'Crash' course on being a commuter

Through the Northeastern region of Connecticut lies Route 44, an east to west highway that runs for 237 miles. (Doug Kerr/Creative Commons Flickr)

I decided to get my life together a few weeks ago.

Alright, so you guys get the emails from the Center for Career Development, describing all of these great opportunities to learn about careers and network. Well, the mid-semester lull was hitting me, and I really hadn’t felt motivated to do anything. On one of my days off there was a some kind of seminar and I decided that it was time for me to get off the couch and do something.

I started my car and just stared at my surroundings for a bit. The weather was actually nice that day, and I was savoring the scent of the air and the blue of the sky. There was a little snow on the ground, but the temperature wasn’t overwhelmingly cold. That day was meant for great things.

I was about 20 minutes into my 35-minute commute, heading toward a slight bend in the road just below a hill, when my front tire blew. I was on Route 44, which is fairly busy and usually covered on trees by both sides. At first, I hadn’t realized that my tire was gone, I thought I had gone off the road a bit. It happened so quickly that by the time I turned the wheel to correct myself, the front tire hitched my car around so I was backwards in the left lane. From there, I went up an embankment in reverse and ran over one of the smaller trees, landing between two others.

Many cars passed me as I stayed in my seat, absorbing what had happened. I managed to call 911 but didn’t remember where I was. Someone stopped and was able to let the operator know where I crashed, and he stayed with me until the police arrived. My car ended up getting towed back to my house, incurring a $200 fee, and after a short rest I was able to look at the situation more clearly.

Fact is, I was lucky. Just a week before this, I was rushing a child I babysit to the emergency room. If the tire had blown then, we would have been much worse off. Basically, if the tire had blown even a little earlier on that road, when I was at the top of the hill, I would have hit a house instead of a tree. The fact that there were no cars on the other side of the road was also a blessing. If I had gone into the trees on my side, my car would have been totalled; those trees were huge, and I was going 50 miles an hour.

I was mad at first, wondering why this would happen to me the one day I was actually going to try. My tire was low. I knew it was low and that I needed to keep an eye on it, but I forgot to check it that morning. Once I left, there was really nothing anyone could do about it. Instead of looking at the fact that it happened, I’m going to look at how I ended up. No scratches or bruises, just a sore back and some whiplash. Nobody else was hurt.


I was lucky, or as I choose to believe, God took care of me. The situation came about because I was a bit careless, but the outcome wasn’t anywhere near as bad as it could have been.


Hannah Desrosiers is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at hannah.desrosiers@uconn.edu.