This morning on the way to work I witnessed a near death. A car, turning into a parking lot just blew by a young woman who had to jump back to avoid becoming the latest casualty on Orlando’s roads. The car just kept going, the woman, visibly shaken stared the car down and then started walking. This is not a new occurrence. In 2017 24 people were struck and killed by cars in Seminole, Orange, and Osceola Counties. This was a new Central Florida record. And honestly I am surprised is not more.
I’m a walker. I try to get in my 10,000 steps everyday and like to go on evening walks of about 3 miles to decompress from the day and get some exercise. I enjoy walking. It’s good exercise, I get to listen to a nice podcast or some music, and I have formed a bond with my fellow walkers. But I am also aware that cars in my neighborhood are driven by jerks with a plan to kill me.
Over the past year I have had three very close and a number of other close calls from cars not paying attention and just speeding through crosswalks with a walk sign illuminated, not slowing down when I am in the crosswalk, or not looking as they turned right. Last night along I had to wait for five cars to take their place in the transportation pecking order to speed through a right turn when I had the right of way. I have had drivers honk their horn at me when I was in the crosswalk, yell obscenities at me, and in some cases intentionally speed up to scare me. I have even had cars beep at me when I am driving myself and am stopped for walkers in the crosswalk.
Look, running over people to get where you are going is a crime but more so, are we really not worried about killing walkers just because we are too distracted or in a rush to get somewhere? This makes zero sense to me. I have long held that I am likely to live a long and semi-healthy life. I suspect I can live long past 90 but with one caveat – if a car ends up plastering me on the pavement. I will always do what i can got get out of the way, be aware of drivers who are not, and take the defensive stance. Afterall, I don’t really want to get hit by a car. But you forget how fast you are driving, how deadly a car can be, and fragile a human’s body is. I consider myself a strong man but I am no match for a moving vehicle. So PLEASE! Slow down, look both ways, put down the cell phone, stop being in such a rush, and show some common decency.