I met Louise Budgen of Utility Warehouse at a recent Athena business meeting in Brighton. We agreed to talk to each other about our respective businesses afterwards and it was during this exchange that Louise told me about a serious car accident she’d been involved in when a friend was driving.
They were merrily travelling in lane two at the side of an overseas lorry when it pulled out just when they were nearly in front of it. The lorry clipped the rear offside of the car, sending it spinning round and round and then rolling over a couple of times before landing upside down in some bushes, just off the hard shoulder. Thankfully not onto the motorway or any barrier or wall but still a totally terrifying experience.
Whilst such instances are thankfully very rare, Louise learned several valuable lessons and we asked her to put these in writing so we could share them with others who might appreciate this advice and support.
This is Louise’s story
“My accident has taught me a lot on a personal front. Life can be taken away from us all in a second. Life is precious and can be very short so we need to enjoy everyday as if it is our last. After all, we don’t know if it is going to be…
My accident left me suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) for the best part of a year. This was a very frustrating time for me as I simply couldn’t do the things I would normally be able to do. I’m talking about simple things like walking the dogs or thinking about more than one thing at a time. I simply couldn’t concentrate, relax or enjoy myself for ages.
I now make sure I take time for me and do not rush around like a headless chicken ALL the time.
To help me, I needed some coaching from different specialists to get me back on track. The enormously positive impact they had on me encouraged me to train to become a coach myself.
On reflection, many good things have come about as a result of this awful accident too.
I am much more appreciative of the small things life offers and grateful for my life as it is; no longer wishing for more. I am definitely living more in the moment which is such a lovely thing to do, enjoying each day by day. Yes I have big plans for my future but today is what matters most for me now.
From a motoring point of view, I faced my biggest fear which was of dying in a motorway accident. I have always been a nervous passenger on motorways yet, having survived this experience, my accident has taught me that there are just some things that will happen for no apparent reason and nobody can control everything in their life including what other vehicles and drivers get up to on the road. So I have at last been able to put this event behind me – why should I worry or waste my energy on being worried? Yes, I’m still a nervous passenger (more than a driver) on the motorway but I’m working on this – I am determined this accident will not hold me back in future.
In life, whilst bad things do happen, it is how we deal with them that matters.
From a practical point of view – always give foreign lorries a wide berth because, when you are in their blind spot, they sometimes can’t see you in the middle lanes of motorways, even though they SHOULD be sufficiently alert to know where all surrounding vehicles are likely to be.
In our case they misjudged the distance and speed they took to pull out into lane 2.
If you are there at the time they won’t see you and will hit you.”
Please see the blind spot image above which illustrates a similar event but not the one Louise experiened.
Thank you Louise for this insight.
For help re PTSD please contact their website.
We’d recommend any motorist in the same situation consider taking the IAM Roadsmart Confidence After Incident course designed to boost their confidence levels.
We all need a confidence boost and coping mechanisms when we are nervous. Knowing what to do and how means that your driving skills are more intuitive and become automatic.
The more you learn, read and practise the better, more alert and more confident a driver you become.
Coping with foreign lorries is covered within the IAM Roadsmart’s Advanced Driver Course and, having done this programme myself, I can thoroughly recommend it!
The Club provides a range of support services for females in need of encouragement and a confidence boost. If you know a female who is struggling to cope with everyday motoring matters, suggest she join the Club or buy her a subscription as a gift. We are then here for her to contact us for advice, information and support whatever the motoring situation. Not only will we save her time and money but we’ll also provide priceless reassurance during the course of a lifetime membership.