Walk and bike defensively and beware of ‘us’ drivers
Updated: June 6, 2012 3:39PM
Don’t trust us.
You could be very sorry if you do.
By “us,’’ I mean people who drive cars.
The weather is nice now. And nice weather brings out the joggers, the bike riders, the skateboarders, and adults and kids just out walking around.
Born out of concern for the environment, fueled by fuel prices and fanned by a desire for health and physical fitness, these nongas-guzzling ways of getting around are becoming more and more popular.
Little yellow signs are sprouting at many intersections warning drivers that state law requires drivers to yield to pedestrians. Police are cracking down on drivers who don’t yield. There are bicycle lanes on more and more streets. And newspapers, TV and the Internet are bursting with stories and tips on biking and walking.
Yes, bikers and walkers have it pretty good these days. Walking and biking are healthy and don’t damage the environment. Way cheaper than driving, too.
But let me add by way of reiteration — don’t trust us.
We’re drivers and we can’t be trusted.
State law may be on your side, bikers and walkers, but Newton’s law isn’t.
In a confrontation a 160-pound, crunchy-on-the-outside and squishy-on-the-inside biker or walker hasn’t a chance against a couple of thousand pounds of metal, glass and plastic.
And never forget that we drivers are sometimes angry and hostile and often distracted by talking on the phone, eating, drinking, dozing, texting, watching TV, surfing the Internet, reading, shaving, grooming, searching for good music, or in a big hurry.
Just because the little yellow sign in the crosswalk proclaims you to be in the right, don’t count on it.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that each year in the United States more than 800 bike riders are killed in collisions with motor vehicles.
It’s even worse for pedestrians. More than 4,000 pedestrians are killed each year by motor vehicles.
So, don’t just rely on your rights to protect you when you’re out biking or walking.
Rights won’t stop an SUV.
Be careful out there.
Walk and bike defensively.
Because you don’t know what we drivers will do.