How to Survive a Car Crash in 10 Easy Steps

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Don’t drive when it snows.

Okay, that’s not realistic, so it’s really more like Always check the weather before you go on a four-hour road trip in the dead of winter to see your friend Jen in Bend, Oregon, during the height of the pandemic.

But let’s rewind a bit since there were other ways to die on this long journey to reach Jen. You first flew across the country from New York to Oregon. You could have died then, too, gambling with your life with that five-hour flight, breathing the same stuffy plane air as everyone else.

Remember when you were advised to stay at least six feet away from people, or else risk getting COVID? Then possibly dying? That four-hour car ride on the final leg of your trip, then, was both a foolish and fitting thing to do.

Because it’s on this drive from the coast of Oregon to Bend that your car slips on the snow and crashes into the highway barrier. You find out later — see, this is why you should always check the weather before you drive — that that day was the first heavy snowfall of the season, and you’re in one of many car accidents around town, just half an hour away from Jen and her husband, who put all their belongings in storage and decided to rent an Airbnb in town indefinitely. (People did that during the pandemic, in that uncertain time between the fear of succumbing to the disease and the boredom of staying at home.) 

You have photos of this carnage and general mayhem and, much later — after all this is more or less over — gleefully show them to people who ask, while watching kind of sadistically as they squirm and wince and gravely tell you they’re glad you’re alive.


https://i0.wp.com/longreads.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/puzzle-brain-gray-scratches.png?resize=1200%2C700&ssl=1Stock art by David Malan/Getty Images. Image by CLR.



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