As I was jaywalking to get across the street to my car this week, a lady in the car parked next to mine almost mowed me down!  I happened to notice she was starting to back out, so I hurriedly stepped out of her way.  Standing there, as I waited for her to see me, I realized that she didn’t even noticed what had happened.  She never looked back or to the side, but drove straight ahead and faced forward once her car was in the street.  There were a couple of witnesses, who agreed that I was very lucky, as she would not have known what happened until I was probably a goner!  I live in a very small town, and just about everyone in this town jaywalks most of the time, but I was wrong in walking behind that parked car.

Here are some excellent tips that I will definitely follow, from now on:

  • Cross only at intersections.  Do not jaywalk!
  • Do not cross between parked cars.  Drivers are not expecting this, and you are more likely to get hit.
  • Don’t take the “No Right Turn on Red” signs for granted.  Always check for vehicles that may be turning, as the motorists may not be watching for you, either.
  • Stop and look, left, right, and left again before you step onto the street.  Evaluate the speed and distance of oncoming traffic.
  • Wear bright colors or reflective clothing if you are walking near traffic at night.
  • Always look for signs of a moving car, (rear lights, exhaust smoke, motor noise, wheels turning) and never walk behind a vehicle that is backing up. (I won’t!)
  • Always hold your child’s hand.  Do not let a child under 10 cross the street alone.
  • If you walk on a road that has no sidewalks, walk facing the traffic.
  • Don’t dash into the street. (I can’t dash anymore!)
  • If you are in a parking lot of a big store, pay attention to vehicles that may start backing out.

And, drivers:

  • Keep a look out for pedestrians any time, but especially at night or in inclement weather, as they may be hard to see.
  • Stop for pedestrians who are in a crosswalk, even unmarked ones.  Stop well back enough so that other drivers may see the pedestrians, too.
  • Some pedestrians may be physically or mentally impaired, unfamiliar with how to cross safely, or simply not paying attention, so don’t assume that they will act predictably.
  • Especially be careful when driving in neighborhoods and school areas.  Drive there like you would want people to drive in your neighborhood.

Accidents happen anywhere, all the time.  We have to play it safe, walking or driving.  If an item gets broken, most of the time it can be fixed.  When a vehicle hits a pedestrian, it may not be easily “fixable”, so we all must pay attention.  I know I am going to.