Glenn Mighton was taking his family to visit his sick grandmother when the speeding car struck his Ford Focus, sending his head smashing through the driver’s window.
The 40-year-old’s daughter Isla was sitting in a car seat in the rear of the vehicle and was left screaming in terror following the impact.
Mr Mighton, whose partner Sharon Brown, 41, was also in the back seat, said the car’s central pillar had absorbed the brunt of the impact and possibly prevented a fatality.
Police are now hunting two men who fled from the stolen car following the crash in Cuiken Avenue in Penicuik, Midlothian. The silver Vauxhall Astra was stolen from outside an address in nearby Carlops Avenue between noon and 12.30pm on Saturday after the key was left in the ignition.
Mr Mighton, who lives in Penicuik, said: “We were on the way to visit my gran who’s in hospital in Hawick.
“I was driving at about 20mph to 25mph down Cuiken Avenue and on to Carlops Avenue where the road splits in two. I was just passing the junction when this car rammed into us on the right side of my car.
“It struck us head-on between the front wheel arch and the central column. The impact ripped the skin of the rear door right off and my head went through the driver’s side window.
“My daughter was in her car seat behind me, with my partner sitting next to her. My first thought was to get to her but the driver’s door wouldn’t open so I climbed out the passenger side. My daughter was crying and screaming. I saw the two guys running away. They didn’t stop to see what happened.”
Mr Mighton, who is a delivery driver, has been forced to work temporarily in his firm’s warehouse following the crash.
He said: “I had a cut on my forehead but it was pretty superficial so I was really lucky. I have whiplash though.
“We were definitely lucky. If the stolen car had struck the passenger side where my daughter was sitting I don’t think she would’ve made it out.
“It was also lucky that most of the glass from the shattered window went on to the driver’s and passenger seat. Only a few pieces landed where my daughter was.”
He added: “My daughter has just started speaking and used to look out the window and say ‘car’ at other vehicles. The last few nights she has been waking up screaming, ‘car, car’. She was also sick on Sunday so it might have been from shock.
“I’d only bought the car three months ago and it’s a write-off.”
The suspects, who are described as slim and around 20 years old, fled along Carlops Avenue.
A police spokesman said: “While the driver of the Ford Focus was not badly injured, he was left shaken as a result of the mindless actions of these two individuals, particularly as his wife and 19-month-old daughter were passengers.
“We are appealing to anyone who was in or around Carlops Avenue around midday on Saturday who witnessed the collision, to contact police.”