Fashion that saves. Four stories of Ukrainians who survived an accident
Fashion that saves. Four stories of Ukrainians who survived the accident © press service
Participants in the Safe Fashion social performance, which updates the topic of road safety, told personal stories about the benefits of clothing that helps pedestrians to “glow”, about karma, sidewalk illusions and dangerous down jackets in dark colors.
At this very moment, thousands of Ukrainians are breaking the rules of the road. They skip to red, ignore traffic signs or cross the road in inappropriate places for this – without consequences. Others are unlikely to succeed. Tragic statistics: in the first seven months of 2019 in Ukraine there were more than 4000 accidents with pedestrians. They killed 577 people.
On a September evening, TV presenter Ulyana Pchelkina, director Vlad Kochatkov, cultural manager Marianna Fakas and marketer Dmitry Dzhedzhula cross the road near the Mystetsky Arsenal. Grossly violate the rules, but do it on purpose, under the gun of cameras and with the support of the police, which stops the movement of cars.
This four are participants in social performance. They present things with reflective elements, sewn according to the sketches of the best young designers during the Safe Fashion contest – a joint project of Rozetka and Ukrainian Fashion Week. They show how dangerous it is, even at a pedestrian crossing, to correspond with colleagues, to lose vigilance or simply to be invisible to drivers.
Now every participant in the performance is an exemplary participant in traffic. And this is not surprising, because among the survivors in an accident, few people want to experience such an experience again.
Passenger motorcycle with a sidecar
"Be visible," I would advise pedestrians and cyclists. "
Ulyana Pchelkina, karate, TV presenter and social activist
Ulyana Pchelkina © press service
"I broke my spine," is my first thought after the accident. I didn’t feel legs, I couldn’t get up. I had basic medical knowledge, and I immediately realized that I had suffered complex back damage.
The accident occurred fourteen and a half years ago. But I remember everything as if it happened yesterday. I am a passenger of a motorcycle with a sidecar, we are sober with the driver, we are driving at medium speed. The only one who was drunk was the owner of the motorcycle. We put him in a stroller and had to take him home so that he would not get behind the wheel in this state.
Emotion swept over later. And at first, in spite of severe pain, I remained calm. The ambulance arrived. The doctors tried to help me, but they only made it worse by turning me in different directions – the vertebrae scattered into smithereens and even more damaged the spinal cord. So now the situation is this: I can’t walk, I move with the help of a wheelchair.
The accident occurred two weeks before the entrance exams to the acting department. Karpenko-Kary University was my dream. I understood that I was moving away from her, but until the last I did not accept this: "Let's do the operation faster! I have introductory ones soon!"
The main lesson from this story is listening to the heart. There was a hunch that there was no need to sit down. But I'm a fatalist: this, apparently, was supposed to happen. I am alive, everything is fine with me, I am in my right mind. I study, I am married, I have a lot of classes and a profession that I love. I help other people who find themselves in a similar situation to cope with psychological trauma, physically learn how to take care of themselves, move on and believe in themselves. Maybe this is my mission? Maybe I should move in a wheelchair so that others see that not everything is so bad?
“Be visible,” I would advise pedestrians and cyclists. I work for the NGO Active Rehabilitation Group, and our audience is people who have suffered spinal cord injuries. Most of them suffered precisely in an accident.
Reflective tape is beautiful. And safe. There are studies that show that the driver will see the reflective surface much earlier than the pedestrian himself. Therefore, I would recommend using trinkets or bracelets that reflect light. For example, a special tape on a stroller makes me visible. I also wear clothes with reflective elements and a special bracelet for night movement, which glows with the movement of the hand.
A separate topic is children on the road. I am a driver, and I am very sad when a hundred meters before the pedestrian crossing, adults rush under my wheels. Children look and repeat after them.
Once, a mother with a stroller decided to cross the road in the wrong place. She pushed the stroller right under my car. I opened the window and said: “Listen, if you’re tired of living, go yourself, there’s nothing to throw the child under the wheels!” And a couple of affectionate added. I understand that the driver must be careful. But two tons of iron will not stop, as if rooted to the spot, in a second. Even the court will prove that it’s not my fault, and I won’t sit down, and I won’t even pay a fine. How to live with it further?
"You need to stop striving for bright things"
Dmitry Dzhedzhula, marketer
Dmitry Dzhedzhula © press service
It was a busy summer day: we finished business in Ivano-Frankivsk after seven in the evening. Probably, it was possible to leave for Kiev the next day, Saturday morning. But Saturday is the last working day before the long weekend; a million different events were planned for it. We were in a hurry.
I remember I was sitting diagonally from the driver. In addition to us, there were two more passengers in the car. On August 19, 2006, around midnight, I called my parents and my bride, then I fell asleep in the back seat. Woke up in a hospital bed – a month later.
Most likely, the driver fell asleep. The blow fell on the starboard side. The driver has fractures and abrasions. A colleague sitting behind him got a concussion. I had an open head injury, I fell into a coma. A month in intensive care: my jaw and nose bridge were reassembled, my ear was sewn on. They fed through a tube, constantly pricked sedatives. When the effect of the drugs was slightly weakened, I began to understand something.
The fact that my colleague Andrei died, I learned much later. Doctors forbade me to use gadgets. But, of course, as soon as I arrived home, I found a phone hidden by my mother and began to call my colleagues. I called Andrei, and a woman picked up the phone: "He can’t talk." Then I recruited my assistant. Answer: "Andrey is on vacation." For another three weeks, the doctors did not allow me to be told the truth.
You have to hurry wisely – this is my conclusion. If you do not take into account karmic stories, then we were let down by the business rush and the desire to do more in less time.
When you are on the road, be more attentive to an unfamiliar space – this is the first thing I would advise everyone. The modern problem is fragmented attention, when we seem to be here, but not quite, because we are sitting in the messenger or flipping through a news feed. Often I meet people who cross the road and at the same time look at the smartphone screen. However, they can still roll a stroller. There are also female drivers who paint their lips while driving. When we are on the road, mutual responsibility should be understood – both those who ride and those who go.
No one needs to carry a miner's flashlight. First you need to at least stop striving for bright things. I love bright clothes and accessories: for example, I have an orange backpack, a yellow jacket of an Italian sailor, sweaters in salmon or pink-tear-off shades, and my Saucony running jacket has reflective elements. Sociologists would call me "statistical outlier." Because the favorite colors of our people in clothes are black and gray. It is easy to imagine: on a dark December night in a black down jacket and black jeans, a young man crosses the road, reading something on a black smartphone, and a not-too-careful driver who writes a message in the messenger moves at him behind the wheel of a black car.
In the Safe Fashion project, I had a daring image. In everyday life, I adhere to the classical style, because I work in a company where there is a fairly strict corporate dress code. Therefore, I am waiting for well-known brands to create a felt hat with reflective elements. I would love to wear one.
Safe clothes should become fashionable. Safe Fashion has attracted the attention of people who are partial and progressive. And what to do with the overwhelming majority in gray-brown-brown-green down jackets? To show them that the “visible” materials are hype, fashionable. It is important that well-known brands work with this more often, then the mass market will also be interested in safe fashion. And then it will work – I declare to you as a marketer.
"In modern urban space, you are on the battlefield"
Marianna Fakas, Cultural Manager
Marianna Fakas © press service
Twice I got into an accident, and both times I stood on the sidewalk. Every time – in broad daylight due to the carelessness and lack of qualifications of drivers. People who have experienced this will confirm: when an accident occurs, you yourself are not your own, you feel like a tiny drop in the maelstrom of events. Your whole life and plans are instantly crumbling.
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I am grateful for this experience. Now I know for sure: you need to rely only on yourself. And remember every minute: you should be careful. Even if you are not to blame for one hundred percent, most likely, the offender will escape punishment, as was the case in my situation, and you will have to take care of your rehabilitation yourself and live with the consequences of injuries.
I am for the maximum "glow". In Kiev, I almost always travel by bicycle, I have the maximum number of reflective elements and flashing lights.
When I was offered to participate in social performance, I just kept an eye on where to buy reflective fabric. I am the mother of an eight-year-old daughter, and it is important for me that she is safe on the road. I want to sew her and my "visible" raincoats.
In modern urban space, you're on the battlefield. Danger lurks you even if you are a pedestrian and just stand on the sidewalk. I really liked the safe clothes from the Safe Fashion show, and most of all – the allegory that the designer conducted in my image. I was wearing a reflective vest, which in shape resembles a bulletproof vest.
"It's terrible when a pedestrian dresses in black."
Vlad Kochatkov, director
Vlad Kochatkov © press service
"Why did they hit me on a zebra ?!" – the first thing that flashed in my head. On that gloomy summer evening, I calmly crossed the road in the area of the bridge, near a difficult intersection. The driver did not calculate the speed, he skidded, and he hit me on the side of the car. I flew off two meters. The driver immediately ran to me, began to feel, to check whether everything was fine, whether I was safe. I just twisted my finger at the temple: how can I bring down a person at the transition?
Always looking around is what this story taught me. Do not proceed if you are not sure that the machine will let you through. We noticed a car on the side – stop and skip. I saw that car! But confidently passed, thought that she would stop.
It is terrible when a pedestrian dresses in black and crosses the road at night. As a driver, I often encounter this and worry every time: I could not notice, did not have time to brake. Be sure to wear photocathodes or some elements that show that you are on the road.
During the performance of Safe Fashion, I defiled in the image from Sofia Rusinovich. This is a really safe mod, because every element makes you visible. I liked the whole image, and especially the golf. The threads from which it is connected reflect light. This is a very stylish thing. I would like to add it to my wardrobe.
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. (tagsToTranslate) Accident (t) Safe Fashion