Sharing the road has long been a problem between motorists and pedestrians.
Whether you are a runner, a person walking or a cyclist, there is no doubt that there are some people out there who, while driving, simply do not care or do not pay enough attention to what is going on around them.
When I was in college, I was on the cross country team, and every day we would go for runs around the local area. One day, while on a run with some of my other teammates, we were stopped at an intersection and were waiting to cross. When the light turned and indicated that we could go, a woman in a car pulled up to the corner where we were about to cross, and she was only looking to her left the entire time. She didn't notice that she had a red light, and she most certainly did not notice the small group of girls who were standing on the corner to the right of her car, waiting to cross the street. All that she was focused on was making sure that her left side was clear so that she could make her right turn onto the roadway. Noticing that the traffic had slowed on her left, she had already started making her turn without even looking. Then, as she turned her head to the right, in the middle of her turn, that's when she saw us crossing almost directly in front of her car.
The woman slammed on her brakes, but not before one of the girls on my team jumped onto her hood as a sort of gut reaction. We thought that we were all going to be taken out. In the mean time, I had seen everything that was about to happen and had yelled out to my teammates to be careful because the driver wasn't making eye contact with us. After a few choice words from my teammates to the startled driver, we were on our way.
In certain situations, even though pedestrians always have the right of way, we still need to be careful. Due to overpopulation as well as suburban sprawl as well as the fact that there are simply more vehicles on the roadways than ever before, it is important that pedestrians remain just as vigilant as ever. Prior to crossing over an intersection, take a look around and make sure that it is clear to cross. If there is a vehicle that is approaching the intersection and is about to make a turn in front of you, make sure that he or she has made eye contact with you first. Too often, the driver behind the wheel will only look in one direction before proceeding with their turn. If this is the case, and you see it happening in front of you, don't try to cross the street in front of the driver to “teach him or her a lesson”. Rather, if you have to, cross behind the vehicle just to play it safe.
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