IT was less than a week after speaking to a St John Paramedic for this campaign, and hearing just how easily vehicles can crumple into twisted, screwed up metal pieces, that I discovered it for myself.
Sitting in the passenger seat beside my husband for a drive back from Darwin at about 7.30pm, we glimpsed a couple of large steers on the roadside to our left just south of Adelaide River.
With low beams on in the immediate wake of a passing car, we both exclaimed at the proximity of the animals and reflexively began to brake.
But, our sentences remained unfinished as we ploughed straight into the full side-length of a steer on the road directly in front of us.
It was frightening.
Having never experienced any kind of collision, I couldn’t quite believe it.
We were jolted forward with the impact and found our faces engulfed in air bags.
The animal compressed the front of our Camry into a crumpled block, and bounced onto our windscreen, which splintered, but held its shape.
I am only too aware that through BE SAFE, we have been sharing stories of immense tragedy, and my husband and I were humbled to walk away without a scratch.
But what our experience does highlight, is that things can befall drivers on the road in a split second.
If we had not already reduced speed from over 100km/h to about 90km/h in the seconds before we hit the steer, we believe we would not have been so fortunate.
I am thankful I have not had to confront the sort of pain so many road accident victims and their loved ones have to face, but I have gained a significant insight into the vulnerable position our fragile bodies are placed in when flying along in a vehicle.
It was a dramatic reminder to drive carefully; that it never hurts to slow down and that there is nothing more important than being safe.