Getting into a car accident is something that almost all of us will have to experience at some point in our lives. It isn't one of those situations where you look around at other people and think to yourself, "Gee, that will never happen to me..." Rather, it is one of those situations where you wonder when you are going to get into one and what the consequences will be.
When I was a police officer, I worked a lot of traffic- which in layman's terms simply means that I responded to a lot of motor vehicle accidents and pulled people over for things such as not wearing their seat belt, tailgating, not having insurance/driver's license, etc. Well, one time when I responded to a call of a major accident occurring in Raleigh, North Carolina in the area of a popular thoroughfare called Capital Boulevard, the accident had just happened, but already traffic was backed up for a couple of miles. When I made my way to the scene, there surely was an accident involving two vehicles. In one of the vehicles (an SUV), all of the occupants were totally fine, and there was hardly any damage to the vehicle.
However, in the other vehicle, there were two occupants, and it was pretty clear that the entire front end of their vehicle was totaled. The driver was a young woman who was in hysterics and complaining about chest pain (because the impact had deployed her air bag into her chest, knocking the wind out of her), and her boyfriend was the other passenger, who was fine and was just trying to placate his girlfriend.
After all was said and done and I got the girl to the hospital, the entire story unfolded. At this particular section of Capital Boulevard, one of the lanes turns into a turn lane-only, which means that everyone suddenly has to merge over into the other lane. Most people who travel on this road are familiar with this lane and will merge over way beforehand.
However, even if you are not familiar with this road, the arrow on the actual road indicates to drivers well in advance that they are going to eventually need to get over. It turns out that this girl wasn't paying attention and so she found herself among the many others who, in the past, have had to switch lanes at the last minute. However, rather than paying attention to what was in front of her, the girl was so focused on having someone let her in front of them so that she could merge, that she didn't realize that the vehicles in front of her had been stopped for a red light. As a result, she ran her car into the car in front of her. Because she was at fault, I had no choice but to issue her a citation from where she was laying on the hospital bed.
In the aforementioned situation, the people involved in the accident had been lucky- especially the young female driver. The other drivers around her had done nothing wrong, but due to her negligence, she could have hurt way more people than just herself.
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