Humans of Caledonia: Eden Merren

“Winter Driving Stinks”

Eden+Merren%27s+car+after+the+accident.+

Eden Merren’s car after the accident.

“I was driving home from dance team practice after responding to tons of texts from my mom about how the roads were horrible and I had to drive safe. I was nervous about the 30 minute drive home because the roads I have to take are some of the worst for winter driving.

As I pulled out of the high school parking lot, my car slid so I slowed down a little thinking I would be okay. I made it through the curve near Duncan Lake and was about to reach the intersection of 100th and Patterson, the first stop of the long trip home. As I approached the stop sign I began to press on my brakes. I felt the car sliding a little but I thought I would be fine.

However, as I got closer to the stop sign I realized I was still going too fast so I pressed on my brakes harder and I felt my brake pedal hit the floor and make a loud grinding sound. I had no idea what was going on but all I knew was I wasn’t stopping. As I held my foot down on the brakes all I could see was the back of the car in front of me, and before I knew it the bent hood of my car was blocking my windshield. It took me a minute to realize what had happened but when I did I started crying trying to pull my car off of the road.

After I pulled off the road as much as I could I called the first friend’s name that came up in my phone and waited for her to answer. When she did, all I could do was scream that I crashed my car and she was confused at first because that was all I was telling her. She asked me if I was okay and I said I didn’t know because I knew that if I was hurt I wouldn’t feel it right away because of the shock I was in. Honestly I was more worried about my car than me. I had saved up for 3 years to buy that car and it meant the world to me and since I was in the off season at my work I had no money coming in and didn’t have enough saved to pay to fix it.

I had asked the lady in the car I hit if she was okay and all she said was “I’ve called the police”, which, considering she had little to no damage to her car, I thought it was kind of rude. After I ended the call with my friend I called my mom who was not even the least bit happy with me. She told me my brother and my dad were on their way. The interesting parts of the story end there but I have never driven the same since I crashed and although I wasn’t hurt other than a bruise on my knee, that day left a pretty big impact on me.

For weeks, the sight of the back of cars made my heart rate go through the roof and I was terrified of driving in the winter. I had to learn how to replace different parts of a car because that was the only way I could afford to fix it. I had to take an online driving course so my insurance didn’t go up.

My mom didn’t trust my driving skills and to this day still argues with me about how it was my fault even though I told her I was trying my best but with bald tires on ice there isn’t much you can do. I bought new tires for this winter because I didn’t want to repeat that night.

Overall, it changed how I understand crashes because I never knew before that night that at only 30 mph the entire hood of your car crumples. Not to mention every time I drive through that intersection I’m reminded of that night in the freezing cold looking at the road covered in the shattered pieces of my headlights, the grill of my car, and bent pieces of metal. That is an image I’ll never forget.”