Dad had the little GM convertible at the time. Back then, the doors didn’t lock from the inside, or at least it didn’t seem like it. He had the top down and we were on a winding road. I do know that the car didn’t have seatbelts either. He was going around 45 on a 35 speed limit. I was amusing myself with a dog leash.
I was wrapping the leash around my ankles, leaning forward to do it. He was pretty much not paying attention to what I was doing. He hit a curve and didn’t brake to slow down. Physics had its way and my inertia slammed me into the door. Which promptly flew open, spilling me onto the road. I was pretty dazed from the impact of hitting the pavement. I skidded on my right side for a couple of feet. I can remember hearing the tires squealing as he braked to a screeching halt a long way further down the road. I didn’t feel anything at that point.
He jumped out of the car and ran to me. When he was less than 5 feet from me, the pain hit. I started screaming. He scooped me up and got me back into the car. He unwound the dog leash chain from my ankles as he tried to get me to calm down. His arm was across my chest the rest of the drive, holding me in place as I cried. Then he pulled into a liquor store to get a better look at me.
I had scrapes up and down my right side. I was lucky since I didn’t actually hit my head on the ground at all. But my shoulder, side and thigh had tons of skin peeled and cut from the blacktop. The store clerk supplied some wet clean towels to help clean me up enough to get a good look. I was really lucky. None of it even scarred over. I finally calmed down again.
Dad ended up putting a security sliding chain on the car doors after that. The kind you usually use on house doors. He would plunk me in and then do up the chain. He even had me try kicking at the door from the inside to see if it would hold against an impact. It did. Nothing like shutting the barn door at the horse has already taken off at a gallop or the kid goes flying…