Feb 11, 2009

Open Letter to a Black-Clad Pedestrian Walking on the Road at Night

I passed under the railroad viaduct on Bancroft near the University of Toledo tonight, and perhaps two seconds before my vehicle met up with you, I noticed you in time to slightly swerve and avoid you. There was still some piled snow on the sidewalk, which is why I think you ventured out into the street.

Or maybe you just don't like sidewalks.

You were wearing a black coat, dark colored hat, and dark pants, and in the dim light under the bridge, you were indiscernible from the rest of the dark nighttime landscape. Fortunately for you and me, my eyes happened to be squarely on the road, and not fiddling with the car stereo or a cell phone.

But what if I had been momentarily distracted?

I would have plastered you all over the four-lane highway, traveling as I was at about 40 MPH. Perhaps you might have lived, but I suspect that you would have received serious injuries. Certainly your plans for the next few days would have been disrupted, if not those of the next few months.

The incident happened too quickly for me to have even gone into an adrenaline rush, as though I blinked and the moment passed. I am not angry, but rather puzzled and pensive. Our paths came eerily close to a tragic destiny, and yet neither of us suffered so much as a scratch.

But dude: if you plan to keep walking at night, consider wearing some clothes with greater visibility in the dark. You don't have to necessarily wrap yourself in reflective tape, but a brightly-colored cap and a white T-shirt might save your life some night.

Oh, and the walking-on-the-road thing: don't assume that motorists see you just because their headlights are starting to light you up. That assumption almost turned you into road pizza tonight, pal.


Anonymous said...

Sorry, I may have been that guy, although I had a little to much brew so I am not sure. If so, thanks for not killing me, although I still feel like crap.

Anonymous said...

Mmmm, pizza.

Anonymous said...

Who are THESE anonymous twits...both illiterate and crude...please excuse the use of my name in association with them.