As a constant and unrepentant pedestrian I suppose it's inevitable that I get hit by cars every few years. This morning I was hit for the third time -- I've got a nice scrape on my knee from a license plate -- and as stood amazed at the edge of the road I had a sudden revelation:
I am always hit by drivers who are turning right, either at a stop sign or at a red light. As these people pull up they see a gap in the traffic and they decide to take advantage of it, never coming to a complete stop, jumping quickly out toward the propitious gap...and slamming into ME as I cross the street.
The first time this happened a police car literally RAN OVER MY FOOT. The second time a man -- with his windshield so iced over that he could barely see -- drove six feet with me on his hood before he realized I was there. This morning the homicidal driver was a woman who -- fortunately -- was not talking on her cel phone when she whacked me.
In all three cases I have been fortunate to suffer nothing more than scrapes and bruises. I come away from these accidents far less rattled than the drivers, who have suddenly seen their licenses, reputations, and freedom pass before their eyes. I like to think that by being calm in these situations -- not yelling, not sniffing around for a lawsuit -- I am teaching some people to be better drivers. And maybe, if *I* do something terrible someday, somebody will do the same for ME.
We all make mistakes, of course.
Which brings me to the traffic safety tip of the day. Pedestrians, you should ALWAYS try to make eye contact with drivers before you cross the street, to make sure they SEE you. Sometimes they'll look right through you, and sometimes they're too busy salivating over the God-given traffic gap to actually look in your direction, but you can often avoid pain (or death) by looking for the whites of their eyes first.