wibu to stop and give out to this woman

(217 Posts)
spongebob13 Sat 08-Mar-14 20:32:12

coming home last night from late night shopping on a dark windy country road and only for a car coming against me, with their headlights I spotted last second a woman walking in the dark in black. I swerved to avoid her and braked and the other car passed. I came to a stop. my heart was thumping and was shaking and i was so mad. I reversed and rolled down window. she stopped and looked in at me as if i was looking for directions not a bother on her. I said exactly "jesus Christ I nearly hit you. you are all in black! are you mad?" she said "what?" I said "I couldn't see you and it would be my fault if I hit you! " she said "fuck off" and walked on. I was in shock. haven't stopped thinking about it since. I swear if I knew who she was I'd report her but for what law she is breaking I don't know! selfish bint!

badbelinda Sat 08-Mar-14 20:37:36

no law that I'm aware of. sounds like you got a fright but I bet she did too walking alone on isolated road and getting an earfull from complete stranger in a car.

CantUnderstandNewtonsTheory Sat 08-Mar-14 20:38:44

Yanbu! Some people are so stupid angry I hope you feel calmer soon flowers

Joysmum Sat 08-Mar-14 20:39:28

Completely normal for people to do that.

During the day is just as bad, I have horses and get hi vized up to the eyeballs but many don't and hikers wear country wear which tends to be greens and browns and they can't be seen either.

Of course it's not law to make yourself more visible but it's madness not to yet the majority don't.

SeaSickSal Sat 08-Mar-14 20:39:37

She was bloody right to tell you to fuck off. Pedestrians are not obliged to wear hi vis vests. If you had your headlights on correctly and were driving at a reasonable speed you should have been able to see her and avoid her.

What if she'd gone out earlier and her lift home had let her down? And that's her route home? Do you expect her to sleep rough until it's light.

Was she walking in the road?

If so then that's where cars go and she shouldn't have been. It's that simple.

hercules1 Sat 08-Mar-14 20:42:33

Horrible. Yanbu.

Adeleh Sat 08-Mar-14 20:42:47

I don't think it's until you're a driver ourself that you appreciate just how hard it can be to see people in a bad light, even with headlights on. I sometimes want to make cyclists sit in my car and look at other cyclists with no lights or high vis clothing just to see how dangerous it is.

cardibach Sat 08-Mar-14 20:44:10

Laurie I assume you don't live in the country. The shortest distance from my house I could walk before hitting a pavement is a mile and a half, and that one doesn't last for long. In the other direction it would be more like 3 miles. Your comment sounds a bit ridiculous and ignorant, tbh.

Picturesinthefirelight Sat 08-Mar-14 20:44:14


I'm assuming that as the op said it was a country road it was one without pavements. There are loads round where I live like that.

It would be next to impossible to see someone liked that. Was she walking towards you. I was always taught to walk facing the oncoming traffic.

gordyslovesheep Sat 08-Mar-14 20:44:22

country roads don't always have pavements

You should have offered her a lift. She was unreasonable to not be walking against the traffic but you should slow down a bit maybe

ChinaChef Sat 08-Mar-14 20:44:35

You stopped to harangue a woman on her own on a dark, empty, country road? You're lucky she didn't call the police

Here's a flash: cars don't own the fucking road. You're the driver, you're the danger. Have some humility.

AveryJessup Sat 08-Mar-14 20:45:50

YWBU to shout at her. Fine if you got a fright, it's understandable but you were wrong to go back and have a go at her. She wasn't breaking the law , just being a bit foolhardy. If you were to stop and shout at every foolhardy person you met, you'd never get anything done!

Not surprised she told you to F off - you probably scared the life out of her, reversing back ( also a dangerous maneuver) and shouting at her like that.

badbelinda Sat 08-Mar-14 20:45:51

Lots of country roads don't have pavements Laurie. I can imagine situations where you might have to walk and not have your high VI's jacket handy. I'd have been scared enough walking like that on my own and terrified if someone stopped to yell at me.

BumpyGrindy Sat 08-Mar-14 20:46:10

YANBU I almost ran a jogger over last night myself. She was late twenties, all in black and running down the lane that I was riding down....on a pushbike with lights....she had her head in the sky and didn't see me. I saw her at the last moment. I was thinking "Are you thick? Why are you al in black!!"

I always wear something reflective or white at night on my bike.

YWBU, the onus is on the driver to be alert for pedestrians.

TippiShagpile Sat 08-Mar-14 20:47:40

No pavements anywhere near us. No street lights either.

BumpyGrindy Sat 08-Mar-14 20:48:21

Really Sauvignon? It's a two way street in my opinion. Of course people need to be aware when they're driving but really...dressing in black and walking down a country lane? Deathwish much?

IamInvisible Sat 08-Mar-14 20:48:57

If she was walking towards the oncoming traffic then she was fine.

If your lights were clean and well maintained, and you were driving at a safe speed then you should have seen her in plenty of time. DH works late and is home late, we live rurally and our cars get filthy. He washes our lights about 3 times a week or more.

ChinaChef Sat 08-Mar-14 20:49:05

Astonishingly arrogant to assume that pedestrians and cyclists don't drive. We're not different species. But the onus is on drivers not to kill more vulnerable road users. Always. If you don't like it, don't drive.

HadABadDay2014 Sat 08-Mar-14 20:50:18

I can't believe you did that to a person walking on her own.

I would have told you to fuck of too, but that's because you would have scared me 1/2 to death.

Yes, really.

spongebob13 Sat 08-Mar-14 20:50:54

offer her a lift? I don't pick up strangers. ok maybe was a bit shouty but she sure as hell wasn't threatened to begin with when she stopped and literally stuck her head in the window wondering what was going to ask her. listen, if I knocked her down if would be my fault regardless. she was in black, couldn't see her against black ditch .. I was travelling at normal speed its a bad road. just thought in the moment "selfish bitch if she wants to get killed do it somewhere else don't ruin my life with guilt cos you so stupid to not wear some reflective gear". she was also from what I could see dressed in walking gear, hat gloves raincoat ... didn't look like she was stranded by no means.

2tiredtocare Sat 08-Mar-14 20:51:38
IamInvisible Sat 08-Mar-14 20:52:04

I agree with you Sauvignon.

spongebob13 Sat 08-Mar-14 20:52:23

my car was spotless. just got it professionally valeted Monday, in and outside. i wish you could understand how there was no way i would have seen her only for the lights of an oncoming car made me realise something was moving alongside the ditch.

Adeleh Sat 08-Mar-14 20:53:43

Who's assuming that, china? I'm a pedestrian and a cyclist and a driver? But only once I started driving did I appreciate just how difficult it can be to see cyclists and pedestrians if they're wearing dark clothes with no lights. Of course it's a driver's responsibility not to hit people, but all road users have a responsibility to try and keep things as safe as possible for themselves and for others.

IamInvisible Sat 08-Mar-14 20:53:58

My car was brand new on Wednesday, it was filthy by Thursday evening. It had 37 miles on the clock.

That's why I asked if she was in the road. hmm

I lived in the country the first 20 years of my life.

And there's no reason to be walking in the road without a way to make yourself visible and on the wrong side of the road. You don't walk where cars can come up behind you.
You walk where you can see them coming towards you and you flatten yourself against the hedge /bank when a car approaches.

You don't walk in the road where a car can hit you from behind hmm

spongebob13 Sat 08-Mar-14 20:54:03

she was walking in the road (no pavements) on my side coming against me.

spongebob13 Sat 08-Mar-14 20:55:22

IamInvisible (ironic name for this post) i was answering the post that said if my headlights were clean i should have easily seen them.

"I swear if I knew who she was I'd report her but for what law she is breaking I don't know! selfish bint!"

Wow! Have you stopped to consider that she probably didn't want to be out walking alone on an unlit country road at night?

You just think of you. Sheesh.

DameFanny Sat 08-Mar-14 20:56:36


Adeleh Sat 08-Mar-14 20:57:15

Well she's also thinking of he woman she'd prefer not to kill . . .

spongebob13 Sat 08-Mar-14 20:57:26

Chinachef you are right in a way .. it will always be the drivers fault in the case against pedestrians and cyclists even though they may step of a footpath into oncoming traffic, stick their buggy out first to test traffic (never understood that one) or be dressed like a feckin ninja they never get the blame. its not right.

spongebob13 Sat 08-Mar-14 20:58:05

thank you Adeleh ... that's it exactly!

FabBakerGirl Sat 08-Mar-14 20:58:37

hmm you do sound self absorbed, OP.

IamInvisible Sat 08-Mar-14 20:58:53

she was walking in the road (no pavements) on my side coming against me.

That is what she is meant to do!

gordyslovesheep Sat 08-Mar-14 20:59:13

it's not always the drivers fault either - if the driver is driving safely

Electriclaundryland Sat 08-Mar-14 20:59:54

I've bought reflective bands for me and the dc. It is quite shocking how hard it can be to see people at night. I'm amazed there aren't more accidents.

I know it isn't the law to wear hi vis stuff but it's sensible. Hopefully it will be a warning to her.

spongebob13 Sat 08-Mar-14 21:00:37

IamInvisible i never said she was walking on the wrong side but made no attempt from what i could see to stop and step up onto ditch especially with another car coming the other way. self absorbed, how?

Was she walking towards you?

spongebob13 Sat 08-Mar-14 21:02:49

yes sauvingnon, the way i was also taught. like i said, i didn't say she was walking in the wrong direction.

gordyslovesheep Sat 08-Mar-14 21:03:59

she should have jumped into a ditch?

Logg1e Sat 08-Mar-14 21:04:04

A person finds herself out on a lonely road at night-time wearing a less than ideal outfit and there's no pavement. What do you want her to do?

IamInvisible Sat 08-Mar-14 21:04:12

Why should she step on to the ditch? You don't own the road! When I see a pedestrian on the lanes round here, I slow right down and give them room then pass them. I don't force them into the ditch or on to the verge!hmm

Thetallesttower Sat 08-Mar-14 21:05:30

There was a really sad programme, one of those police accident ones, and I always remember about a cyclist all dressed in black without his lights on. Ideally you would be able to see, but I know myself, having been surprised once or twice, that sometimes you really really cannot see either a pedestrian or a cyclist all in black or dark clothes at night- especially if it is raining.

There is no law that says that you should wear something white (in the old days we used to use a hankie) and walk into oncoming traffic, but if you don't, it may just be too late for someone to see you.

I disagree that it is about driving safe enough and slow enough- I am often crawling along at night in my city, and I find cyclists who move quite fast without lights (students taking a chance) on at dusk the worst to spot, I have had a couple of near misses but don't think I am driving fast or without care. I would like all bikes to have a minimum bright light like cars, as some of the tiny blinking red lights at the back in particular are very hard to spot- and if you are in a queue in the rain, it's easy not to see them.

spongebob13 Sat 08-Mar-14 21:06:30

she looked to me like she was out power walking .. excercising. i expect her to wear hi vis gear! i was reared in the country even in the daytime you stopped walking turned sideways and even onto verge if there were 2 cars passing.

This happened to me recently. Driving down unlit country road, swerved to avoid potholes and suddenly saw a walker dressed head to toe in black at the right hand side of the road. Made my heart miss a beat.

A bit of reflective clothing would have made all the difference.


SheherazadeSchadenfreude Sat 08-Mar-14 21:06:32

Laurie is right. I grew up in the middle of nowhere, and used to walk into the village at night, about a mile or so. You walk so that you are facing the traffic, not going in the same direction, you walk right in against the hedge/field/wall and flatten yourself against it when the cars come towards you.

SheherazadeSchadenfreude Sat 08-Mar-14 21:07:42

And cyclists with no lights give me the rage.

spongebob13 Sat 08-Mar-14 21:07:55

Logge1e what thread are you reading ... "less that an ideal outfit" ??

Well yes if you want to live grin then ditch jumping is the way to go. I've jumped into ditches loads of times when I've found muskeg wandering back from the pub as a teenager.

Or you wear something visible or wave the hankie.

or you go back to the 80's and wear a lot of white powder and no hoodie so they can see your big moon face shining out at them in the dark

What you don't do is wander about for a stroll on a road with no lighting while channelling the goth look with a niqab

Then what was she doing wrong? I used to live, walk and drive in the country, there could be anything in the road.
I swear if I knew who she was I'd report her but for what law she is breaking I don't know!
You'd better hope she didn't take your registration number and report you.
I'm sorry you've had a fright.

littlewhitebag Sat 08-Mar-14 21:11:07

It happens a lot round here. Lots of country roads and no pavements. More than once i have come across a pedestrian wearing dark clothing. It is almost impossible to see them,, even with immaculate headlights until you are almost on them. Like OP says, you just see a shape moving then all of a sudden you realise it is a person. I can only imagine OP got a massive fright and that is why she berated the woman.

Adeleh Sat 08-Mar-14 21:11:09

grin laurie

Logg1e Sat 08-Mar-14 21:11:45

You said the walker wasn't wearing hi vis.

spongebob13 Sat 08-Mar-14 21:12:48

sometimes at night its very disorientating ... i was once approaching a light in middle of the road. slowed down wondering what the hell it was. ufo? drunk guy with a torch? a cow with a hi vis on? it was a frickin tractor pulling a slurry tank with a light hanging by a wire in the middle of it swaying. i am talking pitch dark no house, street lights nothing. this is where the lady was walking. it looks different at night behind a wheel of a car and i travel this road at least 3 times a day.

IamInvisible Sat 08-Mar-14 21:13:01

You don't have to "flatten yourself" against whatever is there if a car comes towards you!

I grew up in the country, did my driving lessons in the country and DS1 has just learnt to drive in the most rural place possible. We were told to slow down and give them room when passing.

This is what Gov.Uk say

If there is no pavement, keep to the right-hand side of the road so that you can see oncoming traffic. You should take extra care and

be prepared to walk in single file, especially on narrow roads or in poor light
keep close to the side of the road.
It may be safer to cross the road well before a sharp right-hand bend so that oncoming traffic has a better chance of seeing you. Cross back after the bend.*

Adeleh Sat 08-Mar-14 21:13:15

She wasn't wearing anything that would make her visible, sauvignon. She wasn't breaking any law, but it is reckless to go out like that.

spongebob13 Sat 08-Mar-14 21:13:28

hi vis IS an ideal outfit. should be habit, part of her walking gear.

spongebob13 Sat 08-Mar-14 21:14:09

if it makes a difference (dunno if it does) i am talking irish roads.

Logg1e Sat 08-Mar-14 21:15:17

OP hi vis IS an ideal outfit

Exactly, hence me describing her lack of hi vis as less-than-ideal, for goodness' sake.

spongebob13 Sat 08-Mar-14 21:16:40

i regret using my tone but in my defence had gotten an awful fright over her stupidity... but i still believe i should have at least warned her which i did.

Logg1e Sat 08-Mar-14 21:16:47

You don't know if she was out walking. Her car may have broken down, her lift might not have turned up, she may have had an argument and walked out of the house.

For whatever reason, a car stops and she doesn't know who why or who is in there, and then somebody shouts at her. I'd be on the defensive too.

Logg1e Sat 08-Mar-14 21:17:40

OP her stupidity

What did you want from her? Apart from choosing a different outfit, which may or may not have been under her control.

spongebob13 Sat 08-Mar-14 21:18:04

ok logg1e i get ye hmm

HiVis is certainly advisable but not obligatory. I wouldn't have dreamt of wearing it when I lived in the country as a teenager. I'm older and a teeny bit wiser now though.

Oh Ireland

MrsDeVere Sat 08-Mar-14 21:20:03

I think that it is common sense to wear something visible when walking in the dark down a county lane. You could get hit by a big car and not be found for hours.

I also think that people who live in the country and feel they know the roads often drive like fucking lunatics and take far to many risks.

As a driver the onus is on YOU to be aware of potential hazards. There is no argument. That is the law.

But just as it is sensible to wear proper footwear when trudging through fields and sensible to wear appropriate clothing when climbing mountains and not to flash your rolex when strolling through the Cathall Estate at 11.30pm, it is entirely sensible to make yourself visible when walking up a country lane in the dark.

IamInvisible Sat 08-Mar-14 21:21:03

Tbh OP, you are lucky all you got was being told to 'Fuck off!' You might have got a punch in the face. It really isn't advisable to stop and berate random strangers in the dark, you never know what might happen. Silent seething and online ranting is much safer!

NigellasDealer Sat 08-Mar-14 21:21:06

YANBU if your country lanes are like round here, there are no pavements, u need hi viz and a torch to be safe.
hope you feel calmer.
I have stopped and had quiet words with eg a kid on a bike at dusk, it is truly scary in the countryside.

MrsDeVere Sat 08-Mar-14 21:21:24

I should point out that The Cathall Estate is NOT the country seat of the ancient Cathall dynasty.

Its a dodgy estate in East London grin

EBearhug Sat 08-Mar-14 21:21:26

You're not obliged to wear hi-vis or at least something light, but you are advised to - it's rule 3 in the Highway Code.

When I drive home from work, there are a couple of runners who use part of that route, alongside fields. They (at least - the ones I have seen - there could be others I didn't see, I guess) wear trackie bottoms with reflective stripes and armbands with lights on. One of them also has a dayglo cagoule-type top. I see these runners because they wear these things.

At various times, I've been a pedestrian, cyclist and driver, and I grew up doing all this on unlit country lanes. The lack of visibility and resulting risk of being run over was the primary reason we weren't allowed to walk home at night, way ahead of the risks of being mugged, raped, shot by poachers or anything else.

I can't believe you didn't offer her a lift. And if you'd stopped and shouted at me, it would be me reporting you to the police - not the other way round.

spongebob13 Sat 08-Mar-14 21:22:00

whatever her circumstances for walking on the road i still think it was stupid and dangerous. i cant drive at 5 mile an hour glaring at ditches looking for abandoned drivers, broke down drivers, broken hearted just fought with hubbie running outa house naked drivers .... i have to expect the unexpected to a degree as a driver but ffs she couldn't be seen!!! i swear i could have clipped her only for the oncoming car made me realise something or someone was moving against the ditch.

if she was wearing earphones and walking away from me and side stepped a pothole onto middle of the road would i still be getting the blame?

Adeleh Sat 08-Mar-14 21:22:43

In Italy it's illegal not to carry high vis jackets in your car, so that if you do breakdown and have to walk you'll always have your sensible clothes with you. Rental cars have the jackets in them.

NigellasDealer Sat 08-Mar-14 21:22:53

and a hi viz vest costs about two quid and rolls up to fit into bag or pocket.
I had one on the other evening and then forgot and went to the supermarket grin

spongebob13 Sat 08-Mar-14 21:23:49

Exit what does "Oh Ireland" mean?

I don't care if i don't know you i am not giving you a lift. that to me is being safe.

spongebob13 Sat 08-Mar-14 21:26:06

MrsDeVere while i would normally agree with you (have met lunatics driving this country road) i was extra slow as i had a boot full of shopping and was being slower than normal. (came home with broken eggs last week hence finally giving into professional valet).

Pipbin Sat 08-Mar-14 21:29:23

I grew up in the middle of nowhere too, no pavements, no streetlights.
You walk into the traffic. I think it's in the highway code, or the country code at least.
I also learned to drive on these roads. Unless she was round a bend then you should have seen her assuming you were going slowly enough.

spongebob13 Sat 08-Mar-14 21:32:07

I guess people can't really understand that this woman was not visible, end of. i really think it should be made law that once its dusk hi vis vests have to be worn.

spongebob13 Sat 08-Mar-14 21:32:44

while walking/cycling obviously ... not in tescos doing a late night shop wink

Logg1e Sat 08-Mar-14 21:33:09

To be fair Pipbin I don't think the OP has said the woman was walking on the wrong side, (or has she?). I think her problem is that the woman should have been wearing hi vis clothing and/or jumped in to a ditch when cars approached. OP hasn't really explained what she wanted from the pedestrian.

Logg1e Sat 08-Mar-14 21:34:15

Ok, so you wanted her to jump in to a ditch, wear hi vis and for the law you threatened to use in the first post to exist?

Adeleh Sat 08-Mar-14 21:35:51

To have made herself visible by not wearing all black on an unlit road is my understanding.

MrsDeVere Sat 08-Mar-14 21:37:22

I didn't accuse you of driving like a lunatic sponge but I think we are all aware of people who think they have magic powers because they have been 'driving that road at the top of the moor for 30 years and know it like the back of my hand'.

Its not restricted to country dwellers. I live near the A406. You get wankers doing 150mph down there at 2am because they think they are Lewis Hamilton.

Country roads are just more dangerous and accidents that occur on them tend to be more serious.

spongebob13 Sat 08-Mar-14 21:37:40


if she wore a hi vis vest there would be no "jumping" into a ditch or law involved.

ozymandiusking Sat 08-Mar-14 21:39:53

Do you remmber the government warning on the TV from years ago.
" wear somenthing white at night"
It's sensible!

spongebob13 Sat 08-Mar-14 21:40:08

i agree MrsDeVere most definitely. but i can assure you this wasn't the case. have driven this road faster to be honest during the day but i was genuinely going slower than normal. i was paying attention to the road. i admit to speeding and texting while driving (which will probably be thrown in my face right now but will risk it to show i was paying attention and vigilant).

Logg1e Sat 08-Mar-14 21:40:58

Am I the only poster who has found herself walking along a country lane at night without hi vis against her wishes??

I totally agree she should have been more visible. My point is that it might not have been her choice.

Logg1e Sat 08-Mar-14 21:44:18

OP i admit to speeding and texting while driving

Yet you're the one "face palming" me?? Why on earth do you think that would be thrown in your face?

spongebob13 Sat 08-Mar-14 21:44:49

Logg1e on the chance that she had no choice ... and i hit her. who's fault would it be?


Logg1e Sat 08-Mar-14 21:51:02

OP Logg1e on the chance that she had no choice ... and i hit her. who's fault would it be?

Are you texting or speeding when you hit her?

spongebob13 Sat 08-Mar-14 21:53:10

oh sweet jesus

Logg1e Sat 08-Mar-14 21:53:52

Just checking.

Pollyputthekettle Sat 08-Mar-14 21:54:37

Understandable but probably would have been received better without the shoutiness.

I bet she thinks twice about going out in black again though.

Adeleh Sat 08-Mar-14 21:57:02

tallesttower I think I remember that documentary. The police said that it was not the fault of the driver, once had examined the road, the light conditions and taken into account the fact that there were no lights or high viz clothes. It's not automatically and always the fault of the driver in every single case. Driver on that occasion wasn't prosecuted.

deakymom Sat 08-Mar-14 21:58:03

you got scared and you shouted at her im not surprised at all we nearly ran someone over for walking down the middle of a road in black yes there were paths and street lights but we have energy saving which switch off the street lights he was walking in the middle of our side of the road facing away i saw and shouted my husband didn't notice for a moment and then slammed on the brakes we fishtailed and nearly span the road was wet we weren't going that fast but it was 2am who the hell expects a moron at 2am? i had to stop my husband getting out the car and smacking him on principle YANBU i don't wear black and walk like a muppet at night i really dont want to die

Susyb30 Sat 08-Mar-14 21:58:08

I think the pedestrian was a fool..what idiot would walk on a dark country road in black?! If it was in circumstances where it couldn't be helped she was in black (ie car broke down or worse dumped in middle of nowhere by evil man) then all themmore reason to offer an explanation to you..the fact its a woman stopping (all be it a pissed off woman) she had no right to tell you to fuck off! Sounds a silly selfish cow to me..with a death wish.

LessMissAbs Sat 08-Mar-14 21:58:14

Are you insane? Who knows why she was there? Her car could have broken down (do you carry hi-viz with you in yours?), she could have had a falling out with someone, she could have been lost, and some nutter harridan stops to scream and shout at her?

Hope she reports you to the police from your registration details.

JazzyCardi Sat 08-Mar-14 22:04:35

Logg1le, no, it happened to me too. My circumstances were I had just moved to the country and I had no idea that it could ever be absolutely pitch black outside. No ambient lighting from homes/late night shops and no street lights. Plus no designated path to walk on.

I was lucky that I could phone somebody to pick me up.

zeno Sat 08-Mar-14 22:06:45

A person walking on a country road in the dark with no light showing or bright/reflective clothing, who doesn't get in the hedge when a car is passing, has clearly not thought things through. It's bad enough in the daylight. Saying she had every right to be there is ridiculous - she was putting herself in a very dangerous situation.

That said, the shouting was not good. In the same circs I have always stopped and asked if they realise how invisible they are, and offered a lift onwards to safer climes. Often it's been a tourist or similar who didn't have the experience to know it was daft as he'll and likely to get them hurt. I hope if I did something equally daft in a city that someone would help me out.

And I fucking hate people who text whilst driving. I go past a memorial most days to a 16 year old girl, dead for that reason. Stop doing it, you moron!

JumpingJackSprat Sat 08-Mar-14 22:07:19

Until you have been there then I don't think it's possible to appreciate how much a fright it can be when you come up someone completely unexpectedly. I have had this before, driving on a 60 Road I would have been doing no more than 40mph with fully functioning lights and high hedges on both sides of the road -suddenly see a face looming out of the darkness. Woman wearing black and on my side of the road. Bloody terrifying there was no way I could have seen her until itwas too late. Thing is pedestrians do have a duty of care as well - for instance if you step into the road when there's a car oncoming, or are on your phone, you would probably be found partly or wholly liable in the event of an incident. I don't see why it would necessarily be didn't for not making yourself as visible as you can.

RiverTam Sat 08-Mar-14 22:15:00

don't know about pedestrians (I'm in London so pretty much always pavements) but I have nearly hit cyclists a number of times and it makes me so angry - all in black, no hi vis, no lights, hoodie up - I know it would be their stupid fucking fault if I hit them but that wouldn't stop me feeling totally wretched about it, and it gives me a fright every time. And what do you get from them? A load of attitude. Selfish fucks, the lot of them.

<had a couple of drinks, bit punchy, sorry>

you're a knob OP for texting whilst driving, my sympathies disappeared at that point.

OlympiaFox Sat 08-Mar-14 22:20:31

Obviously it was a frightening experience for you but I think you handled it badly. It would have been more effective to calmly explain that you nearly ran her over because you couldn't see her. Her reaction to you was understandable as all she heard was a crazy stranger yelling at her for walking on the road, she probably still has no idea how invisible she was. So 'giving out' was pointless.

winterkills Sat 08-Mar-14 22:23:29

You reversed on a dangerous country road in the dark so you could harangue a pedestrian and you think she was unreasonable??

MrsDeVere Sat 08-Mar-14 22:34:47

You text whilst driving?

Logg1e Sat 08-Mar-14 22:36:09

She wasn't texting this time MrsDeVere it was the pedestrian who was breaking the pretend law.

canyou Sat 08-Mar-14 22:36:15

OP I had what I can only describe as a near miss about 6 weeks ago on a dark windy country bog road I saw the man at the last minute I got such a fright I stopped the car got out and practicallty threw the torch an a high viz from the boot of the car at him all the while mutterong and mubling about inconsiderate and unsafe road usersblush But I have passed him a few nights since and he still has the high viz and torchsmile I even got him a pint in the local to make up for being so angry

MrsDeVere Sat 08-Mar-14 22:37:40

I know she wasn't this time Logg1e.

I don't care.
Texting whilst driving is fucking horrendous.
It kills people.

LessMissAbs Sat 08-Mar-14 22:38:12

Honestly can't believe this or how many people are sitting around saying "well done". You're kind of the opposite of the good Samaritan, aren't you OP. If you were that concerned, do something useful. Phone the police, or you could have offered her a lift, or asked her if she was all right.

It was bloody lucky some other innocent driver didn't come along and hit your car as you were reversing in a temper along a dark country lane. Honestly, I think your actions were utterly appalling.

This has to be a wind up. The bit about texting while driving and reversing in the dark on a narrow road and shouting at women out on their own, I hope this gives you whatever kind of power kick or recognition you're looking for OP.

canyou Sat 08-Mar-14 22:38:38

I also meant to say it happens to a lot of drivers and is ofter a reminder /lesson to expect the unexpected. I did love the Irish RSA film for pedestrians anout their personal responsibility

spongebob13 Sat 08-Mar-14 22:44:10

guess i was bu. good debate though. some points to ponder (and yes i am an idiot to text while driving, agreed).

Pipbin Sat 08-Mar-14 22:49:22

You were texting while driving?
Well you can fuck off pulling anyone else up on their behaviour then.

Logg1e Sat 08-Mar-14 22:54:21

OP shared the fact that she wasn't texting as evidence if her reasonableness.

winterkills Sat 08-Mar-14 22:54:32

Yes, definitely some points to ponder there op:

Breaking the law by speeding
Breaking the law by texting while driving
Breaking the law by dangerous driving
Anger management issues

Should be enough to keep you out of mischief wink

Susyb30 Sat 08-Mar-14 22:54:43

You text whilst driving and admit to speeding..god I hope I never come across you in your car when im driving with my son in the car..so wrong. You had my sympathy but you are insane yourself. What a cheek you have slating that woman when in actual fact you could be responsible for causing a serious accident. .killing someone even. Yes pedestrian was a silly cow for wearing black..but you really need to think about what a danger you are to other people. Are you reckless like that when you have your own children in your car?

nennypops Sat 08-Mar-14 22:58:34

If she was walking towards you then, unless she was wearing a balaclava, you should have been able to see her face. If you couldn't, you weren't paying attention and/or were driving too fast and/or had something wrong with your lights.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 08-Mar-14 23:00:56

A car hit a pedestrian in very similar circumstances near me a few years ago. Pedestrian was killed. The driver wasnt prosecuted. Newspaper reports and police quotes very much blamed the pedestrian, walking in the dark on a road with no street lights, wearing black. They said the driver couldn't be expected to see him in time.

Poor woman, I bet she was so shaken up after what you did to her. What a horrible, self absorbed person you are.

It terrifies me, the number of pedestrians and cyclists I see, when I am out in the car, who are well-nigh invisible. I do my best to drive safely, and if I see a cyclist or pedestrian, I will give them plenty of space and slow down as I pass them - then if they fall, or swerve or whatever, I will have the best chance possible of avoiding them.

If they are all in dark clothing, I may not see them until it is too late for me to pass them in that safe manner. I want to pass pedestrians and cyclists safely, and I assume they want the same - I will do all in my power to achieve this, and I think it is not unreasonable to want them to contribute to ensuring their safety by wearing something hi-viz. It could be as simple as a strap around their arm (something pretty small that could live in a pocket or the bottom of a handbag, when not needed) - is that an unreasonable thing to want?

If I cannot see someone, how am I supposed to avoid them? Crystal ball? The power to see into the future?

All three dses have or had paper rounds, and in the winter, they had to do them in the dark. We told them to use lights and hi viz clothing, to make themselves as visible as possible. They can't make all drivers into safe drivers, so they should control the things they can control - by making themselves as visible as possible.

I wouldn't have stopped on the road, as the OP did, and I am sure the woman was scared and upset by her. But maybe she will go home and think about making herself more visible at night. She could have been knocked down and hurt or worse, devastating so many lives.

Preventing that kind of pain is a good thing, surely?

Logg1e Sat 08-Mar-14 23:21:00

SDT where do you stand on stopping and reversing on a bad road in order to give a stranger an earful? How about texting whilst driving? Or breaking the speed limit?

I wouldn't do any of those, Logg1e. Does that help?

Logg1e Sat 08-Mar-14 23:23:32

It gives a bit more balance and relevance, certainly.

Surely the fact that there are drivers out there who speed or text while driving or drive under the influence, makes it even more vital,for the rest of us to do all we can to ensure our own safety?

Logg1e Sat 08-Mar-14 23:27:18

Absolutely, if you're in a position to.

winterkills Sat 08-Mar-14 23:30:39

OP didn't just stop on the road, she reversed on the road, in the dark - a road that she describes as 'bad' - simply so she could have a go at the pedestrian.

The potential for a catastrophic accident arising from that piece of lunacy far outweighs any 'good' that might be done.

STD - so the idiocy of the op makes it more important for her to have a go at the pedestrian so the pedestrian can learn to avoid such drivers in future? confused

RuddyDuck Sat 08-Mar-14 23:32:56

Almost exactly the same thing happened to me last week, I was driving to the next village, windy country road, no streetlights or pavements, very dark. A woman dressed in black, no torch, was walking in the road towards me. I very nearly hit her and was very shaken. I can't imagine what possessed her to think that was ok. At night, road users need to use lights - whether that's cars, bikes or pedestrians. I didn't stop and tell her so though.

I regularly walk or cycle to the other end of our village where there are no street lights, I wouldn't dream of doing so without a torch if it's dark.

spongebob13 Sat 08-Mar-14 23:48:21

i accept i was totally bu to stop this woman and say what i said. and agree on the speeding and textin point. i still feel she was silly but it was wrong to tell her like i did.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Sat 08-Mar-14 23:57:31

Yes I remember that program with the cyclist. Driver just didn't see him. She wasn't prosecuted as he hadn't taken enough responsibility to make himself safe and she couldn't have been expected to see him in time. Wasn't he drunk as well? sad

I nearly hit a woman out walking a dog in the pitch black. She had no torch or hi vis or anything. Saw her at the last minute and swerved round her. Wish I had gone back to say something. The next driver might have hit her for all I know. Or run the poor dog over. Think it was on the inside when I went past. Really upset me to think I nearly hit someone, especially the dog. Op YWNBU to tell the silly cow off, she might not be so lucky next time.

manicinsomniac Sun 09-Mar-14 00:10:27

I can well believe that you couldn't have seen her.

I didn't grow up in the countryside, I moved to it as an adult. The first time I had to take my car to go and be serviced (2 mile walk from tiny village to large village along windy country lanes) it took far longer than I was expecting and I set off to pick the car up again in the dark. I had the torch on my phone and a pinkish jacket but other than that I was no better than the pedestrian OP almost hit. A work colleague coming the other way pulled over and said 'Jesus Christ manic, it's you. I wondered what on earth that was. get in the car before someone kills you for God's sake.' She took me to collect my car and I've been a lot more careful since.

YWBU to shout and reverse but, imo, you were right to let her know how stupid she was being.

AlpacaPicnic Sun 09-Mar-14 00:18:42

Ywnbu to tell her that her actions were foolish.
YABVU if you text while driving.

LackingEnergy Sun 09-Mar-14 02:13:35

Fairly sure that blame/liability in these situations is given in accordance to how safe each of you were being <insert more complex jargon>

If you were going at a safe speed with lights on and made every effort to avoid her when you spotted her etc then you're blame % would be less than if you weren't

If she had no hiviz/torch/ anything to make her more visible. Wasn't walking on the correct side of the road for pedestrians when there isn't a footpath etc them her blame % would be higher

Either way a smilar thing happened with a young driver accidentally killing a drunk cyclist with no lights etc. long story short it was found that she wasn't at fault

krasnayaploshad Sun 09-Mar-14 08:35:38

I'm struggling to understand why people are saying you had plenty of time to see the pedestrian & react.
OP, if you were driving at 40mph, then according to the first link below, you wouldn't have had enough time between seeing the pedestrian & stopping.
The second link shows typical stopping distances & different speeds. I think people underestimate the distance required, especially at night.


Having been in similar situations with poorly dressed cyclists & pedestrians, I find that they cannot be seen at all until they appear in my headlight throw, which certainly gives me a fright & not much time at all to react.
I once encountered a cyclist at night dressed in black with no reflectors on a country road. I pulled over to let him know that he couldn't be seen only to find he was listening to his ipod!! Talk about having a deathwish.

winterkills Sun 09-Mar-14 08:48:10

You can always tell the drivers who are on holiday down my way because they drive slowly and gingerly along the narrow country roads, sound their horn at blind corners and otherwise show greater care than they would on the main road.

Many of the drivers who live here show the same arrogance as the OP, expecting everyone and everything to scatter in their path, hence the high death toll every year of sheep, ponies and smaller wildlife. People walking on the roads in broad daylight are expected to jump into the hedges so as not to slow the drivers down for a second or cause the poor things to be upset by having a near miss.

In this case the fact that the OP felt justified in reversing back to shout at the pedestrian (who thoughtfully put her head in the window to offer help!) takes that arrogance to a whole new level.

It's not unreasonable to expect people to make themselves a bit more visible if they're walking in the dark but the onus should always be on the driver to take extra care in hazardous conditions. People might have to walk for many different reasons - flooded footpaths, broken-down car etc so not have dressed accordingly.

winterkills Sun 09-Mar-14 08:50:00

krasnayaploshad - 40mph is way too fast to be driving in the dark on a country road.

sarahquilt Sun 09-Mar-14 08:52:53

yanbu. What an idiot. I nearly knocked down a cyclist wearing all black once. Obviously have a death wish.

usuallyright Sun 09-Mar-14 09:01:17

cyclists and pedestrians have a responsibility too. I wouldn't dream of walking in a country Kane in the dark dressed in black. Dark country lanes are a car only zone, unless you're suicidal.

MrsDeVere Sun 09-Mar-14 10:13:53

winter I am always amazed that you can drive at 60 down these roads. The limit is 20 around here and the roads are straight with few hidden hazards.

There are the cars pulling out and the children etc which is why I think 20 is a decent limit.

But if you are doing 60 in the dark, in the rain, and you hit someone they are going to die.

Taking a chance that the road will be empty because it was yesterday and the day before seems like bloody madness

winterkills Sun 09-Mar-14 10:23:30

Exactly MrsDeVere, I think that's the problem, drivers round here insist they 'know' the roads so can drive faster but hazards like animals and people just can't be predicted. 30mph is the most I would risk at night.

TheCrackFox Sun 09-Mar-14 10:38:05

I really hope that she has phoned the police as your driving sounds dangerous. I appreciate that you weren't texting and speeding this time but it sounds like you do so quite often. Coupled with your road rage (reversing to scream at a pedestrian) means that you have a general pattern of dangerous driving and it would do you some good if the police gave you a ticking off. Driving a car is a privilege and you would do well to remember that.

spongebob13 Sun 09-Mar-14 10:48:25

TheCrackFox you assume I text and drive and speed quite often. as for her phoning the police? if she didn't wear hi vis for safety i doubt she brought a phone as well for safety.

cardibach Sun 09-Mar-14 11:00:01

So, usually you think people in my village without a car should be under house arrest from about 4pm in the winter? Of course you can walk on country roads in the dark! It makes sense to have a torch (stops you falling in the ditch for a start) and to wear something bright/light/high vis, but if drivers are driving sensibly it won't cause a disaster. I've been doing it for years without even a near miss.

winterkills Sun 09-Mar-14 11:08:36

I was hoping that as well TheCrackFox. Drivers like this really need sorting out, in the OP he/she had the nerve to suggest the pedestrian should be reported!

TheCrackFox Sun 09-Mar-14 11:09:36

You have no idea why she wasn't wearing a high vis - maybe she had a huge barney with her boyfriend and he chucked her out of the car?
She might not have had her mobile with her but she might have memorized your number plate and could well phone the police today.

Texting whilst driving (even just once) is every bit as bad as drink driving. You are a dangerous driver and seriously need to rethink your attitude to driving.

spongebob13 Sun 09-Mar-14 11:19:19

i have to laugh at people still giving out when i agreed more than once that i was wrong to reverse, to give out to her, to text and drive and speed (why i ever thought that would help my point of view i dunno .. i blame the wine). so i agree i was being very unreasonable. however i never suggested she should not be walking the road and under house arrest (wtf?) but that she take responsibility for being visible on the road. sigh.

FabBakerGirl Sun 09-Mar-14 11:47:09

Just because you weren't speeding and texting when you didn't see this woman DOES NOT mean you were driving vigilantly! Stop driving like a flipping idiot.

spongebob13 Sun 09-Mar-14 11:50:01

how do you know i was driving like a "flipping idiot"?

FabBakerGirl Sun 09-Mar-14 11:57:17

You're right. When you drove too fast and texted you weren't driving like an idiot you were driving like a twat.

And if it is so dark that you can't see a person until you are nearly on them you either are driving too fast (likely) or have a problem with your lights (possible). If it is so potentially dangerous you should be even more vigilant. And I mean by sensible drivers standards, not yours.

"STD - so the idiocy of the op makes it more important for her to have a go at the pedestrian so the pedestrian can learn to avoid such drivers in future?"

Did I not answer that when I said I would not reverse along a dark road to speak to a pedestrian, winterkills? For the avoidance of doubt, I have never stopped and berated or otherwise lectured any of the many invisible pedestrians or cyclists I have had to avoid when driving at night time and I do NOT condone what the OP did. However, neither do I condone what the pedestrian was doing. It is interesting that you seem more interested in making me out to be unreasonable, from one small point I made, rather than addressing the main points of my post, which I will reiterate below:

I genuinely believe that people do not realise how invisible they are, if they are wearing dark clothing at night - even in an area with streetlights, you often only see the person when they move, and the movement catches your eye - up to that point, they are invisible.

Yes, it is the driver's responsibility to give pedestrians and cyclists plenty of space, and to slow down when they pass them - but that is a whole lot easier if you can see the pedestrian or cyclist from further away. If you come upon them suddenly, because they are dressed all in black/dark clothing, you have far less time to react, and may not be able to avoid them. When our dses were doing their paper rounds, we impressed upon them that they needed to make themselves as visible as possible - lights on the bikes, hi-viz stripes, and the paperboy bags themselves are made to be hi-viz - they had to take as much responsibility for their own safety as possible. They couldn't force drivers to drive carefully, but they could make sure every driver could see them from as far away as possible.

Why is it a bad thing to suggest that anyone out on the roads should be as visible as possible from as great a distance as possible? If I thought there was a possibility that I might have to walk any distance at night, I would keep a hi-viz belt or strap in my bag, so I could put it on. If the car broke down, and I had to walk, I would put on the cheapie hi-viz jacket that is part of our emergency kit in the car.

ilovesooty Sun 09-Mar-14 12:39:47

The OP has already said she doesn't care what led the woman to be on the road without being very visible and sneered and mocked the possible reasons for it. It makes me very disinclined to sympathise with her pov and her behaviour towards the pedestrian simply reinforces my opinion. Of course it helps if pedestrians are visible but I'm not surprised she responded to your aggressive behaviour as she did.

spongebob13 Sun 09-Mar-14 12:45:36

there was no possible reasons ... she was going for a walk, not stranded or anything. how do i know you ask? well i have been accused of speeding so how do ye all know for sure?

I'm still a little bit surprised over the few that said give her a lift. if i had my son with me and saw a woman thumbing or walking in the rain i would not offer her a lift as have seen it on the news and heard it locally about others then waiting in the ditch to hijack car once you stop for the woman.

Logg1e Sun 09-Mar-14 13:00:32

OP there was no possible reasons ... she was going for a walk, not stranded or anything. how do i know you ask? well i have been accused of speeding so how do ye all know for sure?

We think you break the speed limit because you told us you do. But this pedestrian did not tell you what circumstances led to her being out there.

OP I'm still a little bit surprised over the few that said give her a lift. if i had my son with me and saw a woman thumbing or walking in the rain i would not offer her a lift as have seen it on the news and heard it locally about others then waiting in the ditch to hijack car once you stop for the woman.

I have pulled over and asked people if they're alright, but I'm local and you get to know people, don't you. Can you find one news report of your car-jacking happening? Sounds like Facebook nonsense to me.

spongebob13 Sun 09-Mar-14 13:06:53
spongebob13 Sun 09-Mar-14 13:07:44

Never give lifts to strangers regardless of the situation

why am i being judged for not giving her a lift?

Logg1e Sun 09-Mar-14 13:09:53

I'm not sure, I don't blame you for not giving her a lift. What does your link say about stopping, reversing and "giving out to her"?

spongebob13 Sun 09-Mar-14 13:12:59

for i think its the 4th time now ... i agree that i was unreasonable to do that!

OP, I was one person who was surprised you hadn't offered her a lift. I guess you weigh it up; I'd think she would be more at risk from traffic than I would be from carjackers. I often offer, and accept, lifts from the station to the town where I live. I make a judgement - lone female, fine. Group of drunk men - let them walk the mile and a half.

Every time I've been on holiday in the north of Scotland or the western isles, cars always stop to offer a lift to people walking. I presumed this would be the same for most rural areas. Clearly not - my mistake.

I guess our background and experiences affect our driving behaviour.

HopefulHamster Sun 09-Mar-14 14:42:53

I have to say, until I was a driver (only passed a few years back), I naively didn't realise how hard it was to see pedestrians or cyclists in dark colours. It probably wouldn't have occurred to me to wear hi-vis stuff. I do feel like their should be more education on this point.

At the same time, I am very careful to watch out for any pedestrians that could be around while I am driving.

Adeleh Sun 09-Mar-14 14:50:43

You did say that the OP's reason for not giving a lift sounded like 'Facebook nonsense' Logg1e, so it's not very surprising that she feels judged by you for not having offered a lift.

Logg1e Sun 09-Mar-14 14:53:44

To clarify, I can think of good reasons to not offer a lift. The risk of car-jackers jumping out of the ditch in a country lane is not one of them.

southeastastra Sun 09-Mar-14 15:07:08

when i was little we were given so many talks at school about how to stay safe in the dark and were given reflective arm bands every year. i don't think either of my sons have had similar. people just don't realise how invisible they are in the dark. it's up to the individual to make themselves noticeable to suggest otherwise is a bit silly really.

It isn't something that would leap to my mind either, Logg1e - and surely, if the carjackers were lurking in the ditch, they would have leapt into action when the OP reversed and stopped to berate the woman - it's not like they have to wait for a lift to be offered, before they can carry out the carjacking.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Sun 09-Mar-14 15:10:01

I still think YWNBU op. Someone needed to point it out to the poor woman that she was putting herself in a dangerous position. I don't think you're being arrogant at all. If a police car had passed I bet they'd have stopped and said something

When that young girl hit that cyclist in the dark, and the police went round to tell her, she was so shocked and upset she was physically sick. It must have been an awful shock and one that could have been easily avoided. It's alright to think 'all drivers should slow down' but most drivers are sensible and do drive to the conditions of the road. Look at you lot, all berating the op, you're all obviously great drivers judging by your sheer indignation, I can almost feel the steam coming off the screen. The original post was to say that the op had had a shock at this stupid woman in the dark and I sympathise with her. I wouldn't walk about in the dark like that and yes it is possible to hit someone even if you're sticking to the speed limit because by the time you can see their dark shape on your headlights it might be too late to stop safely or swerve out of the way. I swerved round the lady with the dog but it was an automatic reaction. If there'd been a car coming the other way I'd have hit it. Although they'd have stood more chance than the lady and her dog if I'd hit them.

Hopefully that lady in the dark will have a bit more bloody sense next time.

Edendance Sun 09-Mar-14 15:13:24


jenniferalisonphillipasue Sun 09-Mar-14 15:14:31

I don't think quite a few people on this thread realise what it is like to drive in the countryside where there is literally no light for miles. I do not think the op should have shouted at the woman but I do think she should have stopped and enquired about her well being and then also advised her on wearing more visible clothing.
Unfortunately a young man was killed here last year on the side of the road. He was was walking in dark clothing, in the dark and in the same direction as the traffic. It was on a fast but dark road. He was hit at the bottom of a small valley. They think a Hgv hit him but no one has come forward as he was knocked into a ditch. I drive that road everyday and if a car is coming in the opposite direction with its lights on then it would be nearly impossible to see a person in those circumstances.
I think pedestrians do have to take responsibility when out and about at night just like drivers also need to be prepared for the conditions.

Adeleh Sun 09-Mar-14 15:19:15

Sad story, jennifer, and in fact if the pedestrian did report the OP to the police, I'd expect the police to advise the pedestrian in v strong terms never to walk down dark roads in black clothing again.

AnnabelleLee Sun 09-Mar-14 15:22:49

you were both unreasonable. But she wasn't breaking any law so who would you report her to and for what?

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Sun 09-Mar-14 18:42:18

You can report people like that to the police on the non-emergency number. They sometimes go and offer some advice to that person. Like have some bloody sense or you'll cause an accident and kill yourself.

Logg1e Sun 09-Mar-14 18:48:44

Do the police also go and offer advice to people who speed and text whilst driving?

I think they might, if you could give them the details of someone you knew did these things, Logg1e - I would certainly hope so.

Logg1e Sun 09-Mar-14 18:52:48

I suppose the vital difference is one is not sensible behaviour and one is fucking breaking the law and endangering others' lives.

Adeleh Sun 09-Mar-14 19:01:52

The police will prosecute such people if you can prove it. And rightly. But that's not directly relevant to this incident.

Logg1e Sun 09-Mar-14 19:03:52

You're right, the OP had to be driving responsibly on this occasion. Because of the eggs.

RiverTam Sun 09-Mar-14 19:07:18

that's the thing - for all that the OP should drive more carefully, it's her responsibility etc etc - that's going to make sod all difference to, for example, the young man jennifer refers to. He's dead. And he's dead for want of making himself more visible (or indeed visible at all).

PrimalLass Sun 09-Mar-14 19:07:47

And if it is so dark that you can't see a person until you are nearly on them you either are driving too fast (likely) or have a problem with your lights (possible).

That is nonsense. If you drive on country roads with blind bends you could be going at 10mph round the corner with top-notch lights and not be able to see some fool walking in the road.

ChocolateWombat Sun 09-Mar-14 19:13:37

It seems to me, that it simply isn't safe to walk on these kind of roads at night. Probably not safe in the day either, due to the bends and lack of pavement...it is why you don't normally come across people walking down them ever.
I think we are talking about lanes which join villages....can go on for many miles. These are not residential roads, without pavements but fast vehicular roads unsuited to pedestrians. They are the kind of roads where really nasty car crashes happen and a pedestrian just doesn't stand a chance.

If the road was like the one Im thinking of, that person should never have been walking there, never mind in the dark and wearing black, although their chances of being hit would have been high in the daytime too.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Sun 09-Mar-14 19:13:47

Absolutely PrimalLass, why do people not know this?

LtEveDallas Sun 09-Mar-14 19:18:04

10 years ago I drove an Army landrover off the side of a country road in Hereford and into a ditch swerving to avoid a pedestrian who appeared from nowhere and was nigh on invisible. I smashed my face off the steering wheel, bruised my nose and broke my cheekbone. I have pain there on and off to this day.

I couldn't reverse the rover out of the ditch and sat there for 4 hours before someone came out to find me (no mobiles, no radio - just lucky I was following the directed route).

By the time they got to me I was in a right state and seriously pissed off with said pedestrian, who didn't even fucking stop to see if they could offer help (or a phone).

So I'm with the OP on this one. The language that I shouted at the (nowhere to be seen) pedestrian once I had got over the shock would have to be heard to be believed. Even I didn't know I knew some of those words blush grin

Oh and ALL my jackets (and DDs) have a high vis strip - I put them on myself if they don't come with them. It could save my life.

LessMissAbs Sun 09-Mar-14 19:21:16

I'm still a little bit surprised over the few that said give her a lift. if i had my son with me and saw a woman thumbing or walking in the rain i would not offer her a lift as have seen it on the news and heard it locally about others then waiting in the ditch to hijack car once you stop for the woman

Why on earth did you stop then? And roll down your window to have a lengthy rant at her? That hidden person preventing you taking more humane action could easily have reached in your window and grabbed your car keys.

ChocolateWombat Sun 09-Mar-14 19:24:12

The more I think about it, the more worried I am about the idea of a person walking on these kind of windy country lanes, miles from anywhere. In terms of safety, it is the equivalent of walking on the motorway...definitely a no no.
I would imagine the pedestrian had some kind of issue to be there. Perhaps they were very drunk or had just had some kind of crisis. Most people would not walk on such roads, knowing them to be totally unsafe for pedestrians. For this reason, I think in an ideal world the Op would have asked if the pedestrian was okay....can understand though, that Op was shaken up by incident herself. I also understand you might not want to offer a stranger a lift. My big concern later though, would have been that the pedestrian had a very high chance of being hit by a later motorist. If I had thought of this later, I would have called the Police to mention someone wandering around, in the same way I would if I saw someone wandering g around on a motorway. In safety terms, I really think it is the equivalent.
I think it is okay to drive at speed on country lanes where that is the speed limit. On country lanes in the middle of nowhere (not those near villages) drivers do not expect to meet pedestrians and so are not driving at the 30mph needed to give you time to stop. This is perfectly reasonable. It is the pedestrian who was in the wrong place.

LessMissAbs Sun 09-Mar-14 19:25:44

mumsnet does seem to spawn a high number of very rude drivers who think all roads are motorways, with no possibility of other road users on them.

Recently while driving I've encountered a couple of runners in the dark, two cyclists with no lights and a horserider. None wearing hi-viz. I found them all perfectly visible with the headlights from my car, even though it was on a narrow windy and twisting country road. I didn't feel the need to stop and rant at them, nor was I particularly disturbed by the sight.

Judging by the number of comments about people encountering other road users, outside cars, with no lights or hi-viz, it does seem to be something you might reasonably expect to encounter on a country road at night. Therefore it makes sense to drive appropriately. Equally you might encounter a deer, rabbit or other animal, so speeding through country roads, at a speed unable to stop if an animal runs out in front of you is perhaps not the safest course of action.

ChocolateWombat Sun 09-Mar-14 19:30:10

I think it depends very much what kind of country road we are talking about. If it is in or near a village, then yes you can expect to meet people. Most country people though are aware of this issue and carry torches/wear high vis.
There are areas though where there is no settlement for miles and miles. You really would not expect to meet someone wandering there in the night.

I don't know how people reconcile driving at 50mph on country lanes (which IS a reasonable speed) and pedestrians being there. I certainly wouldn't want to walk down roads with no pavement and without stuff to make me very obvious if it was very dark.

People live in the country. Not everyone who lives in the country can drive.
People who live in the country are allowed to leave their homes.

Some country roads do not have pavements, pedestrians share the road with other road users, these often include wild animals.

spongebob13 Sun 09-Mar-14 19:32:07

it was a passenger window and couldn't grab my keys. i dunno why i am even replying to this thread anymore. i have learned that i was wrong and i agree yet keep getting flogged and reading snide remarks ("because of the eggs"). its been an interesting debate. i again and for the last time agree i was wrong to reverse and speak to her like i did. i was rash, shocked, angry and stupid. BUT i still feel she was silly whatever her reasons were for being on the road. tbh she didn't look stranded or stressed just out for a walk. she obviously could see or was only walking from one neighbours house to another but for the last time, i was not speeding and i swear i could not see her!

spongebob13 Sun 09-Mar-14 19:33:22

6 miles outside a town where the road is lined with trees that nearly meet above you creating nearly a tunnel effect. very dark, few houses.

RiverTam Sun 09-Mar-14 19:33:42

mumsnet also seems to spawn a high number of people who will, to the ends of earth, defend in indefensible, giving more and more unlikely (and irrelevant) reasons why they might be doing whatever it is the thread is about.

Pedestrians, especially on unlit country lanes with no pavement, need to keep themselves safe. They will come of worse in a collision with a car, regardless of who is legally responsible. I find it almost impossible to understand why you would defend this and think it absolutely fine.

LtEveDallas Sun 09-Mar-14 19:37:57

I wasn't speeding - it's pretty impossible to do so in a restricted diesel L/R. I wasn't on between villages either, not in a way you could expect to see walkers.

My sister and her family live a mile from a village down a very thin road with absolutely no light sources. They ALL wear bright jackets (even the fashion conscious 20'year old). The dog has a jacket and high vis lead and they have runners flash lights. Country people are generally more sensible in their outlook.

ChocolateWombat Sun 09-Mar-14 19:44:17

Spongebob, I think your shouting at the pedestrian was the lesser of the 2 problems. Your behaviour might have upset the pedestrian. Her behaviour could have killed her and you too. Much more serious.

You shouldn't have been rude and with hindsight you know it. Having just avoided someone in the dark though, that balanced view is hard to come by, which is why you shouted. Wasn't the end of the world.

It's a lesson to us all. If we go on holiday to remote areas and walk a distance at night to a country pub or whatever, we MUST have the right clothing. It is our responsibility and as someone said upthread, it will always be the pedestrian who comes off worse in a collision, so we are absolute fools to walk around without the proper gear.

Adeleh Sun 09-Mar-14 19:51:22

I agree, but I also don't think that what the OP said was all that bad in the circumstances. It's never nice to be called 'mad', but it was bloody stupid behaviour. And if the pedestrian learns from that, then it's a good thing. There's no evidence that the OP shouted or screamed. And 2 sentences hardly constitute a rant.

winterkills Sun 09-Mar-14 19:55:19

Those defending this seem to be missing the part where the OP reversed on an unlit country road and then stopped in the road to shout at the pedestrian.

The idea that you can do something so insanely risky and then complain about someone else's 'dangerous' behaviour is utterly ludicrous.

Adeleh Sun 09-Mar-14 19:58:45

Fair point. I wouldn't have reversed.

LtEve's account of her accident emphasises an important point. The pedestrian/cyclist who is invisible in the dark, due to dark clothing/no lights, could cause an accident.

If you don't see the pedestrian/cyclist until you are almost upon them, you are going to have to make an emergency manoeuvre to avoid them, and that is far more risky than seeing them in good time to slow down and either go round them, or wait behind them until,it is safe to pass them (if there's traffic coming the other way, or you can't see round a bend, for example).

If you have to swerve to miss someone, you might end up skidding off the road, as LtEve did, or going into the path of another vehicle so they have to swerve - it could cause a serious accident.

Winterkills - I don't think people are defending what the OP^did^, but they are agreeing that the pedestrian was should have been wearing something that would make her visible to drivers - for her own safety and for the safety of others on the road (see my previous post).

I do not condone what the OP did - but I think it is reckless and stupid to walk along at night, in clothes that make you invisible to drivers until it is almost too late.

LessMissAbs Sun 09-Mar-14 20:23:36

Sauvignon People who live in the country are allowed to leave their homes

I do believe that some people are so wedded to their cars that they are actually stranded in their houses unless they have vehicular evacuation pre-arranged...

diabolo Sun 09-Mar-14 20:27:34

Ridiculous. If you live in the countryside and go out for a walk in the dark, YOU TAKE A TORCH or at the very,very least, wear light coloured reflective clothing. It's just what we do in the country.

I wear a head torch and carry another one to shine behind me when walking the dog on winter evenings.

I can't quite believe the weird vitriol on this thread.

LessMissAbs Sun 09-Mar-14 20:28:12

it was a passenger window and couldn't grab my keys

So the pedestrian was walking towards you, facing towards oncoming traffic. In other words, in a position which allowed her to take evasive action should someone be likely to hit her.

If she was in a situation which didn't allow her to prepare by taking lights and hi-vix, what exactly is wrong with that?

Almostfifty Sun 09-Mar-14 20:32:29

I live on a side road where it is very hard to see anything when driving because of oncoming traffic coming along.

I frequently stop people who are walking along the road in dark clothing and tell them I can barely see them.

Normally they thank me and wear something hi vis or lighter from then on.

Surely most people must realise it's better to be safe than dead?

madammoose Sun 09-Mar-14 20:37:35

As a pedestrian wearing high visibility clothing will not keep you safe on a country road if a driver c

madammoose Sun 09-Mar-14 20:38:28

Posted too soon!

...comes round the corner too quick to stop.

ChocolateWombat Sun 09-Mar-14 20:45:47

In order to stop, you need to be going at 30mph or slower when you see someone some distance off. Are you suggesting that people don't drive faster than 30 on any country lanes in case they find someone wandering?

I agree that near villages, people need to keep their speed down. However I think driving at 50 is reasonable 6 miles from any town. Madam ooze, are you suggesti g we should never exceed 30?

No - but in general, you are safer the better you can be seen. And any extra reaction time the driver gets, could help in making the difference between an accident and a near miss, in those circumstances, madammoose.

Of course, drivers should use sensible speeds, and take care going round blind corners.

LessMissAbs Sun 09-Mar-14 20:50:33

The road I've seen runners, horseriders and cyclists on without lights and hi-viz in the dark is very narrow, twisty and has some narrow bridges at the bottom of steep hills followed by blind bends. It certainly wouldn't be safe to drive faster than about 25mph except in a very few straight bits. Whether its night or day.

You do get ignorant idiots who speed along faster, I've nearly been run off the road by them in my car. They rely on other people taking evading action. Yes, they probably aren't driving faster than 60mph but they are still driving dangerously.

Its just sheer chance that if you are walking or cycling or riding, whether or not you are draped in hi-viz and Christmas lights, even in daylight, that one of these idiots doesn't run into you.

That isn't a reason not to wear sensible clothing/hi viz gear at night though, is it.

diabolo Sun 09-Mar-14 21:05:10

As someone who loves driving on the twisty bendy lanes where I live AND as someone who often walks along these roads at dusk, I would NEVER expect people to drive significantly lower than the speed limit just in case they come across me.

I am the one who is choosing to walk in the road. I know the speed limit of the road. It is up to me and ME ALONE to make sure I am safe to walk in the road.

carlywurly Sun 09-Mar-14 21:10:10

Difficult one. You weren't unreasonable to be shocked but I would be concerned that she was having to do that anyway. I'd be terrified.

In my job I once had to deal with a family who'd been devastated after their son killed a cyclist who was riding in darkness down a country lane with no lights on. Such tragic ramifications for everyone.

spongebob13 Sun 09-Mar-14 21:23:41

lesmissabs read the thread I said what position she was walking on road long time ago and that in my eyes was the right position.

LessMissAbs Sun 09-Mar-14 21:43:38

Please let me never turn into one of these ranting women. Or at least if age does that to me, please let me do something useful with my rants. Such as ranting at criminals, or vandals, or stopping someone harassing someone. Or boy racers. Rather than just raging at people who annoy me but aren't doing anything illegal.

I leave that to the police.

CorusKate Sun 09-Mar-14 21:47:35

All these people who want me to press myself into the hedge every time a car comes down the road can fuck off. I take care of myself on the road: wear light clothes etc. if it's dusk (I don't walk around at night); walk on the right; pay attention to blind corners; look at the driver to check they've seen me.

I'm fairly considerate, I think - if a car is approaching from in front of me, I look behind me, and if one is coming from behind me too, I check to see if there's anywhere I can safely step off the road to. But if there isn't a car coming from behind or there isn't anywhere safe to step off to, and I am sure I can be easily seen by the driver(s), I keep walking and expect the driver to detour around me, or slow down and wait until the other car has passed me.

I'd be stopping and twisting my ankle on verges, stepping in dogshit, and getting stabbed in the ear with twigs, about once a minute if I pressed myself in the hedge for every car, spending longer being a squidgy obstacle on the country road.

Nearly all drivers see me, slow down, go wide round me and acknowledge my thanks. I guess the few that don't bother are the ones who expected me to throw myself into a stagnant dyke rather than have the temerity to use the road.

Adeleh Sun 09-Mar-14 21:54:37

coruskate doesn't sound as if you'd be in the position of this pedestrian then, as you have a lot more sense.

CorusKate Sun 09-Mar-14 21:59:03

No Adeleh, I think she was being incredibly daft to walk down a country road dressed in black at night (though she didn't deserve to be treated the way the OP treated her) - I was responding to other posters saying that pedestrians on country roads without pavements should press themselves into hedges anytime a car comes along.

Adeleh Sun 09-Mar-14 22:07:44

Agree with you on that. I'd be annoyed to have to throw myself in a ditch.

gallopinghorse Sun 09-Mar-14 22:22:34

haven't read the whole thread but just wanted to say. YANBU my husband nearly knocked over a teenage boy walking on a country road a while ago. We later heard that another vehicle had actually hit him and killed him. The boy was walking in the same direction as the traffic in dark clothing. Perhaps if my DH or somebody else had spoken to him he would have taken greater care and still be alive today.

ChocolateWombat Mon 10-Mar-14 08:40:03

galloping, what a terrible story. So sorry to hear that.
Makes me think that if I am ever totally out in the middle of nowhere and see someone wandering on a fast road, I will phone the Police. Might not make much difference, but apart from asking them to get into your car, which seems a very scary thing to do, what else can you do to help them, as you drive away.

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