Just about a month ago, a tractor & agricultural trailer reversed into my car.
Given I was at the wheel at the time, this shook me up quite a bit.
I am very thankful the A-pillar of a 2004 SEAT Leon is as strong as it is. Older or less well-built cars may have crumpled there and then. I’m even more glad it hit the pillar and not the window!
A lucky escape for me..
In short, a contractor’s agricultural vehicle, hired by our company for maize harvest, was stopped, engine running and clearly nobody in the cab. It was obvious his next move was going to be forwards down the lane once his counterparts returned from the field. Except it wasn’t. I thought I could slowly back around, either to wait behind or to go around if he wasn’t in the cab yet. Midway through my manoeuvre he got in and reversed. In a vehicle that size he didn’t feel or hear a thing.
Impatient? Maybe I was, but the tractor could’ve been sat there another 10 minutes. They often leave engines running while off doing other things. I think he was. Anybody could’ve arrived along lane and sat in the gap behind him, therefore it wasn’t my fault being behind him. I was stopped, he moved.
Of course the culture mid-harvest is to push on, get as much done as possible, so obviously he was keen to get going, I don’t blame him at all for that. Hopefully he just learns to check.
Very thankfully I only had a few cuts from the shattered glass. The worst thing I suffered on the day was shock.
Really in the weeks afterwards it is the emotional strain. Firstly, again the shock of the experience. It really shakes you up for several days.
And then the thought of what could’ve happened. It could’ve been far worse. You can’t stop thinking about it, no matter how many times people say you shouldn’t, you can’t stop. A different angle could’ve had the trailer edge go through the window, a different position could’ve seen me pinned against the parked vehicles.
The shock and the ‘what ifs’ both played on my mind for a few weeks and have been really mentally challenging.
Four weeks later and I’m just about getting over it in my head. And I did really like that car. I was equally annoyed as I’d spent a lot of money over the last 2 years and I’d got it sorted: just a week earlier I’d got new brakes!
Look on the positive side. He did stop. Nobody was physically hurt. The car was strong. Without Euro NCAP safety standards the result may have been very different: imagine a 1980’s car taking a hit like that. Chalk up another victory for technology and another reason to ignore the anti-intellectual ‘Health & Safety Gone Mad’ brigade. And both parties had insurance. Ultimately it was just a car, albeit one I really liked.
To wrap up for now, I have had some fantastic help from some quarters so a big thanks to you:
First of all to Grandad for the generous loan of his car which was a tremendous help; to Mum for helping walk off the stress with Peggy the dog; to my aunt Helen for the help too; to Sam my manager for giving me a lift home that night and the support in the weeks after. And to any others who tried to keep me sane!
And so the next job is to find a replacement, then I can put this chapter to bed and move on.