I, Anonymous

Look Up, Look Out

Comments

1
You were almost hit by a car for the same reason you hit a pedestrian last year. Both you and the driver that almost hit you are bad drivers. These types of things are completely avoidable if drivers are paying attention and being safe. You want other people to wear less black? How about you just attempt to be a better driver instead? Drivers are supposed to a) come to a full stop before making a right on a red light and b) make sure a crosswalk is completely clear before starting a turn in either direction. These are things i see ignored downtown on a daily basis. Please consider being a better driver before telling pedestrians how to be better walkers.
2
Thanks for the common sense advice, but that's not what I come to I, Anon to read. This column is dead.
3
People who walk, should not have headphones or earbuds on. Should not be looking at their phones. Or, texting, talking, sending emails.

Walkers should be looking forward as they walk. Walkers should not be listening to anything. Walkers should not be reading anything while walking. Walkers need to be aware of their surroundings. No one is going to do it for them. Walkers should only cross on a green light. Walkers should look left and right before stepping off of the curb. Walkers should continue to look left and right as the cross.

If they don't do this then they're putting themselves at great risk. And have no one to blame but themselves. Like people who get hit by trains. You put yourself in a bad situation by your ignorance, when you know better. Then you deserve what you get.

Drivers have their own shit to look out for. Walkers not paying attention isn't one of them.
4
Normally I disagree with you, Thrill Killer, but on this issue, you are absolutely right. It gets dark a lot here, and when it is rainy out, it is much more difficult to stop quickly. Yes, drivers have an obligation to look out for walkers. However, there are many factors that can go into accidents: darkness, wet roads that make it difficult to stop, poor visibility.

Drivers are obligated to pay attention, yes, but walkers have to take their safety into their own hands, as you CAN NOT TRUST that others will be able to react on time. Wear clothing that is visible when we have 17 hours of darkness in the winter. Be aware of your surroundings; yes, you are at a cross walk and it is totally your turn to go, but you should ALWAYS look both ways to make sure it is SAFE to cross, even when you have the right of way. You never know when someone is going to break the rules, nor do you know if someone will not be able to see you, or some other factor that might result in injury or death to your person.

Seriously, though, why would you trust someone you don't even know with your life? Stay alert, people, and stay safe, especially when it's still mostly dark by 5PM.
5
Or maybe before you dictate the apparel options to an entire city to improve visibility, how about cleaning your fucking windows first? Windows need a good cleaning at least a few times per year. Also, how about replacing your wiper blades a little bit more frequently than you do the tires?
6
@2 No doubt. This is worse than last week's IA. We don't need public service announcements.
8
@1, 4
If you believe all that, then would you get behind making it harder for people to become licensed drivers? The bar is obviously set too low if so many people out there suck but are driving legally.

& @ 5
It should also be the height of public accountability that everyone's personal missile is in pristine working order before taking them on public thoroughfares.
10
@8 I am absolutely for making it more difficult for people to get driver's licenses! Also, I would like there to be maximum age that people can drive. It never made sense to me that there would be a minimum age but not a maximum. I'm thinking that most 15 year old's have better vision / reflexes than most 80 year old's but the 80 year old's are the ones who can get licenses.
11
YES!!

Watch out for the big cars people!!
12
As someone who didn't start driving in earnest until my mid-30s

Seeing people at night is surprisingly hard!
13
Kar Kulture Krusaders well-represented in this thread, as expected. Anon witnesses a driver hit and kill a pedestrian and blames the pedestrian's dark-colored clothing? Holy victim-blaming Batman!

We need 20 mph city-wide speed limits, 25 for arterials. Strict enforcement, more speed cameras, less tolerance for the selfish, dangerous attitude many adopt when behind the wheel.

You live in a city. Is it a good idea to wear bright/reflective clothing? Yes. Is it reasonable to expect everyone will do so? Absolutely not. There will always be that handicapped person crossing slowly in a wheelchair, that elderly person shuffling along, that drunk person, that CHILD on the scooter, that recent immigrant unfamiliar with traffic laws, that unpredictable mentally ill guy, that walking-while-sexting teenager not paying any attention to his surroundings. It is the driver's responsibility to avoid these hazards, period. If it is dark, raining, crowded reduce your speed and pay (even closer) attention.
14
Blame the victim. Always works.
15
Ok. I'm a driver who has driven down 12th at night with the glare of rain on my windshield, despite good working wipers. I'm attentive, not on the phone but happen to not see till the last minute the black clad pedestrian crossing the street like they are invulnerable. I stop, they live. If I don't stop, my bad. But they are dead. Guess they win since I'm at fault?

And what of the drug addled or powerless often minority folks who cross against the light, sauntering slooowly. I guess I could mow them down and be blameless since I had the light. But I and others stop, think loving thoughts and let them live. Being right is not the point. Staying alive or letting others live is.
16
ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME. You are literally driving around a giant metal death machine, and you think that somehow you have a right to tell people who are just walking around trying to get to wherever they need to go that it's THEIR fault that they don't accommodate you? Pedestrians owe you NOTHING. ZERO. If you can't take responsibility for the fact that you're piloting around a huge piece of dangerous machinery, then maybe you shouldn't own a car.
17
For fucks sake. If all of you dickholes that drive and walk would pay the fuck attention when your in the same vicinity none of you fucktards would hit people and none of you other fucktards would get run over...the fucking end.
18
This "I didn't see you" bullshit is maybe the only remaining socially acceptable form of victim-blaming.

Surrender your driver's license, you goddamned maniac. If you can't see then don't drive. I had my windshield fog up unexpectedly once when my defroster died, so I couldn't see. Know what I did? I pulled over and stopped like a sensible person.
19
You all must be perfect drivers (and pedestrians). Good for you! There's a reason you should nonetheless be careful while wearing all black at night. Those "other" imperfect drivers might get their license suspended after they hit your invisible ass, and those imperfect walkers might have the ACA, but shit happens. Walk with a light, just in case a slog reader isn't in the car pulling out of that blind driveway or whatever.
20
I almost hit a guy last week. He was wearing a black parka and black jeans just after dusk on one of our more grey days. He seemed pretty oblivious and I could hardly see him in his urban camouflage until he stepped out of the shadows. One more thing ...

I was on my bicycle and going up a hill on a residential street (i.e. less then 10mph). I'm sure there would have been some swearing if we had collided but nobody would have wound up in the hospital. The outcome would have been different if I was in a car.

If Mr. BlackCoat needs to rock the goth look heading home from the bar that's fine. He can stuff a $8 reflective vest in a pocket or hang a couple of blinky LED's off his tote bag for around the same price. Life is challenging enough without stacking the odds against yourself.

Also you could think about the color more carefully next time you go shopping for a parka and choose one that doesn't look just like pavement.
21
The smug comments of those who seem to think that snarking at the oblivious driver is going to make the barely visible somehow bright amazes me. We can agree with all of your points, agree that you are in the right. But it just might be your smug ass who is driving one night and hits the person who could have prevented the accident by wearing something visible, or by actually practicing preventive walking and not assuming that they are seen. As a pedestrian, I don't assume a car is going to stop. I wait for them to make eye contact and slow down if not stop before I enter. When I drive, I don't assume I own the intersection just because the statutes are on my side. I can't count the number of times a person has run a light and there would have been a collision had I or the person in front of me seized the opportunity to hit the accelerator at the green light. Live in the real world and quit the snarking. The letter writer made a reasonable ask: that those who are walking consider the impact on their visibility of the clothes they wear. Nobody is blaming anyone here, just trying to save a few lives.
22
The other day I just about squashed some dickhead who quickly walked into the street from behind a parked car, wearing all black, in the dark. If someone camouflages themselves like the goddamn night and then walks into the goddamn street without looking, they can yell, "but you're supposed to stop for meeeee" all they want, but they're fucking stupid and eventually they'll be fucking dead and stupid.
23
Thank you for this public service announcement.
24
Ahhh....the heuristic delusion. If you don't know what I'm talking about, look it up. In a nutshell, it's mistaking one dramatic, memorable moment for the norm. You remember the one pedestrian you almost hit, but you have amnesia for the 1,000 other pedestrians you didn't hit. (vice versa with cars...you remember the one car that almost hit you, but forget the 1,000 other cars that slowed down and let you cross).

But by all means...let stray anecdotes dictate your perception of reality. Yes, drivers in Seattle suck. Yes, pedestrians in Seattle love hurling themselves in front of cars while dressed in black. Yes, cyclists in Seattle are thrill-seeking daredevils who love to play chicken with cars....and on and on. It does make you feel superior, doesn't it? Ahhhhh....
25
What I usually have found over 20 years of living in Seattle winters is that drivers are usually in a hot fire rush to get their asses to their destination so they wont miss the next opportunity to sit someplace - as a pedestrian, you usually hope its not a bar. One the other hand pedestrians are no better as they like to jay walk as opposed to waiting a minute or two for the light and stand right on the curb waiting for that bus mirror to take their head off or T-bone crash to plow right into them, usually acting like clueless crash test dummies playing on their "smart" devices. As much as common sense should prevail, I dont think you're going to see reflective clothing on a hipster of any kind in this town because, well - its not hip (unless its sequined or mirrored). I want wish all the future Darwin Award winners out there a great 2016. I can tell you to slow down and stay safe, but you're idiots, so why bother, so I'll slow down and stay safe on your behalf. Enjoy those beach cliffs of life! Happy New Year!
26
Last night I pulled onto my street, which is narrow, but has sidewalks on both sides, and is well lit. There was a guy walking down the middle of the street with his headphones on and his hood up (which seems to be a south Seattle thing). In my effort to go around him, I almost squashed a cyclist that I didn't see because I was concentrating on the moron in the street. It scared the hell out of me, and undoubtedly terrified the cyclist. The guy kept walking.

From now on, when I encounter a pedestrian walking in the street where there are sidewalks, I am going to go up behind them and lay on my horn until they move.
27
@30, Mrs Vel-DuRay, you live in a dangerous area.

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-ar…
"Rule number four, don't use the sidewalk. Every day at dismissal, kids drift out of Harper High School and walk along Wood Street-- actually, right down the middle of Wood Street. It's a strange scene. Cars drive slowly, waiting for students to move out of the way. One teacher told me that when she first arrived at Harper, she thought this was just plain hooliganism. The teenagers taking over. One afternoon, a girl named Alex explained, that's not it at all.

Alex - We feel safer like this. For some reason, we just feel safe like that. we never like to walk past trees and stuff, there's too much stuff going on.

Linda Lutton - "Too much stuff going on" is shorthand here for the shootings, the fights, the craziness. It's better to walk down the middle of the street, where you can keep a broad view of things, and where you have a few more seconds to run if you need to."
28
But what color was the car painted? Maybe that driver should've paint his car in hi-viz.
29
A little game game I like to play with my 4 year old.
Me: "What's more dangerous, Cars or sharks?"
Her: "Cars!"
Me: "What's more dangerous, Cars or wolves?"
Her: "Cars!"
Me: "What's more dangerous, Cars or tornados?"
Her: "Cars!"
30
This is not about the driver. This is about you. Sanctimony is useless to a dead man. Wise up.
32
You lot! Honestly.. This person is just trying to be nice and possibly save a life or 2, doesn't matter who's to blame or not. We don't have to argue about that, we all suck!!

What matters is that none of you get hurt.

Thanks Anon!
33
I'm gonna just point out the obvious here...

Drivers are distracted. Blaming the victim is wrong.

Not looking up, or even attempting to convey acknowledgment that a car is coming as you step off into the street because you have the right-of-way is mind-blowingly stupid. The car may in fact be the one at fault, but you will be the one who's dead.

Don't assume the guy in the car is sober/paying attention/lucid/a skilled driver/wearing glasses/not getting a blow job/, etc.

Yes they're wrong.

No they shouldn't be driving.

These facts won't change anything and you'll still be dead.

That's not blaming the victim, it's just using some common sense.
34
@27: Somehow, I doubt a guy with his hood up and ear buds in who was so oblivious he didn't notice a near collision close by was walking in the middle of the street in order to have the best vantage point to detect danger.
35
@24, I do not think that word means what you think it means...
Your point is pointless. You remember the one guy you almost hit, forget the 1000s you didn't hit? Um. Maybe because that one guy almost DIED.
Taking someone's life, regardless of who's "fault" it might be, is not something most of us want to experience. Just because it was an accident doesn't mean you won't suffer. Obviously, the accidental killer will suffer a lot more than an on-purpose murderer.
36
Christ, you shitheads are really fucking stupid.

Is it my responsibility to watch out while driver? Of course! No shit!

But why in the fuck are you making my job of keeping you safe more difficult to perform? That's fucking stupid. Safety is everyone's responsibility.