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Random acts of dumbness, part II

This evening, I nearly killed a kid.

I was driving to the store when I turned a corner and nearly ran him over.

He was riding up the middle of a one-way street, against the traffic (me), with a bag of groceries slung to one handlebar.

I only hope he was at least as half as scared as I was, and learned a lesson.


Comments (15)

Hi Jay,That is a h... (Below threshold)

Hi Jay,

That is a heart stopping feeling, isn't it? Several weeks ago, I was taking a different (back) route in order to get to work a few minutes early. About a block away, there were several kids under 10 y/o waiting for the bus. I noticed them right away and slowed down a bit (I wasn't going fast to begin with) but even at that, one of the little girls waiting at the bus stop took off and ran across the street, directly in front of my car. She ran kind of at an angle (IOW, not a straight line across the street). Had she ran in a straight line across the street, there was a strong possibility I would have hit her.

My heart stopped for a second as I was terrified for her but luckily nothing happened. I drove on and she kept running once she made it to the other side of the street (she was running parallel to the street at that point). I looked in my rear view mirror to see if she had stopped after seeing my car pass but she hadn't. She just kept going as if she never saw me - in fact, I don't think she ever did.

I went into work and it took me a few hours before I was able to move on from it and get some meaningful work done.

Glad both you and the little kid are safe tonight.

--ST

I'm just glad you didn't de... (Below threshold)
Kirby:

I'm just glad you didn't detain him to have a word about his safety -- or you too could be the next sex offender registered in your state.

I was at a stop light the o... (Below threshold)
sanka:

I was at a stop light the other day and a guy on a bike and ON A CELL PHONE ran right into me. You'd think if you were riding a bike through heavy traffic you'd want to pay a little more attention.

I have a feeling that guy will be a future Darwin Award winner.

Coincidentally, I nearly ki... (Below threshold)

Coincidentally, I nearly killed a kid tonight too.

Lil bastard wouldn't stand still so I could get a clear shot off, though.

'Twas quite unnerving.

Mr. Cross, methinks you nee... (Below threshold)
mcg:

Mr. Cross, methinks you need to return to sailing, shooting doesn't suit you.

There used to be a bunch ... (Below threshold)

There used to be a bunch of idiot high schoolers who would dash in front of traffic just to see how close they could get to any cars and see if they could cause an accident, probably thinking mommy and daddy would sue the bad drivers for hurting their widdle selves. (Can you tell how angry that made me?) I came perilously close to hitting one (little bastard was smirking the entire time - I doubt he'd be that way once he got to shake hands with my front bumper), but I found out later that they finally got what they deserved - they were arrested by a cop in an unmarked car. If there's anybody that would serve as prime Darwin Award candidates, its them.

Not quite related, but similar - several weeks ago I was driving back to my college campus at night. I'm on one of those long stretches of road that kind of give you "tunnel vision" if you've driven them 300 times before. Thing was, a dog had gotten loose from its yard (or people were being careless). I saw it out of the corner of my eye, sniffing the ground, and then the dumb thing just walks right out into the street. Naturally horrified at what might happen, I slam the brakes and pound the horn (I couldn't swerve as there was on-coming traffic, and couldn't brake TOO hard because some asshole was getting friendly with my rear bumper even before this happened). After what felt like a year, the dog wizened up and ran back from where he came. I find a driveway, turn around, and track the animal down. Soon as I get it to hold still (dumb thing just runs right up to me, barking and having a grand old time) - the owner comes outside and asks me if the dog had gotten loose - despite, y'know, being outside of its fence enclosure and all. So I tell them it had, and that it had run in front of my car. All she said was "Oh. Well, uh, thanks."

If you could've focused the look I gave her, it would have set her ablaze.

So, yeah, I totally sympathize with Jay on this one.

They're kids. They never r... (Below threshold)
sanka:

They're kids. They never really learn till they or one of their friends falls and cracks their head open.

My three year old daughter ... (Below threshold)

My three year old daughter followed me into the street tonight as I put the garbage and recycling out. There was a car whizzing past just at that moment and I nearly had an aneurism. I was RIGHT THERE and didn't hear her behind me. Since she can't understand death and dismemberment, I told her that she scared the man in the car because he was afraidhe couldn't stop in time. GAH. I can only imagine how you felt.

My sister had a scare recen... (Below threshold)

My sister had a scare recently. She was driving, she didn't have a stop sign. Kid on an electric scooter DID have a stop sign, didn't stop, she hit him. Luckily he was ok. And he actually said that she didnt' hit him that he fell over. So we are guessing that he freaked out when she slammed on her brakes and what she actually hit was not him but his scooter as he fell over.

No damage to him, yes to the scooter and slight scratches to her car. But scared the shit out of them both.

Not to mention the damage t... (Below threshold)
Mike:

Not to mention the damage that would have done to the fabulous whiteness of the new wagon!

My problem is with adult cy... (Below threshold)
joe:

My problem is with adult cyclists. What is up with them, especially in college towns? There's a large percentage that think stop signs and red lights are optional, that one-way streets don't apply to them, and that swerving into traffic unexpectedly is their God-given right. If I kill one, even if it's 100% the cyclist's fault, I'll have to deal with lifelong guilt, not to mention being sued ("You're in the big-bad-car and killed my son, you polluting bully!").

I think moving violation tickets for bikes should be triple that for cars until they get a clue and FOLLOW TRAFFIC LAWS.

LOSER... (Below threshold)
LOSER:

LOSER

If I'm driving in a neighbo... (Below threshold)
judgment_call:

If I'm driving in a neighborhood with frequent pedestrian, school bus etc. traffic, I SLOW DOWN and start WATCHING CAREFULLY.

Too many drivers vroom around recklessly in busy or residential districts.

Auto drivers needing to give right-of-way to pedestrians and bicycles isn't a 'liberal' thing. Some of the strictest driving rules are on military posts, because there are always many people walking and running for PT, and there may be troop formations marching. The pedestrians on a post follow rules, unlike these kids, but I've observed that the car drivers on a base are also incredibly polite.

My problem is with adult... (Below threshold)
earth:

My problem is with adult cyclists. What is up with them, especially in college towns? There's a large percentage that think stop signs and red lights are optional, that one-way streets don't apply to them, and that swerving into traffic unexpectedly is their God-given right.

I am a road cyclist and I agree with you. Sometimes cyclists really don't care to the point of suicide. They really don't help the overall impression. Please don't hit us though...

Coming home from work at du... (Below threshold)
Joe Ego:

Coming home from work at dusk, turn the corner at the end of my street, taking my time 15-20mph, etc.

3 cars in from the corner I see: a smiling 2 year old in the middle of the street. ??? Stop. Look around a little: his crawling 10-month old brother is about 10 feet past him, also in the middle of the street.

Nobody is outside their houses. Nobody except me & 2 babies in the middle of the damned street at 7:30PM. I yell, "Hello?" I park my car with flashers right there to stop any passing traffic and am wondering how I'll get 2 strange kids to stay on the curb when some 16 year old comes out from 2 houses away: "Oh, I thought the front door was locked." Like 10 minutes ago??? These kids were 40 or 50 yards from the front door and one could only crawl!




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