Thursday, May 17, 2007

Cars v pedestrian

When I am driving, I am in some control. My defensive driving skills help me avoid others when they make mistakes or deliberately drive dangerously. Likewise, when I make a mistake, not that I ever do of course, I depend on other drivers to be driving defensively. Mostly it works for me and being in car offers some protection.

What terrifies me at times is being a pedestrian. A man was killed today in St Albans when two cars collided and then crashed into him as he walked on the footpath. I recall from many years ago a tram passenger waiting in a shelter was badly injured when a car crashed into the tram shelter. Imagine that! Sitting quietly, waiting for you tram, maybe reading and kapow. You are cactus.

Sometimes when standing at a street corner waiting to cross, I am looking for avenues of escape should a car come sliding out of control towards me. Will this metal pole offer me protection or will it cause worse injuries when it is flattened on top of me. Perhaps I am better in the open and I can jump up onto the car as it hits me. What if I am hit from behind? At least it will be quick.

The older I get, the more cautious I am becoming when crossing the road, walking between parked cars, watching out for cyclists, giving a good berth to trams and never walking between them.

I think some people reach an age when they start to lose sense and caution when on the roads and footpaths as pedestrians. I see it all the time.

I guess my fears are illogical and the odds are very low, but still, I get a bit afraid at times.


  1. I am glad I am not alone in this. I am a defensive driver and defensive pedestrian too. I drive with my headlights on at all times, that is why when the idjit reversed into my Mazda the other week I know he never looked around first.
    Working as a nurse, I reckon I have probably seen it all. Pedestrian Vs tram, Vs bus, Vs motorbike, Vs Kangaroo (shit you not!), Vs bus, Vs truck, Vs cyclist.
    Last week when I went into town with Mia I was careful to pull her back next to me at every corner, just in case a vehicle did run into us or over our feet.

  2. Waiting for a bus at my stop on Warrigul Road is deadly. I don't know why the trucks seem to lean towards the footpath as they zoom past. I still remember an accident where a woman (I think) was crushed when a load of tyres fell from a truck going past a bus stop.

  3. Gal, when you give the location to the police when you are clipped by a mirror, it is gal, not gul. I am normally not so silly as to correct spelling, given my own. Once when driving to Sydney from Canberra, we were folling a truck and a huge roll of paper fell off, maybe a ton weight. It missed our car and bounced off the road. So I am also cautious with dodgy loads on trucks.

  4. Last week I was crossing a busy road not far from my house with the traffic lights, and nearly got ran over by a woman doing a right hand turn. Never mind the fact I had right of way. Never mind the giant "watch for pedestrians" sign flashing away right in front of her. And she mouthed "thank you" to me as she drove past...

  5. That is where a gun comes in handy Ben. These 'watch for pedestrians' lights are interesting. They are obviously placed for good reasons, but shouldn't just the walk and don't walk lights be enough? They clearly aren't and given your experience, nor is the addition of 'watch for pedestrians' lights. A problem but don't expect VicRoads to look after pedestrian safety.

  6. Cazzie, you must blog about the kangaroo sometime.

  7. I have reason to believe that the guy who got run over was a Connex employee.

  8. The last thing his loved ones would have thought might happen to him when perhaps on his way to or from work. Sad.