The Walking Dead
I was driving Erie Boulevard after work earlier this week, heading toward State Street, and saved the lives of two poor saps.
These guys had decided to walk across the busy street, starting from Boulevard Bowl. The driver in front of me pulled into a casual swerve to avoid hitting the dopes. I saw the scene developing, and was able to slow down before I got that close to them.
I’m seeing this more and more and more. Guys and girls just walking into the street, not considering the clavicle-crushing, bone-busting, skin-scraping injuries that occur when fleshy bags of mostly water try their luck against speeding Chevrolets of mostly steel.
We’ve all had moments when we’ve had to dash across streets where cars are the superior species. But I think most of us carefully measure car or truck distances — when these guys are 100 yards away from me, I like my chances of sprinting from one side to the other.
This new breed of thrill-seeker just walks into the street. I guess they figure drivers will slow down or stop, because most of them do. But why push your luck? And why increase the odds of a trip to the emergency room by crossing streets when your ears are plugged into personal stereo system? Sure, it’s great to hear Roger Daltry and The Who scream “Won’t Get Fooled Again” when you’re on the stride, but do you really want to hear the big finish from the back of a damn ambulance lit up like a Christmas tree and screaming like the Fourth of July?
As a driver, you don’t want to give these people a blast on the horn, either. I’ve been tempted at times, but figure it’s a no-win situation. As some of these folks must be awash in beer or worse, you never know if they’re going to pick up a rock and let one sail as you leave the scene of the near-accident. I’ve just put my new Hyundai Elantra on the road, and I don’t want any dents — large or small — for at least three years.
The situation presents more trouble after dark, when motorists have more trouble picking jaywalkers out of a street lineup. That’s why I’m watching the streets and intersections like a maniac. I’m not going to let anyone run into my car ... and I’m not going to run into anyone taking a walk in the middle of a highway.