Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Crazy Drivers!

You know what’s worse than a driver who won’t stop at a crosswalk to let you cross? A driver who stops when there’s no crosswalk. Here’s what happened on my run last night:

I had decided for no apparent reason that I would prefer to run on the other side of the street. Sometimes I do this in the middle of a run just to change things up, it’s the whole ‘sidewalk is always greener over there’ theory or something like that. As there was no cross walk for at least a couple of blocks and I’m extremely impatient I decided to wait for a break in traffic and make a run for the better looking sidewalk. Now, this street is not a busy four lane highway so I’m not talking about having to make a frantic, frogger-esque dash for the other side, but there are a few cars on the street so I stopped on the sidewalk to wait for a nice long break in traffic.

The car that is approaching from my left sees me standing there and begins to slow down to allow me to cross. I hate it when drivers do this because to the cars behind him it makes me look like THAT runner, the one that darts out in front of you and further impedes your commute, in fact if I was in the car behind him I’d probably be on my horn. So I try to wave him on and indicate that he should just keep going. He’s emphatically waving back at me signaling for me to go ahead, but traffic behind him is beginning to catch up and I’m worried that I’ll get smoked by the impatient driver behind him who I can see has four pairs of runners shoes tattooed on his front fender. One more and he’s considered an Ace. My concerns prove to be correct when the driver behind him, who clearly doesn’t see me despite the fact that I was flaunting my pasty white legs (53 degrees yesterday! Suck it East Coasters!), roars past him in the wrong lane yelling and cursing as he went. I give the polite driver a look that says ‘see, I told you’ and he can no longer be referred to as the polite driver as he too is yelling and signaling to me that I’m number one. Yeah, I’m the idiot here for not playing dodge ball with evening commuters.

To sum up, here are the driver’s crimes that landed him a mention on my blog today: 1. He was observant - he saw me standing there and recognized that I wanted to cross. 2. He tried to be polite, perhaps it even occurred to him that I would prefer not to have to stop running. So, my advice to you all when you get behind the steering wheel is to be less observant and less polite, the world could use a few more of these drivers.

Finally, I reserve the right in the future to complain about drivers being impolite and unobservant and not allowing me to cross the street.

Oh, and the sidewalk on the other side of the street was not greener, nor was it any more pleasant to run on.


  1. People stop for runners in crosswalks? I don't think they got that memo down here in Yuma...

  2. I'm with you. I'm pretty much conditioned now to idiotic drivers. To have competent/courteous ones would throw me off.

  3. My husband saw someone get hit by a car in Boulder - and it was the exact same thing. A car stopped to wave the girl on, she started to cross and a car in the next lane kept going and wiped her out.

  4. I run (get it?) into this all of the time. My solution? Don't make eye contact. They can't wave you on - or feel stupid doing so - if you never look at them. I force them to accept their own right of way. Crazy, I know.

    The worst is when you are out riding bikes or walking with your kids and they do that. Yeah, right, just what you want...teach the kids that cars will just magically stop in the middle of the road whenever they want to cross. Good lesson for 'em.

  5. I hate when video games come to life (see frogger or even better yet the Seinfield episode). Having been actually hit by a car while biking I now take all road interactions extra cautiously.

    53 degrees! Pshaw - today in NY we're getting one to three inches of more snow mixed with rain, wind and a high of about 36. Now that's real weather.

  6. I hate it when drivers do that, I guess they don't realize that they aren't the only car out there and other cars could potentially hit me.

  7. I hate that too because I always think another car is gonna zoom up behind them crash into the stopped car, and it will all somehow be my fault.

  8. LOL, "frogger-esque dash", love it! We need more video game references in running blogs - I'm starting a petition.

    Completely agree and think a polite driver one day is going to get one of us killed. Although I'm sure it's happened already.

  9. I hear ya!

    Even worse is when they swerve AT you. I was on a residential street a few weeks ago (no sidewalk), and I was close to the shoulder on the left side and this huge truck came screaming by at >30km/h and swerved toward me.

  10. Okay, here's the thing: This driver WASN'T being polite. He was ignoring the rules of the road. He had the right of way. You knew that. The other drivers on the road knew that. He thought he was being polite, but in reality, he was just being stupid. We all have to follow the same rules in order for this little "road safety" thing to work. It's like the drivers in roundabouts who stop to let cars into the roundabout. Hello! You're missing the whole point of the roundabout and messing the system up for everyone! Stop trying so hard to be nice because it's not working!
    I'm all for people being nice in the world. I'm just against stupidity.

  11. I hate when I agree with Nitmos, but yeah ignore them and they'll go away.

  12. It isn't courteous to stop for a runner when there is no crosswalk. That's just someone not following the rules thereby screwing up everything.

    The same nonsense happens at four way stops when someone is sitting there waving other drivers through. What an idiot!

  13. Firstly, I'm with Nitmos. Never make eye contact so that they don't get any wild ideas about stopping or, perhaps, pursuing you with increased enthusiasm because they somehow think your worried gaze was an invitation for a mid-run romp in a supermarket parking lot.

    Secondly, I think you have every right to complain about people when they go back to swerving to kill you in the crosswalk.

    Which is why I endure the doubting looks of people who cross against the light while I jog in place waiting for "My Turn".

    Clearly they've never had to dodge a wayward mini van packed with 65 kids and a soccer mom on a bender.

    I also reserve the right to bitch in the event that anyone slows to allow me to cross. Though I'm not holding my breath.


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