Last September 2015, we bought Cheesecake to the vet for another shot of her vaccinations. Unfortunately, on our way home, we got involved in a road accident with multiple collisions. A 10-wheeler truck driving through the Circumferential Road in Bacolod had a brake malfunction that led to a major road mishap involving a total of 7 vehicles.
Though we are still very thankful that there are no casualties involved. Damage to property was extensive since the truck which carried a heavy equipment/ backhoe had hit a Kia Avanza, Nissan Pathfinder whose tires blew up, a 2-month-old Mitsubishi Montero, a 6-wheeler truck carrying sacks of cement, a motorcycle with a sidecar and our Nissan Sentra.
It was our first time to be involved in an accident and I had a mix of emotions. There was shock, fear, anxiety, and anger. I composed myself and went down the car. I saw the driver and just looked at him with the facial expression "What the hell did just happen?" He was apologetic and was explaining about the brakes. So, I just let go. We checked on the other cars if anyone was injured then found a way to contact my dad.
Since I have always believed that everything happens for a reason, let me share some life lessons and realizations I have because of the accident.
1. Always wear your seat belt. I know a lot of us are guilty of not wearing seat belts all the time. Most drivers and passengers only wear them because of the fear of getting apprehended. But I tell you, it makes a difference. I was lucky to be wearing a seat belt during the accident. The impact was strong and without it, I could have hit my head on the dashboard.
2. Accidents happen in a blink of an eye. Yes, accidents happen very fast and at a time you least expect it. Val and I were happy having a conversation and boom! The damage has been done. It is the same reason why we should never text and drive because your eyes and focus should always be on the road.
3. Always check your brakes. Driving your car is not all about getting your car to move without problems. It is also very important that we check our cars for our own safety, Make sure that the brakes are working, tires are good and the steering wheel is moving freely, etc. I know that accidents can't be controlled (that's why they are called accidents) but that only gives us enough reason not to drive very fast because the faster you are, the harder for you to control your vehicle in cases of brake malfunction or accidents.
4. Never drive without your valid driver's license and registration papers. In case of accidents, there would be a traffic investigator who would make an incident report. They would be asking for these documents.
5. Make sure to charge your phones, I was in a hurry when we left home and forgot to charge my home. I have a measly 20% battery. So, after a few calls and messages, my phone died. Val also did not bring his phone because he said he was with me and wouldn't need to text anyone. Well, during the accident, I did not have a way to contact my dad for help. We ended up asking a stranger to text my dad for me. We also did not have a way to take pictures as evidence that we had to rely on the ones taken by the police.
It took some time for our car to get fixed. Apparently, the truck who hit us did not have on-damage insurance. So, negotiating with them was a bit hard. Will post updates about our case. The only thing that we are certain is that they are the ones responsible for the damages. How we wished to have owned a dashboard camera so that the negotiations should have been faster with more evidence. On the other hand, I have also realized how important it is to have a comprehensive insurance and not just the TPL required by LTO because once you're at fault, the stress and liability is so extensive.