Published on October 20th, 2014 | by Silvana Aceto
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It was just like any other Tuesday morning. Deborah Vahabi, Supervisor of the Road Trips department at CAA SCO, was behind the wheel of her brand new Chevy Cruze. Deborah was driving her regular route into work along the westbound lanes of highway 401 in Scarborough. As she passed Markham Road and made her way into the express lanes, it happened. Traffic came to a standstill and Deborah came to a complete stop. As she looked into her rear view mirror she saw an 18-wheel, transport truck directly behind her. The driver wasn’t slowing down. And before Deborah knew it, he smashed into her white Chevy Cruze not once, but twice.
“I felt this sudden impact and then I was propelled forward. The truck driver couldn’t brake fast enough and he hit me again. Luckily, I left lots of space between my car and the driver in front of me, otherwise it could have been a lot worse,” said Deborah. “I was in absolute disbelief. I pulled over to the shoulder and put on my four-way flashers. The first thing that came to my mind was don’t get of the car, don’t get hit by another driver,” added Deborah.
After a few minutes the truck driver came over to the passenger side of the car. “He asked if I was okay. I was in shock, but I hadn’t been hurt.” Deborah crawled over to the passenger side door, away from moving traffic and slowly got out of her Cruze to check the damage. There was a hairline crack and some scratches across her rear bumper. After exchanging all the relevant personal information, Deborah got back into her car and drove to work.
“I was still in shock when I got to the office in Thornhill. I was shaking and broke down in tears. It was all starting to sink in. You always think it will never happen to you until it does,” said Deborah. She calmed down, pulled herself together and called her insurance company (which also happens to be CAA Insurance). “The first thing the agent asked was, ‘Are you okay?’ and then ‘Are you in a safe place?’ Those questions made me feel a lot better.”
The agent then walked her through the next steps.
The following Sunday night over dinner, Deborah sat down with family and had the conversation with them about how to handle a collision. “I’ve been driving for almost 40 years and if I was that shaken after a collision I can’t imagine how my kids, as young and inexperienced drivers, would be able to handle the same situation. So, I gave each of my four kids and husband the CAA Stranded Driver booklet to keep in their car for such an emergency and we talked about what to do.”
“The one thing I will take away from this experience is that my safety comes first and my vehicle is second.”
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