It is a beautiful Tuesday morning, and I am riding my bike on my way to school when the unthinkable happen. A car hits me.
I am sitting in the middle of the intersection when a girl in her early twenties came to help me up. It all happened so quickly, and I at first I did not realize that the girl who helped me up was the same girl that was driving the car. I walked to the sidewalk while the girl helped pick up my bike and my bags.
I have lived in Santa Barbara for two years, and this is the first accident I have experienced. The health care system is very different in the United States compared to Sweden, so being an international student is not always easy in situations like this one.
My first thought was “Who do I call?”
My first thought when everything happened was who do I call? My first call was to my roommates Kirsten. Since it all happened only a block away from our house she was there within a couple of seconds. At first I did not wanted to go to the hospital, but Kirsten convinced that it was best. We drove to the Cottage Hospital.
The employees at the hospital took really good care of me, and were very helpful. I was lucky to have Kirsten with me, she helped me answer a lot of questions. I was at the hospital for around three hours. After about three hours at the hospital I was told that everything on the X-rays looked okay, and that I could go home and rest.
The girl driving the car ran the red light, and then hit me, but since she was slowly making a right turn it was not a severe collision.
“Thankfully I did not end up with any major injuries, except for some bruises.”
As soon as I got back home I knew I would have a million phone calls to make. I had a feeling it would take me days to figure everything out with my insurance company Trygg-Hansa.
But I was wrong. I called my father, and the next thing I knew he had talked to the insurance company and already the next day I got a call from SOS-International. The lady I talked with was very helpful, and ensured me that I do not have to worry. They would take care of it all and contact the hospital.
I have not had any trouble with my insurance company,
and they have been taking care of all my medical bills.
A week has gone since I got hit by a car. I am not in any pain, but I have not been riding my bike to school. I would not say that I am afraid of riding my bike. I would say that I am afraid that it will happen again.
Santa Barbara has a serious traffic safety problem, and that is why SBBIKE and COAST have started a campaign called Vision Zero SB. Compared to other cities of similar size in California, Santa Barbara is ranked 2nd for pedestrian collisions and 4th for bicyclist collision. Over the last ten years more than 60% of traffic accidents has been pedestrians and bicyclist. Most collisions can be prevented through improved infrastructure, education and enforcement. If we created a bicycle infrastructure in Santa Barbara it would results in a safer community.