The photo above was the result. Three girls were in that car, my cousin included. She was seated at the back with no seatbelt. Her friend was driving, while her friend's cousin sat on the passenger seat in front. They were lucky, they all walked away with only minor injuries -- bumps, cuts, bruises... but I think anyone who sees that car would have thought otherwise.
This was what happened in my cousin's exact words:
"My friend was driving fast, we were on our way home from my friend's graduation celebration. This happened in Tomas Morato, my friend was trying to overtake the one in front of her kasi mabagal eh may kasalubong na car sa opposite lane so kinabig niya ng todo para umiwas eh may car din sa right lane na hindi natansta ng friend ko so tumama kami dun tas super lakas ng impact (and I think nasagi rin ata kami sa car na pasalubong) kaya all the more it sent the car flying, as in umikot talaga kami... I think that was the feeling that got stuck to me yung sound nung THUD THUD THUD kasi tatlong beses umikot until it finally landed to the upside down position, parang roller coaster ride but definitely scarier kasi sa likod ako nakaupo and hindi ako naka-seatbelt so talagang tumama ako sa bubong nung car, I have a slight bukol nga. But thank God we're all fine."
She is very blessed indeed to have survived such an accident. But I cannot help but think that several years from now this could be either of my children. I know the time will come when they will eventually ask us for permission to go out on gimmicks with friends, day or night... a thousand thoughts ran through my mind. I can't possibly know the full extent of the driving capabilities of all their friends. I can't monitor where they go every minute. Although I can give them a curfew, I know that I can't really control the time they leave and return.
My sister had a similar experience a long time ago. She snuck out to attend another section's graduation party. Our guardians forbade it but she went anyway. She met an accident on the way home which resulted in her getting a surgery for a blood clot in her head. She is also blessed, as she was able to recover fully. The driver was intoxicated, according to the police report. More recently, my younger brother fell asleep on the wheel while driving late at night and crashed the car along EDSA. He too was fortunate to have walked away unscathed.
Whatever time of day, the streets are not a safe place. You may be a good driver but you're not the only one on the road. It's best to exercise safe and defensive driving at all times. I am always extra careful at night because I have a harder time driving in the dark compared to driving in broad daylight. These are but a few of the things I shall teach my children when their turn to drive comes. I will also show them their aunts and uncle's story so they may learn something from it.
If any kids or teens are reading this, please don't think of us parents as a big drag when it comes to your social life. We just want to keep you safe.