Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Pedestrian/Car Accidents-A love story (not really, mostly a rant)

I am really sick of hearing about pedestrians being hit by cars.

What, in the name of God, is wrong with people?

I have seen many drivers blow through crosswalks with the lights flashing and other vehicles stopped. I realize that drivers can be assholes. I had one give me the finger, while I was in a marked crosswalk and everyone else had stopped. I won’t repeat what he yelled at me.

Every day I see people drive through crosswalks because the person hasn’t reached their lane yet, even though everyone else has stopped. Sometimes they are texting, sometimes they just don’t feel like stopping, or like they should have to.

Drivers need to own up and take responsibility. Do you want someone else’s life on your hands?

That being said, I am also a driver. I regularly slam on my brakes for people that step out in front me without even looking. They walk into crosswalks, or just into any random part of the street, while talking on, or looking at, their phones. Their hoods are up. They are chatting with their friends. They walk out in front of a parked vehicle and expect people to see them and to stop on a dime.

Don’t get me started on those who mosey across the street like they are on a Sunday stroll.

My favorite, and I promise I will swear at you loudly and slam on my horn when you do this, is the people who walk against the lights, expecting me to see them and stop while I have the right of way.This actually happens quite regularly downtown. 

I feel that when I slam on my horn and swear, thus scaring the life out of you, I am actually saving your life, because you might think twice about your moronic behavior next time.

Don’t get me wrong, drivers need to take responsibility. They need to take their time, pay attention and drive defensively.

No, I don’t take blame away from the drivers.

But here is where you lose me.

Why would you ever, ever step out into the street without looking and making sure there is nothing coming? Do we not teach this in elementary school? Is “look both ways before you cross the street” a lost art? A confusing proposition?

I have a theory that those who regularly drive are more likely to be responsible pedestrians, because they know certain things about cars. That cars have blind spots. That cars can’t stop on a dime (especially in wet weather). That drivers can’t see through other cars or traffic.

Drivers also can’t read your mind.  

I never ever cross the street, anywhere, without making eye contact with every driver that I need to stop for me to cross. I also wait until they slow down.


Because it does not matter whether drivers legally have to stop. It does not matter who has the right of way. It does not matter if I am in a crosswalk. They are in a car. I am a person. The car will always win.

Do you want to be right, or do you want to be alive?

BOTH drivers and pedestrians need to start taking responsibility and care on the roads REGARDLESS of who has the right of way.There will always be human error but there is no reason for the high number of pedestrian/car accidents that Halifax has been experiencing as of late. 

This city needs to start ticketing both pedestrians and drivers when accidents occur. Telling a driver they have no fault because a pedestrian walked against a light is not enough. The pedestrian should be charged, for endangering the driver’s life and their own.

Do not assume drivers see you and that they will stop.

Because you know what happens when you assume.

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