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By Naail Ali Published on 24/09/2019

Highway Lesson

"I've learned 3 things that day. One of them is to always put your own safety first."
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Naail Ali

Published on: 24/09/2019

Road Safety
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I've been driving for a couple of years now. Speeding and being reckless like everyone else comes common to me, especially in today’s world of “now”. On the February of 2018, I realized even though life is short, some risks are not worth taking. I had finally started my first real job and money was coming in. Work was going well. An amazing relationship was blossoming, and I had just begun my bachelor's degree in Law. Life was looking really easy those days. I was fairly good at driving and had not met with any serious accidents by this time in my life. Not knowing the consequences nor the dangers I was more or less fearless with my then new motorcycle.

On the 22nd of February I got one hell of a reality check. I had finished work late due to some delays and was anxious because I was on course to be late for the second day of college. I came out dressed in my very best that day. Shirt tucked in and shoes polished. I had to pick up my girlfriend on the way to college. As with any other day, I sped zigzagging the moderate traffic in Hulhumale across the highway until I reached the traffic light at the three-way junction to Male’ and Hulhule.  My destination was to the right which was Hulhule to pick up my girlfriend. The traffic light took the usual half a minute and switched its lights to green. As soon as that green hit my eyes I took off. Pushing my signal toggle on and turning my handle in acceleration.

It was a moment right out of a movie scene. Everything sort of slowed down. All of a sudden, a blob hit my peripherals. A motorcycle had broken off from the traffic stop on the opposite lane which was red. I could hear the roar of its engine hitting my left ear drums like thunder. There was a police truck a few meters off my immediate direction setting up what I remember to be a sort of speed detecting camera. At that moment I was on my core instincts. My conscious self had given up its reigns to what I assume to be my survival instincts. I felt adrenaline rush through my veins like a cold IV fluid. The choice for me at that point, at least in my head was, pull on all the breaks and slide or switch gears to accelerate and avoid getting hit all together. Before I could finish my train of thought I was turning the handle as far as I can and switching gears. It was a split second. I was a few seconds late too late. The bike rammed into me jamming my foot into my clutch pedal, pushing me and my bike into a swirl. The moment we made contact the person sitting in the back of the other bike went flying off. The driver crashed across the road. The hot black tar felt like needle wire on my skin. I got back control as soon as I touched the ground. My first response was to switch of the bike. I tried to push myself up, not realizing the pedal had burrowed into my foot under my thumb and had broken two of my bones. It took a moment for the pain to hit. Blood started spewing out of the hole where the pedal had created a trench in my foot like a Hawaiian volcano.

I’ve broken bones before, but that day was the worst by far. The police team in the vicinity quickly sprang into action. One of them asking me if I had any injuries, the other checked visually. They cut open my boot and made their best effort to stop the bleeding. Within minutes I was put in the back of their truck and we were on our way to the Hulhumale hospital. As soon as I got strapped in the vehicle I dialed in my friends, because you never call family first.  

I got taken into the emergency ward. After a rather heater argument about the unnecessary procedures I was given some very needed pain killer shots. The doctor sealed up the wound and sent me into the X-ray room to see the real damage I had received. I had a broken two and two more fractures. The doctor went to work on my pothole and gave me 2 weeks for the scar to heal before I get strapped in a plaster. I was bedridden for two months. The worst part I think was the fact that I had to stay in my room for the whole of it. I only got to use walking sticks after a month. Taking pain killer pills every day.

I almost lost my job due to the extended leave. I had to give up my law degree due to the absence in class. After two months of doing absolutely nothing but staying in bed I’m now fully recovered. My bones have fully healed with the exception of mild arthritis for the foreseeable future and a few scars.

I gained three things that day. The fear of crashing, the knowledge that even if you are careful someone out there is not going to be and third that I love my girlfriend very much. She had come straight off work to the hospital after a 10-hour shift. Now besides her death glare that night, it was quite a day. My advice, the one I take my self, take your time doing everything. Never compromise safety.

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