By Susan Brody
Nobody plans for an accident. Hear how one young driver thought she had done everything right—and still totaled her car. Also, learn how to avoid accidents in bad weather.
Casey had her provisional license for five months and everything had been great for the 17-year-old New Jersey native. (That's redundant—what could be bad once you have your license, right?) But as the saying goes, you never know what's coming around the bend.
It was December and the forecast called for snow. But the weatherman was wrong—again—and instead of a snow day, not one flake was on the ground in the morning. In anticipation of the snow, Casey's mom had instructed her to drive the family's heavier, sturdier SUV to school. But the roads were clear, so Casey drove the car she was more comfortable with—a hand-me-down with 4-wheel drive.
Instead of driving straight to school, Casey went in the opposite direction to pick up a friend (if you must know, her ex; how's that for a kind ex-girlfriend?). But while she took a detour, she wasn't skimping on safety. "Even though there was no snow, I put the car in a lower gear and was driving very, very slowly down my curvy street," she said. "But as I was coming around a bend to the right, the car just started shifting to the left. I had no control over it."
Trying to Stay Calm
Casey's mind raced—she remembered hearing that you shouldn't turn your wheel the opposite way, so she opted to let the car slide. She figured she was going so slowly, nothing too bad would happen. But as the car kept sliding closer to the curb, she panicked and slammed on the brakes. Bad choice. (See sidebar for tips for driving in icy conditions.)
The car picked up speed, hit the curb and kept on sliding. Now it was perpendicular to the street—luckily, no cars were coming up the hill—and headed straight for a telephone poll. Casey braced herself for the impact...
(I know, cruel to end the story right there isn't it? You have to head to Studio 2B to read the rest and to get great tips on driving safely.)