It happened again.
In fact, it's the third time it's happened.
Car vs. runner.
One way street.
Driver looking left.
Runner approaching from the right.
Can you see it in your mind?
Maybe you've experienced it....
As the driver
As the runner
I poked fun in
Monday's post (here)
about morning drivers and runners,
but the truth is....
Drivers are driving,
Runners are running.
The two are a deadly combination.
In fact, ironically, last year, nearly to the week, I wrote about runners and drivers in a post about Jenny Crain, an accomplished runner whose step off a curb at the end of a run changed her life forever. Read about it here to see how deadly the combination of cars and runners really is....
Runners lose every time.
Yesterday, Hubs and I headed out for work, as we do every morning, each in our own car (his commute continues well past mine), one behind the other, we took our usual route through our downtown neighborhood, jig-jagging through the back-streets, avoiding the suburban folk who know only the main streets... another normal morning, right?
Then it happened.
On a familiar corner, with no cars in sight, Hubs (in the lead on this particular morning), looked LEFT on the one-way street, to check for approaching buses/cars. None coming.
And proceeded to pull out, letting off the brake.....
Behind him, I sat, waiting my turn, and in what seemed like s-l-o-w motion,
As his car moved forward, a runner appeared. Out of seemingly nowhere. On the right front/corner bumper.
In that one brief second, I saw what was happening. I stepped on my own brake (which was already in place), gasped, hands to face, eyes wide. Stomach turned. Nausea rose. Panic and endorphins instantly took over.
And just that fast, it was over.
The runner dodged and weaved to avoid the front bumper.
With a look of disgust, he ran around the front of the car.
(A look and feeling I've thrown at drivers myself)
With great concern, Hubs rolled down his window and shouted,
"Buddy, I am soooooo sorry!"
And of course, he was.
As most drivers would be.
But truth is, "Sorry" wouldn't have mattered if:
the car had been moving faster
the runner had not been paying attention
the runner had assumed the driver saw him
the driver hadn't made a full stop at the corner
the driver would've stepped on the gas faster
All of these scenarios happen every day. Many of them at the very same corner. Over and over and over again.
Case in point: I had the very same near-miss at the very same corner a few months ago.
Now, I stop and look both ways every time I approach that corner. And I am a runner. Yet, as a driver, it didn't occur to me to look for a runner coming from the right on a one-way street with traffic approaching from my left. I'm a driver. I'm looking for vehicles.......
Until it was nearly too late.
Until I nearly hit a fellow runner.
Here it was, a few months later....
and it happened again.
Friends, my message is a simple one, especially for our newer running buddies....
Watch out for drivers!
Always assume they don't see you.
Daylight. Darkness. Doesn't matter.
They aren't looking for YOU.
I mentioned at the beginning of this post that this was the third time it happened. On another corner (same one-way traffic pattern), the same nearly-tragic scenario played out several months ago: one way street, right turn, driver looks left, runner approaches from the right. In a split second (thankfully), the driver and the runner saw each other ..... as the runner grazed the car's front bumper.
I was the observer from the same vantage point: behind the car that was about to become the runner's worst nightmare.
Friends, be careful on the road. Look out for fellow runners/walkers/bicyclists when you're driving.
Remind your fellow drivers.
We must be our own advocates.
Look out for drivers when you're running. Wear your RoadID. Don't have one? Get one! For $25.00, you and your family can have peace of mind in the tragic event that a driver doesn't see you in time. I shared my thoughts on this and other things I've learned while running here.
Oh, and for our rural and/or trail-running friends, I think you would agree: a truck or super-fast moving bike can come around a corner in a flash, with similar consequences....... be careful out there!
Happy (safe) running, friends....