Saturday, September 12, 2015

Almost Hit

Today I saw a pedestrian almost get hit by a car.

It was a two-lane, one-way street, a frontage road along a major urban highway. The left lane was bumper-to-bumper approaching a stop sign because the street had become a one-weekend detour just a few blocks back. The right lane (where I was driving) was much more open.

As I arrived at the stop sign there was just one car ahead of me. That car drove off and as I moved up to the corner, I realized there was a young woman waiting to cross the street across my lane of traffic.

I came to a full stop (which I admit is not always a habit) and made eye contact with her. She nodded a bit and walked in front of me in the marked crosswalk.

Concentrating on her, I wasn't fully aware of what was happening in the lane to my left.

As the woman cleared my car past the center line of the street and started to pass the car in the left lane, that car began to move forward. I'm very glad that the driver realized quickly enough and slammed on the brake hard enough to rock the car.

The pedestrian was not hit, but she dropped something she was carrying, stooped down to get it, and looked at the driver with an expression that I'm sure was less than friendly. The driver said something to her and she said something back, which I couldn't hear.

I hope the driver's words were "I'm sorry, I didn't see you" and not something like "Watch where you're going!" or worse. But I don't know. The pedestrian then got out of the intersection onto the relative safety of the north sidewalk and we went our separate ways.

We all know what would have happened if the car had hit the young woman's legs: She would have been injured, possibly severely, and it would have been the driver's fault, 100 percent. But that wouldn't help the pedestrian much. Her day, week, month would be ruined, she might lose a job or a semester in school -- who knows. The fairness of the situation is out of balance.

Just another day in the life of vulnerable bodies interacting with one-ton metal tanks on paved surfaces designed to move as many cars as possible.

1 comment:

Gina said...

Or if that driver had been texting or talking on the cellphone! It terrifies me when I see that in cars that pass me. I'm glad that woman wasn't hit. It would have been even worse if my preferred methods of transportation, train or bus, had been involved.