Share the road

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So I’m running the other day minding my own business when out of nowhere my right arm is clipped by the side mirror of a Ford Escape. I looked at the car as if to say, “Hey! Yeah you! I’m on the curb of a two-lane road! Why don’t you move over? Don’t honk at me. Don’t curse at me. And above all, don’t hit me!”

To the guy who hit me and left, let’s think about this for a moment. You’re in a car. A big friggin’ machine with no give.  I’m a human. A little bigger than a bread basket and easily broken by big friggin’ machines. Perhaps you were in a hurry or perhaps you are just a prick. Whatever the reason, you (and all drivers) should yield the right-of-way to pedestrians like me.

If you’re in disagreement I kindly direct you to North Carolina law 20-174D which states:

Where sidewalks are provided, it shall be unlawful for any pedestrian to walk along and upon an adjacent roadway. Where sidewalks are not provided, any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall, when practicable, walk only on the extreme left of the roadway or its shoulder facing traffic which may approach from the opposite direction. Such pedestrian shall yield the right-of-way to approaching traffic.

So, Mr. SUV, why can’t you move your big effin car over a lane and pass me by without so much as blinking? Oh that’s right, because you’re a jerk.

[Say this next part with a gruffy tobacco chewin’ truck driver voice] “The law states that y’all pedestrians must use dem sidewalks if you got ’em.” Yes, I can read. Ever consider that there might be circumstances where sidewalks aren’t ideal? The other day I was running barefoot when I came upon a sidewalk with more rock salt than a quarry. I decided to run on the curb on the left side of a two-lane road. About a tenth of a mile in, a car came blazing by my right side and nearly hit me. No honking or swerving, just a dirty look and a middle finger of appreciation. Yes, I should’ve been on the sidewalk (even though my feet would’ve looked like jerky afterwards). But really, is it that hard to move over? Yeah, no.

When I’m running on the road, I’m constantly concerned with the cars that pass me. I look every driver in the eye. If they aren’t paying attention I jump off the road. Even with my precautionary measures, people like me are gettin’ hit all the time. In fact, according to NHSTA data (found on some guy’s blog article) pedestrians (runners and drunkards) are killed every 108 minutes. That number is pretty alarming. But why? It’s not a difficult task to avoid a runner, walker, or biker. HINT: We’re the upright bipeds on the side of the road. Seriously, drivers, if you see someone on the side of the road I have a few suggestions to avoid killing them:

  • Slow down
  • If possible, move over
  • Slow down
  • If possible, move over

If that doesn’t work for you, let me put it another way. Hitting a deer will get you dinner. But if you hit a pedestrian you will be charged with a crime which will most likely result in a prison sentence. Long story short. Don’t be a Richard, move over.