The people who almost kill me each day are strangers. Some are poorer, most are richer, and none started their day with a plan to kill me. They are going to work and running errands, driving in their cars and sparing little attention for pedestrians.
Most of the people who almost crush me beneath their half ton machines simply don’t notice all the ways their vehicle could kill. Perhaps they are distracted by the comforts and features of their ride – the radio, air conditioning, the talking GPS. Maybe they spilled some fast food in their lap, or got distracted by a text message. It seems most drivers attempt to multitask, as if driving didn’t require complete attention.
Some notice me but decide to continue coming right at me with full speed. These types yell at me, flip me off, and if I die in a car accident, it will most likely be to this sort. They behave as if my pedestrian existence is a personal slight on their car-owning superiority and they attempt to murder me, or at least threaten to kill me.
Despite the arrogant assumptions of drivers, there is no road rule stating pedestrians must run through the crosswalk or else be assassinated by impatient drivers. It even has “walk” in the name! Yet angry drivers who will spend less time traveling a greater distance scream at me and make their cars jump forward as if they are going to kill me at least twice a month.
If you are a driver, I want you to really think about the potential consequences. Could you really live with yourself if your aggressive driving killed someone? I’ve been in a fatal car accident, as a child passenger. I still can’t get the image of her severed feet, disconnected from her legs by the force of impact, out of my mind. And I wasn’t the one who killed her.
In some ways, a deadly driver could end all my problems. Death ends poverty and disability. But even though I combat depression and often struggle for a reason to live, I don’t want to die. I don’t want to orphan my son and I don’t want my blood on a distracted driver’s hands.
I want my legally entitled right to the sidewalk, the crosswalk, and the road. I want people who aren’t using their own body to fuel their journey to chill out for the few seconds longer it takes a self-propelled person to cross the street. And I really want people who can’t focus on driving to become pedestrians or passengers instead.