My first car was a 2000 Toyota Corolla and still is my car. I have been driving for the past seven months and would say that I am a decently safe driver. The day I received my car was the most wonderful day of my high school life. I drove around town and saw the “sights”, that is, with my mother.
Later that week I got into my first car crash, and had to go without a car for a few months. I received my first car the week before my first semester of college had began and the following Wednesday, I had crashed it; crashing your first car is something no one wants to experience.
In high school, every teenager is categorized into two groups: the drivers, those with a car; and the non-drivers, those without a car. Drivers normally only had a restricted driver’s license since most of these teenagers were under the age of 18. Non-drivers were those without a car, whether they had a driver’s license or not. I was considered a non-driver and had no choice but to stay in the patio waiting along with the other non-drivers until our parents came to pick us up. When one of us would take the driver’s test and receive a driver’s license, we would spend a few hours talking about finally being able to drive. The next step in achieving “drivers” status was to buy a car.
Before actually buying and driving a car, we needed experience, or practice. Normally my step-father would take my brother and me to school every morning, but after I received my restricted driver’s license, I started practicing driving to school in his car. He would sit next to me in the passenger chair reading the newspaper keeping an eye on what I did. I did well the first year and he was proud, even though I had some imperfections he thought could use some work. For example, my right turns were either too narrow or to wide; and my attitude towards other drivers was less than satisfactory (I was either too “nice” about things or too aggressive). The next year came without a car, and I was still driving to school in my step-father’s car. Finding a car to buy was my responsibility, but I was too lazy to make an effort and so I went another year without a car. My parents made an effort to encourage me to search for a used car online, but I was too distracted. My senior year came and went; most of my friends had received their cars while I was left behind at the patio tables waiting for my mother to pick me up.
During the summer of 2007, I continued practicing driving, but it happened less and less. The only practice I had was when I went to visit my father in Key Biscayne. He would lend me the car to run errands and so I had some experience driving without a parent for some time. My father came to me one day and explained that he would buy me a car if I agreed to make part of the payments. I tried to clarify the fact that I would only be able to pay for the gas I would need because I would never be able to make enough money on a part-time salary to pay for the insurance or part of the car payment. We first drove down to a Nissan dealership to try to find a used car. We found some used Nissan Versas that was gas efficient, and we were there for the next two hours adding up the final costs of the car and insurance. The price was too large for my father to accept so we gave up that day. A month or two went by and I still had no car. During that time I went on vacation with my parents to the upper corner states. When I came back home, my father called me up one day and told me that my uncle was willing to sell me his used car, a 2000 Toyota Corolla, for $5000.
My uncle was getting a new car and he wanted to get rid of his old, used car. I went to his house one day to check out his car and my father said that we would take care of the paper work that week and the car would be mine. After a while I had finally received my first car, and I was so excited, yet nervous at the same time. My mother was a bit worried about me driving alone, and so she drove with me for a few weeks before my first semester of college began. I was confident and she was thankful that I drove well, so she let me drive to and from school by myself. But what came that first week of school was the thing I least expected: my first car crash.
I had just finished class one day and was asked to pick up my brother from high school. We had neared my home and decided to stop by the gas station to pick up some drinks and some gum. I made a right turn onto the street, and since it was a corner, I had to drive onto the merging lane on the other side of the street once the traffic light had turned green. I was never sure how it had happened, whether it was my fault or the other driver’s fault, but I blacked out for a few seconds as my brother reached for his soda. He yelled, “Watch out!” and I reacted too slowly and accelerated instead of braking. We had just made it across the intersection and were in the merging lane when a silver car, larger than my Corolla, had attempted to cross the merging lane into a parking lot (near a Blockbuster and Starbucks). I was traveling too fast and we crashed, causing the front of my car to become more like an accordion. I was in a shock and couldn’t speak or think for a few minutes. The driver of the other car had gotten out of his car and asked if we were okay. That is when I noticed the large crack in the windshield. Apparently, my brother had not put on his seatbelt and had cracked the window with his head. We moved the cars into the parking lot and the other driver had already called the police. One police car had already arrived on the scene by the time we had parked both cars. The crash had caused the front driver door to bend and so I was unable to step out. I was forced to walk out through the passenger door and step out as the cop asked us for our information. The police officer asked for my driver’s license and my insurance information. I had given it to him as my other arrived at the scene. I was so terrified that I was unable to speak for a bit. My mother tried to calm me down as I started to shake and cry; for this was the first time I had been in a car crash. She told me to wait in her car as she dealt with the police officer. It was explained to my mother that I had apparently hit a police officer’s personal car and his wife and children were in the passenger seats. They claimed to have been injured, and so I was issued a ticket. I was told to wait for at the most a month for the information for my court appearance to arrive in the mail.
I had experienced my first car crash, and I was shaken up about it for about two weeks. My father, unenthusiastically, took care of the car repair and gave my car back after about a month. I was back on the road with much more wariness. Just as I did with my first car, no one likes to experience their first car crash, whether it is a simple “fender-bender” or a larger accident. The first car crash is something no one, especially teenagers, want to experience, at least not alone.