Luck was on his side when just one week after passing his driving test, novice driver Rory Paterson managed to walk away from a collision which left his car smashed in two pieces.
“I collided with a van at a junction around eight o’clock on a summer night around one mile from my home,” said student Rory, of Edinburgh.
“I’d been coming up to the junction and gradually started to pull out when the next thing a van appeared at my left hand side and collided into the car. I just hadn’t seen him coming.
“A bus had been in front of me and I’d assumed it was ok to pull out. Once the bus moved away I didn’t look to the left for oncoming traffic.”
Rory, now 21, had been driving with four friends in his car at the time. Everyone got out alive. One of the girls fainted through shock and there were plenty of bruises but fortunately no broken bones.
“The crash was all my fault and down to complete inexperience,” said Rory. “I was probably a bit over-confident too. The police told me that if I’d been hit from the front it would have been an awful lot worse.
“I remember a woman who’d witnessed the collision coming up to me and, seeing my friend passed out on the road, said ‘if she dies it’ll be your fault.’ That felt awful because I knew she was right.”
Rory’s dad Steve Paterson, 53, had just settled down at home to watch the European Cup Final when he received a call saying his son, then 17, had been in a car collision.
He said: “When I saw the state the car was in I realised exactly how fortunate Rory had been. We were lucky but some other families might not be. That’s why we support this new Good Egg Guide for Parents. We had no idea that 1 in 5 novice drivers crash in their first six months. I only wish we’d had a copy when Rory was learning to drive.”
Rory did get behind the wheel of a car again – three months after the collision but said it was never the same.
“In fact I didn’t really want to drive at all after that – it’s changed my life,” he added.