Subtitle: I'm a such an idiot!!
I was a little worried about making it to school on time today, so I took the turn just before the bridge on the (country) road leading to my school a little too fast. I hit a patch of ice, tried and failed to control a slide, spun around, hit the railing of the bridge, and possibly spun around again before stopping back on the proper side of the road.
In short, I had a car accident.
Thankfully there weren't any cars too close by at the time, and I had my seat belt on and the airbag didn't deploy so physically I was fine. Mentally I've been kicking myself all morning/afternoon for being such a careless idiot, but overall I'm just really thankful that the only real damage was to my car.
As Tomabechi-sensei and everyone else pointed out, it could've been worse: the river would've been very cold today!
Anyway, the first thing I did was call Kirita to tell them about the accident. They called Mukainakano-sensei for me. The mother of one of my ninensei students happened to be passing by right around the time of the accident, so she helped me place the call to JAF. When Tomabechi-sensei and Takasugi-sensei (the art/P.E./sannensei teacher) arrived, Tomabechi-sensei took over the call to JAF. The two of them stayed with me until Mukainakano-sensei came.
When Mukainakano-sensei came, she called my insurance company for me. Nagasue-sensei (a co-worker at the office) also came and advised us to call the police. The JAF truck came but we had to wait for the police to come and look at the scene before moving the car.
The police came and took measurements and asked questions about what had happened--how fast was I going, about where did I start sliding/spinning, etc. etc. Once they were done, Mukainakano-sensei drove me to the dealership where I got my car (with the JAF truck following behind) and there we learned that we wouldn't be able to get a repair estimate until the following day.
On the advice of Nagasue-sensei, Mukainakano-sensei took me to the Higashi Hospital to get my head/neck checked out. Even though I felt totally fine, he said it was better for me to go to the hospital in case I turned out to have whiplash or something later; if I didn't go first, I might have trouble filing for any medical insurance claims related to the accident later on.
After the hospital, Mukainakano-sensei treated me to lunch before taking me home.
At home, I called my parents and emailed people to tell them what had happened.
So that was my first major driving accident (I don't count backing into parked cars or even getting rear-ended last year).
All in all, I have to just keep reminding myself that it could've been a lot worse. The lessons I've learned from the experience?
1) sleep early, wake up early, and leave early so you can take your time and drive carefully
2) getting the JAF (Japanese equivalent of CAA/AAA) membership was totally worthwhile
3) deciding to get car insurance that covered damage to my own car (instead of just for other people's cars, injuries, property damage, etc.) was absolutely the right choice
4) it's important to stay positive; I feel like a the biggest idiot in the world right now, but at least I've only suffered mental/emotional damage, rather than physical injury!
Oh, and as luck would have it, I had my camera with me because the ninensei had a cooking class scheduled, so I've got pictures of the damage!
(Picture 1: Where I hit the bridge. Picture 2: Car damage.)
Check out the rest (along with my comments) in my Facebook album!