How To Become A Pancake

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There’s an internationally recognized rule that pedestrians always have the right-of-way. But does "always" always mean always? Unfortunately, that’s not always possible.

I’ve had a bee in my bonnet lately about unobservant or just plain defiant pedestrians. They walk around in parking lots and crosswalks with a false sense of security, boldly supposing they’re protected by the Pedestrian Right-Of-Way Force Field. Then they look at me like I’m a furloughed death row inmate when I almost hit them. I’m here to let them know that when it comes to pedestrians and traffic, it’s literally a two-way street.

I try to be a careful and courteous driver. I slow down or stop for pedestrians (and sometimes pigeons) whenever I’m conscious of their presence. But I can’t notice them in every circumstance, such as when other cars are blocking my view. This is where the pedestrian shares the responsibility of being careful and alert, and where they fail again and again.

Numerous times over the past few months I’ve had my nerves and my brake pads worn down by pedestrians walking around in La La Land. A couple of times they’ve darted out into a crosswalk from behind large parked vehicles (vans or SUV’s) without first looking for traffic. No amount of yellow or white parallel stripes painted on the street will protect you if I can’t see you, my friend.

Though the most grievous violation of driver-pedestrian trust has come when backing out of parking spaces. Shockingly, when a big SUV, minivan or other large vehicle is parked next to me, I can’t see through them. Fortunately, all cars are equipped with white tail lights that activate when you’re in reverse. These lights serve as a nonverbal warning to both pedestrians and other cars–"Hey, I’m backing up now so be careful because I might not see you!"

This poor little white light apparently means nothing to some, for they keep walking directly behind my car. Even if my car is moving slowly backwards in addition to displaying the light, they keep walking directly behind my car. Not only do they walk directly behind, but very close to my car, in fact. Sometimes they walk even more slowly so they can glare at me longer. "Can’t you see I’m walking here and I have the ultimate universal right-of-way, you freakin’ furloughed inmate? Go back to jail!"

I hope that pedestrians become more alert at some point, even if it has to happen through natural selection. I can’t afford enough maple syrup to cover the huge stack of pedestrian pancakes I’m libel to make if they don’t start meeting me halfway on this important safety issue.

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One Response

  1. Whoa Danny! Very appropriate for the upcoming shopping season. Of course, I sense a slight disdain for us glaring pedestrians who are quick to notice your "evil beady eyes" staring at us in the rear view mirror as we slowly walk behind your backing vehicle. Enjoyed the blog! Have a good Thanksgiving!

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