A recent segment of Oprah dealt with two pretty tragic stories: families who had been left bereft of loved ones after mishaps involving automobiles. The one dealt with drunk driving and the other with a very unfortunate mishap. In short, a grandmother backed her vehicle over her grandson, crushing the life out of him. The circumstances were that a lot was going on with other children also involved, and she simply lost track of that one boy. She couldn't forgive herself, but this post isn't about that.
It's about the fact that I could have easily hit a couple of people when I was backing out of my own driveway just a few days ago. You know the deal. When you get into your vehicle the coast is clear. You check your mirror but see nothing, and you put the car in gear. Fortunately, a second check alerted me, but it could have been bad.
Me? When I'm out walking and see a car about to reverse out of a driveway, I always stop until I am assured that I have been seen. We speak of defensive driving, but we also need to practise defensive walking, for on that same Oprah show, they showed numerous children (was it 63?) sitting right behind a vehicle about to reverse. Every single, last one of them was in the blind spot!
Sure, in a perfect world, no driver would ever make a mistake, but errors do occur — frequently! Why would any pedestrian with a partial brain assume that the driver will always do the right thing? Don't most people drive at some time or other? Aren't they aware of the sighting difficulties and the fact that mistakes are made, and when they're made don't they know that cars are just a tad bigger than people and that it's the pedestrians who will be hurt?
This incident really got my goat, especially considering that one of the pedestrians was an adult and the other was at least old enough to be taught better. I simply don't understand. A little common sense and prudence goes a long way, and it doesn't cost more than a few seconds here and there to exercise a a modicum of care. Would someone really feel better when lying maimed in a hospital bed to know that it was the driver's fault? Well, it was ... but not entirely in this guy's humble little opinion.
So ... that's my little rant for the day.