Stay Safe Out There

You know what’s scary? The number of terrible, horrible, no good, very bad drivers out there (I think Alexander would agree w/ me). 

It’s obvious when I’m driving. There’s only 5 million rotaries in Massachusetts; you think these folks would be accustomed to driving in them. But are they? Nope. Every day I see cars enter them w/out yielding, cut you off, yield too long, test your patience…you name it.

But you know where the unskilled driving is most evident? When I’m running. I assumed sidewalks were harmless enough, but they’re essentially danger zones. And crosswalks? Enter at your own risk. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve paused at a crosswalk to ensure no cars are coming, start to jog across, then have to stop abruptly when a car comes tearing through the stop sign, narrowly missing me. 

Just because you’re turning right doesn’t mean you don’t have to check left. If I had a dollar for every time a car only checked their side and almost hit me while tearing through the stop sign I’d be able to buy the Nike women’s spring line at City Sports (probably have enough left over to stock up on some GU chomps, too). 

Today I encountered three separate instances of this on my run. The first was a woman who was turning right and merely glanced left instead of checking for pedestrians (or runners, or bikers, or children, or any of the million fucking wild cards that could appear at a moment’s notice). The man in the passenger seat had his arm out the window and gave me an “I’m sorry” wave after she cut me off. My gesture back to him wasn’t so friendly. 

The second was a man in a huge hunkin’ garbage truck. Towering above all other vehicles on the road, you’d think these drivers would be extra vigilant, right? Hardly. I was a few steps into the intersection and see the truck approaching the red light for his right-hand turn w/out slowing down. He gets the nose of the truck halfway turned before he sees me glaring up at him and his “oh shit!” expression tells me he hadn’t even seen me. 

The third instance was a girl at a stop sign. I had been watching the car as I approached the cross street, noticed it hadn’t moved, and assumed the driver was texting or doing something on their phone. When I got closer and saw the driver buried in her phone I started across the street. Of course this was the exact time her text was sent, or whatever selfish bullshit she was doing while driving wrapped up, and she decided to step on the gas. Which was the exact time I had to stop dead in my tracks to avoid being immediately flattened. This bitch didn’t even notice. 

I try to run facing traffic. I go behind cars at stop signs whenever possible (but sometimes you go in front; like if they’re stopped well before the crosswalk and indifferent to everything but their phone, like the aforementioned twat). I wear reflective gear if I’m out in dim lighting; basically I try to do everything to be a safe runner. And basically what I’m realizing is that it doesn’t even matter; I can’t do anything about these God-awful drivers. 

Except bitch about them, which is surprisingly therapeutic.


Michele said…
I hear you! Never am I more terrified than when I take the kids for walks. Thankfully, our neighborhood is decent (save some insane teens who just moved in and clearly missed any safe driving lessons) but some of the more main roads. EEK!
Stephanie said…
I have the solution. No more running. Stay inside and eat lots of taco bell like Hawkeye and I do. It's way better, I swear.
Brigid said…
@Michele: I know! Sometimes it's the teenagers, but sometimes it's older people and I'm like, hello, have you been driving for 20+ years or what?

@Steph: Sounds like you and Hawkeye are living the life! I need to run to balance out all the t's science.