When I lived in Nashville, people constantly complained about Tennessee drivers and how horrible they were. Coming from Mississippi, I did not necessarily agree with them about this, because the drivers in MS were 10 times worse. I had no idea there was such a thing as “better drivers” out there.
However, in Charlotte, I was introduced to a whole new breed of driver: the red light runner. These drivers pay no attention to yellow lights. You may be thinking, “But Emily, most people don’t pay attention to yellow lights. Yellow means speed up and then look for cops.” But it’s different here. Here, we still have the driver who thinks yellow means speed up then look for cops, but there are also at least three others behind that person who follow through the light as well. Long after said light has turned red. It’s a problem.
In short, the red light runner is a thing here, and on June 8th, I became a victim to one. I was coming back from Trader Joes and, as I went through an intersection, I saw another car coming into the middle from my left. It had been raining and I thought she was going to stop at her light (silly me). She did not, and I ran into her passenger side door.
The airbag deployed and scraped up my arm. I thought it was broken. My right foot was hurting. I smelled something burnt. It had all the makings of my high school car wreck, but I was aware of what was going on around me this time. I freaked out and immediately started crying.
Since this happened right smack in the middle of Uptown, a cop was there before I could even get a grip on what had happened. He looked in my window and told me to call 911. I called them, crying my eyes out, and told them what happened. They sent an ambulance. Then I called my mom.
Once the right people started showing up, they had me get out of the car and go into the ambulance to get checked out. I was okay other than my arm and foot, but I did not want the ambulance to take me to the hospital. I wanted to wait until C was able to take me once he got back into town. I could only think about the fact that I didn’t have a car anymore and had no way of getting back home afterwards. And at this point, I just wanted to be back in a familiar place. So a police officer gave me a ride home–the wreck happened less than a mile from my apartment. I limped up the stairs and started making phone calls. Mostly to my insurance company.
Since I had just bought some wine from Trader Joes, I poured myself a glass and lied down on the bed to wait for C to get back to town. Hours later, I was in so much pain that I decided to go ahead to the hospital without him. I didn’t want to wake up in the morning unable to go to work when I had plenty of time to get checked out that night. One of my friends was nice enough to take me, so I didn’t have to go by myself. After some X-rays and about three hours of waiting, they decided nothing was broken and sent me home.
Welcome to Charlotte!