Stupid Tip of the Day: Pay Attention to Crosswalks While Driving. I Was Almost Hit by a Car.

Regardless of the variations of traffic laws, pedestrians have the right of way in many parts of the world — even if the pedestrian is not obeying local traffic laws in some locations — and especially when a crosswalk is physically present.

Stupid Tip of the Day: Pay Attention to Crosswalks While Driving. I Was Almost Hit by a Car.

I was walking westbound on a sidewalk along a major highway in a commercial area which includes retail stores, restaurants, banks, and other businesses which cater directly to the public. The sidewalk is located along the eastbound travel lanes of the highway. The traffic light was green as I stepped into a crosswalk of one of the access points to one of the shopping centers.

A car was stopped in the right turn lane, as its motorist was looking to her extreme left and facing west, waiting for a break in the flow of vehicular traffic which was heading eastbound. I crossed in front of the car in the crosswalk. As I almost cleared the front of her car, she started to accelerate while still looking west, not knowing that I was in the crosswalk. The traffic light was red for her; but turning right while the traffic light is still red is legal.

The car screeched to a halt when she finally saw me, literally inches from hitting me and possibly running over me. The traffic light was still red for her and green for me. The look of shock on her face indicated that she had no idea that I was there, legally crossing in front of her…

…but what stunned me was her reaction: she started to yell at me through the closed window on her side of the car, with a look on her face as though the incident was my fault. I signaled with my hands that I was in a crosswalk; that the traffic light was still red for her; and that I had the right of way.

Had she taken a second or two to simply look to the right and ensure that all was clear for her to turn right while the traffic light was still red, no incident would have occurred in the first place, as it was easily preventable.

Thankfully, her vehicle never touched me, as she barely stopped in the nick of time. Had something happened, she would have clearly been in the wrong. Hopefully, she learned a lesson for being more careful when driving, as she — and especially a hapless pedestrian — may not be so lucky next time.

Summary

As a motorist — whether you are driving your own vehicle or renting a car; and regardless of where you are located around the world — you are responsible for paying attention to your surroundings to ensure that accidents and unfortunate incidents are prevented. When a crosswalk is present, always assume that a pedestrian is nearby to use it; and exercise some extra caution as a result. Take that extra second or two to look both ways twice — even if the traffic on the road is flowing in only one direction — to ensure that no pedestrians are present prior to accelerating your vehicle.

Pedestrians also need to observe surroundings and anticipate what motorists might do — not so much as to adhere to traffic laws; but simply to prevent from getting hurt or killed, as a pedestrian is unlikely to emerge victorious from a physical confrontation with a moving vehicle.

Important to note is that cameras mounted on the dashboards and rear view mirrors of vehicles are becoming more and more prevalent; and an incident is increasingly likely to be recorded by someone. This can be potentially helpful to you if you are not at fault for an incident or accident — and equally potentially harmful to you if you are at fault.

Prevention of an accident or incident is the best way to avoid having to deal with resolving major problems, which could potentially consume a significant amount of your time, effort, and money.

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

6 thoughts on “Stupid Tip of the Day: Pay Attention to Crosswalks While Driving. I Was Almost Hit by a Car.”

  1. JohnJj says:

    Brian,
    Good advice, anytime, anyplace!

    On a side note, I see as of yesterday, a fellow Boarding Area blogger, Summer Hull’s “Mommy Points” has jumped ship from Boarding Area to “The Points Guy” blog. I suspect she might feel the need to reduce her blogging time to spend more time with hubby Josh, oldest daughter Cate and the youngest one. Guess time will tell how successful that move will be.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Thank you, JohnJj.

      Yes, I noticed that too yesterday. I know nothing of the details of the move; but I wish all the best for her.

  2. Bill says:

    Brian, as some one who jogs and walks all around the world I feel your pain. One thing I would suggest no matter where you are is make eye contact with the driver to assure they know you are there. I find this especially a problem a driver is making a right turn to a divided road and you are coming from their right. They tend not to look to the right until they actually start to turn if they look at all. Then of course there are the illegally tinted windows which seem to proliferate here in Florida which make it impossible to tell what the driver is doing.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      What you just described was exactly the scenario in which I experienced, Bill.

      Unfortunately, she was so fixated on looking to her extreme left that there was no way I could have eye contact with her.

      Her car did not have tinted windows; but I have been to Florida so many times that I can relate.

    2. colleen says:

      Brian, glad to hear of your good outcome.

      Bill, I so agree with you and this isn’t isolated to pedestrians. A family friend was killed making a right turn to a non-divided road; apparently he looked left but was hit head-on by a vehicle in the passing lane, coming from the right where he hadn’t looked.

      I would add to both of you that these problems are increasing x10 with texting/non-attentive drivers.

      And I’ll fess up here to remind myself to mind the u-turners when turning right in Florida. Our natural tendency is to look left for traffic. Often there’s a left-turn arrow or an open intersection allowing those coming from the right to u-turn.

      1. Brian Cohen says:

        You are absolutely correct on the motorists who do the U-turn maneuver in Florida, colleen. I have experienced that myself.

        As for distracted driving, more states are passing tougher laws. For example, the distracted driving law in the state of Georgia became effective only earlier this month:

        https://thegate.boardingarea.com/driving-in-georgia-do-not-touch-that-mobile-telephone-what-you-need-to-know/

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