Be wary of moron drivers when crossing the road — Your life does not belong to them.
I am lucky to be alive after the incident that happened recently.
I don’t own a motor vehicle so I usually travel by public transport, or on foot. When you travel by foot, you eventually have to cross roads to get to the other side (Insert chicken crossing road jokes here). Even if you park your car, you have to sometimes get on the other side of the road. So, crossing roads is not a new concept.
The US has a pretty cool system that allows you to cross roads. You press a button next to the road which makes the walk-sign eventually turn on while the crossing traffic gets a red light.
Most drivers on the road are respectful to the pedestrians. But unfortunately, there are some who are not. I thought there were two kinds of incidents possible, a driver turning right when the pedestrian is crossing, and then a driver turning left towards you on a red light (they should not be turning left when they have a red light). Because of incidents in the past, I keep an eye for the first two kinds of drivers. There have been some near-misses, and they were terrifying.
And then I met a moron who classifies into a more dangerous type.
I was waiting for my turn to cross. The light turned green for the traffic going the same side as me, on the parallel road. The crossing traffic on the other side of course had the red light. This moron decided to jump that, and sped towards the traffic who were already crossing the road because they had a green.
The traffic going parallel to you makes a safe wall, and you would not assume a car trying to cross that, except something like an Ambulance which you can hear way in advance. Anyway, I could not see this moron coming, because of the traffic that was parallel to me. All of a sudden, I noticed the traffic abruptly stopping, some screech noise, and this car emerging, circling around two cars which have now almost stopped, headed towards me.
I have two choices, dash forward, or head back. My initial flight response was to dash in the direction I was already moving. But, I analyzed and saw that the car would most likely head for where I would be in that time, so I immediately moved back. As I was still moving back the car passes me, proving that I was right. I would have been hit by this moron’s SUV if I had continued moving forward.
Of course, in words, it doesn’t sound so scary. But when you are standing there, realizing that you would have been hit by an SUV, in just a matter of 2–3 seconds, for making a wrong call, you start to appreciate your decision.
Would I have died? Maybe not, I am too stubborn. But I doubt you would want to get hit by car to find out what you will lose.
I peeked inside the car as it passed me. There was a guy, his wife who was busy on her phone and completely unaffected. And two small kids in the back seat. There was no concern on the guy’s face for doing what he did. Giving him benefit of doubt is difficult because even if he had an emergency, he had put his life, the lives of his family members, and many other strangers on the road in danger. I wonder if this is a usual thing for him. I wish he stops doing this in future, and if he does cause an accident, he is the only one to pay for it.
The bottom-line is this, just because you have the right of way, don’t be careless. Keep an eye out for morons. Don’t be distracted because of your mobile phone, or talking to your friends, or whatever. Keep an eye on the road. It’s clear that even when they should, sometimes some people don’t.
Even when you are crossing the right way, there are people out there who don’t. And you don’t want to put your life in their hands. No point proving them wrong, when you are dead.
I am always cautious while crossing roads (some may say overly-cautious, but better be paranoid than sorry). It has saved me from getting hit by cars 9 times uptil now. I am glad. I am happy to be alive in one-piece.