“When I was 16, I was driving with two of my friends on a back road. It had just started raining, which reminded us to put on our seat belts. About one minute later, the SUV hydroplaned and slid off the shoulder of the road. Being an inexperienced driver, I over-corrected, and the vehicle did a 180° in the road, then flipped over the other side and rolled three times. We landed upside down, all hanging from our seatbelts. One of my friends (who had watched too many action movies) started screaming that the car was going to explode, so we all tried to get out as quickly as possible. I remember hooking my feet on the steering wheel to get to unlatch the belt. We all slid out of our broken windows and ran back.”
“Thankfully, another vehicle was driving behind us and saw the whole thing. He called 911, then told us what he saw. He thought we were all dead, and we should have been! It was miraculous to survive the accident, but here’s all the ‘one-in-a-million’ stuff: Turns out the car flipped right between a light pole and a huge tree, only missing both by a few feet. One of my friends was missing her cell phone, which was in her hand before the accident. We found it perfectly placed in her open purse, sitting upright beside the tree. EMS arrived and checked us out at the scene. We declined going to the hospital. Police officers claimed we were lucky to be alive. Seatbelts certainly played a role in saving our lives, but the roof was completely caved in and could have killed us all, with or without seatbelts.
The next day, we went to the tow truck yard to check out the car. Turns out my mom had left a box of roofing nails in the back that she was supposed to tell me to give to my stepdad, but of course forgot. They were scattered throughout the car, mostly nailed into the ceiling that had caved in. So, not only did we survive the accident mostly unscathed, we also had avoided nail shrapnel during it.”