Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Word of Advice on Pedestrian Safety

As I was getting ready for work this morning in my little igloo, I could tell the cold was slowing me down and I found myself thinking of warmer places. Like Jamaica (see fig 1) or hot rocks in high places (see fig 2).

Fig 1. Karin's feet in the dipping pool at Rick's Cafe where tourists go to watch Islanders plunge straight down into (what looks like) their impending death below.


Fig 2. A hot rock in El Corte de Madera Creek.

This helped warm me for approximately 3 seconds before I realized that I was going to be late if I didn't get a move on.

Although it was colder inside my house than outside, it was still cold outside when I walked to my car. I blame it on the cold for sluggish behavior. It just makes it hard to get moving. Which is maybe why the pedestrians crossing the street this morning made it just halfway across the intersection before the light changed and a turning car ran into both of them from behind.

Just as I was about to hit the gas, I watched right in front of me as the woman's coffee flew into the air as if in slow-motion and she skidded up onto the hood of the car and up against the windshield. Seconds later, her companion was clipped in the legs.

The bus in the lane next to me didn't move. Cars behind us started honking. I wondered what was going to happen next. Amazingly enough, the woman quickly regained her composure, slid off the car and started making her way to the sidewalk almost as if she didn't have steaming hot coffee all over her or that a car had just run into her. Her male counterpart made angry gestures at the person that had just hit them and sure enough, after a few seconds of gesticulations, started over to the sidewalk too!

As I drove away I hoped they were okay. They looked okay. The car had been at a stop before it had run into them so it couldn't have been going very fast. But still. When I thought about it, I realized most people would probably have done the same thing, just get up and walk away. After all, it is pretty shocking to be struck by a car, especially if you are just out for a stroll, sipping your morning coffee. While in a state of shock, it may be hard to think about anything else except "What the &?*@!" but it should be noted that you should at least get the driver's information. I mean what if you have internal bleeding?? Someone is going to need to pay that hospital bill, and let me tell you, it's not cheap.

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