For instance, walking across an intersection after the don’t walk sign is flashing red. Or staring at the phone so intently as to not realize there is someone turning. Or starting across the road and then stopping, unsure of whether to continue or go back.
It’s no wonder so many drivers get frustrated and that’s not even expanding the group to include people on bicycles.
Fortunately, I’m not guilty of any of those infractions. I will usually glance to see if the oncoming car has an opening in traffic and will wave them through or walk behind them (if they’re lined up). If I can avoid pressing the crosswalk button and stopping everyone, I do so. And when some saintly driver gestures for me to go ahead, I wave and mouth a thank you at them (it’s Florida, their windows are up, so saying it out loud would be pointless).
My walking adventures also make me more sensitive to pedestrians. I stop before the white lines or sidewalks so my car isn’t blocking the path of someone while I wait to turn.
So, when the occasion comes up as it did on my walk the other day, it leaves me profoundly disturbed.
I was crossing a small road, not even a full street, just one of those “half-roads” out of a development. I had plenty of room before the car on the road reached the stop sign.
Or so I thought.
Now, most cars slow at a stop sign. Sure, not all stop, but most slow. Most slow even more if there is, oh, let’s say, a freaking human being in the middle of the street.
This car chose to ignore both.
I can honestly say I would have been run down. No dramatic license here, I would have been hit but for me jumping back.
Then the car stopped. Not because the driver saw me, but because he couldn’t make his turn (hitting cars is significantly more damaging than a pedestrian). In this instance, the driver had his window down and I could see the (relatively) young man in the car. He had his head bowed low staring at something. I’ll give you three guesses what it was (and, for my money, I don’t think you’ll need the last two).
Now, I have enough of my Dad in me to consider smacking his trunk to wake him up as I walked past the back of his car. Fortunately, not enough of him in me to actually do it. I’ve long ago made the decision to refuse to allow other people’s stupidity interfere with my enjoyment of life.
But it was a near thing. Both the almost accident and the almost wake up call. It took at least a quarter of a mile of head shaking (and the subsequent composing of this blog in my head) to get back to relaxing on my walk.
Forget looking both ways, how about simply looking up!