Driving along on an afternoon and suddenly a pedestrian (I’ll call them Peds) jumps out in front of my car, and has the audacity to give me a perturbed stare as if I’d done something wrong.
Has this happened to you?
You say you don’t drive a car?
You say only drivers drive cars?
Well yes, they do. Drivers drive. Pedestrians ped…?
I was going somewhere with this. Sometimes you shouldn’t just start randomly typing when you’re upset.
I yelled, “Hey, I’m driving here!” in my mind.
This is what upset me: There is a man, a woman, a child, and a stroller with a baby inside. I am driving through the parking lot with a whole lot of other cars because it’s a Saturday and the Target near me has a lot of people shopping on the weekend.
In this parking lot there are two designated crosswalks with STOP signs, clearly marked white stripes, right by the entrance and exit doors, and basically, you can’t miss the gigantic crosswalk that is the width of four cars!
And so, this family had every chance to cross the designated crosswalk.
They had their kids and were walking RIGHT TOWARD IT.
You’d think having kids would make you more cautious and protective.
I stopped my car at the STOP sign. A full stop. But they didn’t cross and instead walked along the sidewalk.
That’s cool. I’ll just slowly, very slowly drive along the parking lot and leave.
This family is still just moseying along and I’m slowly driving along. We are moving about neck and neck.
BUT THEN, this family suddenly turn the stroller and jump off the sidewalk right in front of my car. Leading with the stroller that had a baby in it!
WHY? Why young family of little thought processes?
I pulled over right then and gave them a lecture about how stupid they were being, and they should be more cautious and thoughtful because they nearly killed their child.
No, I didn’t do that. But I really wanted to after the way the two parents glared at me as if driving was a crime.
If you have the chance to walk across a designated crosswalk just twelve feet behind you instead of randomly jumping out in front of traffic, take the crosswalk; especially, if you have small children.
They came within inches of my bumper with that stroller.
This has happened to me in the past. I am so cautious in parking lots and neighborhoods. I’ve had young teens throw their friends in front of my car. This was in a 45 mile per hour zone, and I was thankfully able to swerve. Nobody, unless you’re a little off (crazy), wants to have the memory of running another human being (or, even animal for me) to recall in old age.
I don’t trust Peds. I don’t trust them to think things through when they walk. I know it is my responsibility to think for them when they are nearby because…?
- Peds don’t always look where they’re going.
- Many don’t have licenses and have no idea about the laws of the road, so they’ll simply just walk around wherever they want with no consideration of traffic flow or direction.
- Might be texting and walking.
- Might be dumb.
- Might be really, really dumb.
The More You Know…
It is very difficult for a car driving at 15-20 miles per hour in a parking lot to stop within inches. You have the forward momentum of an at least 3,000 pound vehicle needing to stop. You need around 20 feet and not inches. At 30 miles per hour it grows to 45 feet, and then at 40 mph it goes to 80 feet. You might have the most fantastic brakes on the planet, but it will not make that 3,000-plus pounds heavy vehicle stop much sooner.
It’s up to us drivers to constantly be on the lookout for the dumb Peds who just think they can jump in front of cars and make them magically stop.
The winner will always be the 3,000 pound vehicle and not the 200 pound human.
And so, I was very upset they looked at me angrily, when I was simply driving along the actual road where I was supposed to be driving along. They were the ones who wanted to use their baby’s stroller as a defensive shield to cross a street with traffic.
It bothered me because I would have had to live with running over a baby for the rest of my life because they were being careless.
So, Peds, don’t be careless. Be cautious on the streets. Learn the perfunctory rules of the road. Stop. Look both ways. Look both ways again. And then proceed with caution.
Mostly, use the damn crosswalk!
Goodnight Blue and good searching! 🙂