Monday, May 14, 2007

Stop, look and listen before you drive into the street

So, it finally happened: I became a statistic. On my 4-mile run this evening after work, I was running on the sidewalk down my street when I was hit by a car. No one was injured, but I think the guy’s pride might have taken a hit.

If I haven’t stressed it before, I think it’s vitally important to be an attentive and aware runner. Even when I’m wearing headphones, I always have volume low enough and attention high enough to hear everything around me, see my surroundings and anticipate as much as possible. Even jerks.

I was nearing a private drive today when I saw a car approaching. So, I slowed down, made eye contact with the driver and continued to run. In most circumstances, the car would have stopped because a) it’s the law; b) there was a runner in his way; and c) a and b. But alas, he was above the law and didn’t have his “I don’t stop for pedestrians” bumper sticker on his new Cadillac.

Even as I crossed in front of the car, I noticed that he wasn’t stopping. I put my hand down on the hood of the car and hopped along to keep from getting run over. Of the billion thoughts running through my head, I was set on protecting my bum knee from becoming my &#$%!@* knee. And when he finally stopped, my other hand came down and palmed his hood with a nice shiny dent.

The guy hadn’t even come to a complete when he started yelling at me. And I was hardly done denting his car by the time he was out of the car swearing at me. But when he cursed and threatened about me denting his car, I said, “Did you want to call the police about me denting your hood or about you hitting me with your car?”

After other choice words, he finally slunk into his car and I ran off with so much anger and adrenaline (and regret about all the other things I wanted to say) that I blew away my focus on slowing down my pace. Grrr. I think I ran each mile after that around 7:10-7:20 with my fuming temper fueling me every step of the way. In fact, I stopped at four miles today because I knew I needed to chill out if I intended on running focused. Double grrr.

When I was initially hopping out of harm’s way I was just going to wave it off and leave a good impression of runners everywhere. But when he started slinging blame at me, I’d had it. Last I checked, not only were cars not allowed to hit pedestrians, but they really weren’t supposed to do it when blowing a stop at 10 mph. It would have bothered me less if I hadn’t seen him, if I hadn’t made eye contact with him, if every other car in my neighborhood abides by the standard rules of driver-pedestrian relations.

Today just served as a reminder that I live in a wholly pedestrian-unfriendly area and need to get back to a place where we’re allowed to be healthy and independent. Triple grrr. On the bright side, the Cavaliers won! I only through the paper I was reading toward the TV (it was only about 20 pages, so it didn’t travel far) twice. At least I was able to channel my anger and have only a bit left to vent in my blog. Thanks for listening.


Jim said...

After giving him a few choice words I would have gotten his license plate number and reported his %^& to the police for running a stop sign and almost killing you. That must have been terrifying. Such jerks in this world. I don't get it.

JenC said...

I'm glad you weren't hurt. It wasn't like you were running in the road. What a jerk! My husband got into an argument when he was crossing in a crosswalk while running and a car got pissed about it. The next day, he made a sign with the driver/pedestrian rules to post on that corner, but I stopped him from fueling the flames. Be careful out there!

The Salty One said...

Definitely be careful!! The earphones still make me nervous, but I'm sure you're smart about it. I've never been hit but there have been some people to really tick me off. In NYC it wasn't just cars, but pedestrians too! Someday I'll tell you about how I learned not to run over the Brooklyn Bridge on a sunny springtime Saturday anytime after 9AM.

I'm glad you stood your ground and told that guy where to stick it!

Yeah Cavs!

miss petite america said...

what an a-hole!

and luckily you weren't hurt. you must be some tough chick to dent a cadillac :)

Joe said...

Incredible story! I'm glad you're okay. I hope that jerk learned his lesson.

Go Cavs!