing like 60 and madison was in the backseat!

Janice said... [Reply to comment]

That is scary! And I always feel like pregnancy hormones make me feel more fearful of things. I think you're perfectly right to be freaked out! I'm so glad you and everyone else are ok!

Ellen said... [Reply to comment]

That is scary...it's always the "what ifs" that get to me! Glad everyone is OK!

Amanda said... [Reply to comment]

Definitely scary! For future reference: If that ever happens again, pump your brake pedal as fast as you can. If you are low on brake fluid, stomping on the pedal several times can build up enough pressure to make them work again. I run the front counter at my parent's repair shop. I see people coming in after accidents like that, and they are usually shaking and white as a ghost. It's a terrifying feeling!!

Unknown said... [Reply to comment]

So lucky you reacted quickly - glad you and your family are ok! I was in a wreck 3 weeks ago where my SUV rolled over with my 13 year old in the back seat. The whole ordeal was so scary but luckily my daughter walked away perfect and I had what would be considered "minor" injuries for the severity of the accident. The strange part to me is the fear and anxiety that hits me when in the car is the "what if" stuff. We were ok we shouldn't have been but we were and knowing that i STILL can't get the "what if's" out of my head at times. What you are experiencing is normal so don't beat yourself up but DO remind yourself every time you have that anxiety race in that you reacted quickly and no one was injured - i do something similar and it helps a lot!

Ginny Jenny said... [Reply to comment]

Even though no one got hurt (thank goodness!) it's still super traumatizing! I've had a few bad experiences with cars and I'm still scared whenever I get in a car. It's scary.. but I'm so glad you and your children are safe.

Sam @ The Junk House said... [Reply to comment]

That's so scary! I'm freaking out after reading that. Glad everyone is OK!

Denise Z. said... [Reply to comment]

Yikes! What a scarey time for you. But good for you and your quick thinking! I drive the same vehicle so you painted a very vivid picture for me. When I was a kid and would ride along with my dad, he always told me if anything ever happened to him while driving to pull the emergency brake. Probably would be a sudden stop and would wreck the car though! ;)
Glad everyone is safe and sound!

Leeann said... [Reply to comment]

Holy crap, that sounds scary, pregnancy hormones or not! You need to forgive yourself for being freaked out. Glad everyone is okay.

Michelina Douglass said... [Reply to comment]

Oh, that was totally scary! I’m glad you were all fine. You’re such a good driver! You didn’t freak out and panic. Instead you found a way to keep everyone safe. Anyway, there must have been something wrong with the car brake. You should take it to the shop for a check-up.

*Michelina Douglass