The Mighty Logo

The Hazards of Being a Pedestrian in a Wheelchair

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

I recently got hit by a car. It was weird and frightening at the same time. I waited for the light to turn green and then I crossed, but as I was crossing some guy turned right into me. I immediately lost my mind and used words I shouldn’t have, but it got me thinking, how many times have I walked (wheeled) away from an accident completely unscathed when I should have been hurt? These are my stories and recollections of past experiences of the many accidents that have occurred to me in my wheelchair.

During my junior year of college I was studying for finals and I got hungry — really hungry! I decided my best beet was to go to the local Subway and pick up a tuna sandwich — but it was pouring rain outside. However, I was tired and despite the inclement weather, I decided it was necessary to take a break. This was a bad decision from the get go. I went out yelling “rain” and the next thing I knew, I was in a puddle about three inches deep. Luckily for me some dude pulled his car over and threw my wheelchair in the back of his truck. When I told him I was nervous, he said “don’t worry bro, it’s insured. It took about five weeks to fix, but I got my wheelchair back and learned a valuable lesson — never test a storm.

I like to be out in nature; the wide open spaces, serenity and calmness make for a wonderful environment. However, as I was standing up in my wheelchair I forgot to put my wheelchair back down and rolled onto a tree. Next thing I know, it tips forward with me in it. Now mind it’s like 98 degrees outside and my feet are crushed. My sister comes out and I’m outside yelling for her. She goes inside and tells my mom what happened, and my mom comes out with an axe and chops the foot plate off to free my toes.  I’m delirious from heat exhaustion, but it turned out to be a minor scare and everything was OK. I felt bad for having my parents worried and putting myself in a dangerous situation that could have been avoided.

I’ve been hit by a car twice. The first time was in college; I was rolling down the block on my way to do my job as a credit card processing salesman, then wham! The guy who hit me kept saying “are you OK” about five thousand times, and then stated he was an EMT. Even worse, after I told him I was fine he walked away. I was shocked by the ignorance of the guy, and I never thought it would happen again. Unfortunately for me, I was wrong.

I was rolling home from Hooters in Chicago. I had spent the night with a friend laughing, eating wings and having a good time, then wham it happened again. I won’t go into too much detail because I already mentioned it at the beginning of the article, but somebody did call the cops to report the accident. However, I didn’t get his insurance information and the guy got away scot free. Needless to say, I have learned to be more careful and cautious, and my black poncho now has bright orange on it.

I’m very lucky to have survived these traumatic experiences without scars and with my health intact. I feel like I have a guardian angel watching over me, protecting me from all these dangerous situations. I’m truly blessed. Please be safe out there.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Getty image by Gelo Korol.

Originally published: January 15, 2018
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home