Could you please tell me what the meaning of "together we brace a hundred times for impact" is?

The full text is here: It’s three in the morning, and we are making our way from southern to northern Utah, when the weather changes from the dry chill of the desert to the freezing gales of an alpine winter. Ice claims the road. Snowflakes flick against the windshield like tiny insects, a few at first, then so many the road disappears. We push forward into the heart of the storm. The van skids and jerks. The wind is furious, the view out the window pure white. Richard pulls over. He says we can’t go any further. Dad takes the wheel, Richard moves to the passenger seat, and Mother lies next to me and Audrey on the mattress. Dad pulls onto the highway and accelerates, rapidly, as if to make a point, until he has doubled Richard’s speed. “Shouldn’t we drive slower?” Mother asks. Dad grins. “I’m not driving faster than our angels can fly.” The van is still accelerating. To fifty, then to sixty. Richard sits tensely, his hand clutching the armrest, his knuckles bleaching each time the tires slip. Mother lies on her side, her face next to mine, taking small sips of air each time the van fishtails, then holding her breath as Dad corrects and it snakes back into the lane. She is so rigid, I think she might shatter. My body tenses with hers; together we brace a hundred times for impact. Educated by Tara Westover

closed as off-topic by user3169, James K, Em., LMS, ColleenV May 15 '18 at 19:12

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    This isn't an idiom and the words that make up the phrase at issue frequently occur together. Please look up each word and tell us what you haven't understood (in doing so, please quote the relevant definitions and tell us how they don't fit the context). – userr2684291 May 11 '18 at 14:19

to brace for impact means: you are in some kind of means of transportation (plane, bus, car, train, whatever) and a danger arises that the means of transportation is going to crash into something.

The base verb brace means to use your arms and/or legs and/or body to steady yourself so your body does not go flying into the air or against something with even greater force than it would if you were not bracing yourself.

One can also brace oneself mentally for bad news.

  • Could you please rewrite the phrase(together we brace a hundred times for impact) based on what you have explained? – Peace May 11 '18 at 12:58
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    I don't know her position in the van, sitting? Or lying down? It means grabbing hold of anything that is fixed from the position she is in so she is not injured upon impact. Bracing can even just mean preparing mentally for an impact. The reason she says a 100 times is probably because she means they clenched up their muscles or grabbed onto things many times during the drive. It is literary exaggeration. Like saying: I died a thousand deaths [embarrassment]. – Lambie May 11 '18 at 13:09
  • Mother and she were lying down: "Mother lies next to me and Audrey on the mattress... Mother lies on her side, her face next to mine" And is there any relathionship between the phrase and previous sentence?(My body tenses with hers) – Peace May 11 '18 at 14:06
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    @Peace They can be bracing themselves against each other. They can be putting their feet against the sides of the van if they are lying on it horizontally while pushing against each other. There are many ways one can imagine this. I can't give you every one. – Lambie May 11 '18 at 14:22

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