I, Anonymous: You're Making It Hard for Me to Not Run You Over

Comments

1
Please get your eyes checked or preferably just stop driving. This kind of (potential) victim blaming is akin to "Well she should not have been wearing that short skirt. She was obviously asking for it" BS.
2
If you can't see a pedestrian, you need to slow down or stop driving. Its your responsibility.
3
Maybe using “reasonable and prudent” driving skills would help, but then again nothing in Seattle is “reasonable or prudent” when it comes to —well — anything.
4
The dude has a fair point.
Use the Green Cross Code!

The same as cyclists who don't use lights/helmets etc

Accidents are going to happen. Do your bit to help prevent them.
5
There is no lack of carelessness and entitlement out on the roads. Sometimes four wheels, sometimes two wheels, sometimes no wheels. Amused and irritated that when a person using four wheels (politely) calls out carelessness on foot, the knee-jerk reactions are that the driver must be blind or speeding or staring at a phone!
6
@1, a little bit of empathy is in order here. There's a spectrum of visual acuity, and when you reach 30 or so it starts to go downhill. You can have 20/20 vision and still have issues with low-light situations. This isn't some kind of rare condition -- this is most middle-aged people. A lot of intersections in Seattle are just poorly lit. Combine that with rain reflections obscuring the lines, and you have a recipe for low-speed collisions.

Now most drivers should be going slower through neighborhoods, especially at night, but that still won't save you in all cases. You can have a close call at a four-way stop just as easily, if there's a telephone pole or a construction sign in the wrong place. Everyone needs to be looking out for everyone.
7
@1: The writer is not victim blaming. He's simply asking pedestrians to use some basic common sense before blithely stepping out into a busy street, especially in dark and rainy conditions. Most 5 year olds know to look both ways, is it too much to ask that of adults? Would you ket your own kid cross without looking? Put down the damn phone and make sure drivers see you.
8
1: The writer is not victim blaming. He's simply asking pedestrians to use some basic common sense before blithely stepping out into a busy street, especially in dark and rainy conditions. Most 5 year olds know to look both ways, is it too much to ask that of adults? Would you ket your own kid cross without looking? Put down the damn phone and make sure drivers see you.
9
Yeah, it could be the driver's fault. Perhaps it Is true that after 30 your eyes aren't so sharp anymore -- what's that, half the driving population? -- but on a dark night, when your headlights seem to just bounce off that shiny wet roadway, straight up into the sky, they don’t illuminate much that isn't pretty reflective. (Perhaps the newer headlights do – my halogens, barely) Ever tried to discern, between wiper swipes (how ARE those wipes these days?), the actual shoulder of an unlit, unpainted roadway on a dark rainy night? Especially if you have lots of light in your cabin/cockpit: bright dashboard lights, a bright little computer screen, the warm glow of a spliff (warning: ILLEGAL!)(and dangerous)(stupid too), that poor, clueless, under-illuminated pedestrian, walking on the pavement, cause it’s ‘easier,’ facing AWAY from traffic (your face -- it's reflective!) -- especially when your attention may be ‘temporarily’ diverted -- unlikely, I know, but still....

So, yeah, blame the diver. But remember, it takes two to tango.
10
'diver'? WTF?
11
And get off your !@#$ing smartphones and pay attention when walking, biking, or driving, people!
@10: Major mud puddle in the shiny, wet roadway?
12
@11 Diving into a puddle of COCAINE AND MALT LIQUOR, more like.

If you bike at night anywhere remotely busy, use lights and reflectors and stuff. Be extra careful on rainy nights. Do not EVER assume that motorists can see you, even if you have the right of way. I say this as a veteran cyclist, not as one of those people who hates cyclists. There's the utopian ideal of a bike-friendly road environment, and there's staying alive. Stay alive, people.
13
The writer speaks the obvious. Far more than commenters with a death wish who distract from the issue; Yes drivers should see you. But for all sorts of reasons with wipers on, rain falling and your crossing the corner in black, oblivious to your surroundings.
End result, you get hit or worse. Oh, but the driver was wrong.
14
Someone suggests people don't cross / walk in the street without being cautious and of course people here pile on to tell them what a dick they are. You could write anything in an I ANON letter and the same cast of people will come crawling out from under their bridges to say something idiotic. It brings a smile to my face - keep up the good work trolls!
15
I was crossing the street at Olive and Summit this morning and a driver, making a left onto Summit from Olive, almost hit me. It was about 5:30am. The driver saw me but didn't slow down. I had to run out of the way. Some people are just assholes.
16
Dear anonymous, I love and respect that you are a driver. But I want you to know that you are the problem. Is it a wet night? I'm trying to get somewhere dry and warm. Are you moving to quickly, or are you maybe too distracted, to take the time to see me? Be patient, it is dry and warm where you are, I bet there is even a radio. Your headlights make you very easy to see, but if they don't illuminate the world enough for you to feel confident maneuvering your large metal object, maybe you should ask the manufacturer for something better. Walk around with a friend one wet evening. Cars are dangerous—and their self-importance and impatience make it worse. Always remember that pedestrians and others have as much right, or more, to cross the road and move about the city—ALWAYS. That way you won't be just another dangerous, obnoxious driver.
17
Ah my inconsistent use of "to" and "too". I am ashamed.
18
"Always remember that pedestrians and others have as much right, or more, to cross the road and move about...." So true. And try to remember, walkies, when one is outweighed by ten or twenty or thirty (or more) times by an mechanical object moving at speed, which may or may not even recognize your right to exist (oh, they're out there -- look no further than @ 15, above), let alone SEE you, the prudent thing to do is to assume, until we have infra-red vision, you may well be invisible to us. That way, when we yield to you, it's a pleasant surprise -- and if we don't, for whatever reason, you're probably still able to get safely home to your warm and cozy, all (still) in one piece....
19
Don't fucking drive if you can't see. Bad conditions? Slow Down. You are driving a 2-ton lethal weapon, it is your responsibility to not kill people. Asshole.
20
#16  Your sense of entitlement may be legally deserved, but it won’t help you if you do get hit. That is the point. I am sure the IA IS careful, and DOES care about your welfare.
You are both acting like petulant children. Ask your parents for advice on how to cross the road safely. Don’t end up a statistic.
21
@20 "Your sense of entitlement may be legally deserved, but it won’t help you if you do get hit." Ah, but it just might ... which is why Lawyers were invented. (You -- or your Estate -- could be very Wealthy!) Hmmmm.... (do I hear a call for Damage Caps?)
22
@21.
Your entitlement is MIND BLOWING! Blame the victim much? We all know it's common sense to watch out for all those drivers who decide to operate 3 ton machines for their convenience, who are distracted and preoccupied. It's obvious. Challenging driver flippancy and privilege is important, because a lot of them ARE the most ENTITLED snowflakes around!
23
The problem of pedestrians nearly getting hit would probably be much smaller if they did what they were taught in elementary school. Stop at the cross walk and look both ways before walking out into the street.
In Seattle people blithely wander out into the road, oftentimes after ignoring the red blinking hand, and glare reproachfully at drivers who screech to a halt in front of them. This kind of irresponsible locomotion is dangerous and hard on vehicles. If you are one of these pedestrians you're contributing a lot to global warming by Jay walking and making people who are waiting for you idle through even more light cycles.
24
It's amazing how little I can see at night when driving. I sometimes feel like it's inevitable that i'll hit someone I can't see.
25
@21 lawyers don't set bones or unscramble heads. I say this as someone who does 90% of my transportation by bicycle. I personally believe that being healthy is better than being right. I frequently say "responsibility lies with the bearer of the consequences" and this is one of those scenarios for me. If I'm the one dealing with a wrecked body, no amount of legal responsibility on the other party will get my time back, or make my body stop hurting, or bring me back to life.
26
As a lifelong bicyclist and militant pedestrian, I ride & walk with the core assumption that cars are trying to kill me, and I do everything I can to prevent my early demise.

I've driven cars at night in the rain here, it's sometimes quite scary and always difficult to see. Not least because streetlights are reflecting off wet roads --and headlights constantly flashing your eyes-- making it much more difficult to see un-lit people.

The basic fact of the matter is that people inside cars have (a) reduced visual range, and (b) are moving at a speed that again reduces visual acuity, AND guarantees a considerable distance is traveled before the See-Recognize-Respond neural circuit enables them to stop the car.

Oh, they are also inside an armored tank, and you are a soft, fleshy pulp-thing.

Yes, cars should stop for pedestrians. And arrogant asshole drivers need to step tf off.
But there are many perfectly good reasons why drivers can't stop in time that have nothing to do with road-entitlement. Don't assume, or act haughty. You don't know.
Use smart self-preservation.

Or, you know, don't.
27
Oh come on!!!!
It isn't like we don't all know that the defacto Seattle "uniform" is black/dark pants with a black/dark top, often with a black/dark jacket with a hood, black/dark bag and black/dark shoes....
Seriously if you care about your life/health wear something bright or reflective or a light of some kind.
28
I agree with @26. Most people are also stressed to the max worrying about our Psycho-in-Chief nuking the world over some school-yard-name-calling spat with the North Korean psycho. Look out for yourself, don't get maimed by assuming drivers can see you, just because you have the right-of-way. Be especially careful at dusk, and when it's raining.
29
Shitty fucking driver needs to pick another mode of transportation before they kill somebody.
30
Driverless cars* will NEVER hit you!
(Coming soon!)
.
.* Except for runaway cars
.** Or drivers too short to see anything but trees, utility wires or tall buildings
31
The law sets a fairly simple standard for this. If you're driving, and you can't clearly see a pedestrian in ordinary street clothes in time to avoid hitting them, you're speeding.

Doesn't matter what the posted speed limit is, if you can't see a black pedestrian in a dark wool suit, legally crossing the roadway, you're at fault.

Pedestrians were here long before cars, and the hazard is created by excessively fast driving, so the legal responsibility falls exactly where it belongs, on the driver.

RCW 46.61.400
Basic rule and maximum limits.

(1) No person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing. In every event speed shall be so controlled as may be necessary to avoid colliding with any person, vehicle or other conveyance on or entering the highway in compliance with legal requirements and the duty of all persons to use due care.

....

(3) The driver of every vehicle shall, consistent with the requirements of subsection (1) of this section, drive at an appropriate reduced speed when approaching and crossing an intersection or railway grade crossing, when approaching and going around a curve, when approaching a hill crest, when traveling upon any narrow or winding roadway, and when special hazard exists with respect to pedestrians or other traffic or by reason of weather or highway conditions.
32
There's no denying that it's sometimes hard to see on a rainy night with glare.

That's why the law is so clear that you have to slow down until you can see safely. If that means driving 5 mph in a 35 mph zone, then that's exactly what the law requires.

The posted speed limit is a maximum in clear daylight, not a minimum or an entitlement.

It's true that pedestrians can defend themselves from incompetent drivers in some circumstances by using reflectors, but that doesn't shift the blame from the reckless driver to their victim.
33
Dear Pedestrian wearing all dark clothing and a hoodie and wandering across an unlit corner on a dark rainy night: You may be legally in the right, but you are still fucking dead.
34
Unless you are hit by a driver that is proven to be in the wrong, YOU ARE NOT A FUCKING VICTIM.
35
@31 Couldn't have written it any better myself
36
The only thing I can offer here is that when I moved up here, I was pretty shocked at how poorly lit a lot of everything is here at night. Being a new resident and the maze-like layout of the city that takes time to adjust to, the lack of lighting at night made driving feel overwhelming at moments and I'm not generally not a fainting violet. Having lived here for a minute, there are still moments when I'm struck by how poorly my ability to see at night on some streets (rain or not) is enabled by the shitty urban planning job the city has done.

So, its everyone. We're all in this shitty set up together.
37
Thank you #8.
38
I was walking to the Bus tunnel from Capital Hill around 5:30 in the morning. I was crossing a side street, in the crosswalk, when a car drove up to make a left on to the street I was crossing. It stopped and was waiting for me to cross when another car drove up behind the first car. The driver of the second car couldn't see me and didn't know why the first car had stopped. So he/she honked it's horn. The first car shot forward and almost ran me over. I had to run to get out of the way, What's that all about?
39
I'm going to be so grateful when Daylight Savings Time returns.
40
I light my phone up and wave it when I cross the street. Very effective.
41
I'm a pedestrian and I have lots of close calls with crappy drivers. But that doesn't mean that pedestrians shouldn't use common sense. People wearing all black clothing in the dark during the rain - it's very easy for someone not to see you, so take extra precautions.

There's also the issue of all the blind corners on Capitol Hill- you can't see what's happening until you've already pulled out into the intersection.
42
Most drivers are fucking imbeciles and possibly drunk but hey, why not put your safety in their hands. At least your headstone will read "He had the right of way" and there is a 50/50 shot that they have insurance and your family will get paid.
43
@42 -- for the Win!
44
Makes me want to watch Death Race 2000 again.