Or perhaps, there are a couple of runners who have decided to dart out across the street right in front of your car. Whatever the case may be, there is no doubt that exercising and motorists often do not mix. But who has more responsibility for watching what they do when they are on the roadway?
Both pedestrians and motorists must take responsibility for their actions when they are on the roads. Just because a car, truck or SUV is bigger than a person riding a bicycle or a person jogging, doesn’t mean that they always have the right of way. As a matter of fact, the opposite is true! If you are in a vehicle and you see a person crossing the street at an inappropriate location or at an inappropriate time, you must always yield to that person. After all, what else are you going to do? Run them over with your vehicle?
There have been (and continue to be) many heartbreaking stories of those who have gone outside of their homes to get some exercise only to never return. Most of the time, these pedestrians or people exercising had the right of way or were simply on the sidewalk minding their own business when someone in a vehicle wasn’t paying attention and struck them. Recently, I was stuck in traffic near my apartment when I noticed that there were flashing lights coming from emergency vehicles up ahead. Right away, I knew that someone was hurt. All of the vehicles in the right lane were being directed into the far left lane to give the emergency workers some space to work. When I finally came up on the accident, it was evident that a person on a motorcycle had lost control for unknown reasons and had actually driven up onto the sidewalk and struck a pedestrian who had been walking there.
How horrible to know that your life could change like that in just the blink of an eye. Many times, I will see runners or other people who are out walking with ear buds in their ears as the listen to their mp3 players. And often times, when I pass these people as I am running, I am not surprised to hear them gasp or act startled because someone has come up on them so suddenly. The reason that they are being startled is because they cannot hear anyone approaching. If you are going out for a walk and have your mp3 player turned up full volume in your ears, how quickly do you think you would hear the screeching of a car’s brakes as it tries to narrowly avoid hitting you from behind or from the side? How well are you able to pay attention to what is actually going on around you?
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