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Nearly ran over a pedestrian on my way to work this morning

(59 Posts)
Sparrows12 Tue 23-Oct-12 08:40:47

She was wearing a headscarf and was in her 20s - and must have either been deaf or wearing an mp3 player under her scarf. She just started stepping off the pavement in front of my bike as if I wasn't there - I rang my bell and said excuse me loudly but she still behaved as if I was completely invisible so i ended up having to shout at her - "what are you doing" etc and jam on my brakes in the drizzle. Disconcerting start to my day. I felt so shaken up I had to get off and walk for a while. Some pedestrians are incredibly stupid.

JeezyOrangePips Tue 23-Oct-12 08:47:48

I know how you feel. I was driving down an a road with no pavements, just verges, turned a corner to see four runners, side by side out to the middle of the road - and a car coming the other way. Had they been nearer the corner it would have had serious consequences. I had to slam on my brakes. They edged their way in till they were two abreast, but still a bit on the road. Other than that they didn't seem to even be aware at how close it came to a serious accident.

HappyTurquoise Tue 23-Oct-12 08:49:58

That is a nasty shock, but it sounds as though nobody was hurt, at least. Hopefully she was shaken up too and won't do it again.
At this time of year, with low visibility and weather worstening, there does seem to be a rise in pedestrian fatalities and accidents.
Yesterday I had to come to a sudden stop when a cyclist went against his pedestrian red light at traffic lights in a 40 zone. Looked like an older teenager. New student, probably.

NotQuiteCockney Tue 23-Oct-12 08:50:32

I cycle in the City, and just end up dodging around pedestrians sometimes, and hoping they aren't going to randomly stop in the middle of the road. I think a lot of them rely on the sound of an engine? I don't know.

Chelvis Tue 23-Oct-12 08:52:39

I had this on Saturday, a young girl (about 10) just dashed out in front of the car from between parked lorries, didn't glance left or right. I had to slam on the brakes and she didn't even notice! Just carried on over the road and into a shop. I was literally a foot away from hitting her. It would have been in no way my fault (I hope my insurance and the police would have seen it that way anyway!), but I was so shaken and stressed the whole drive home. It amazes me how dangerously some people behave.

TandB Tue 23-Oct-12 09:00:14

Some people simply don't seem to realise that they need to take care, just as much as car drivers or cyclists.

I live down a narrow lane with a staggered crossroads across a main road at the top. There are no pavements at the top of the lane - the pavements both end before the lane, and there are high walls on either side of the entrance to the lane if that makes sense, so pedestrians are actually walking on the main road to sort of go round the entrance to the road and back onto the pavement. There is no streetlighting in the lane and you can't see into it from the main road or the far side of the crossroads because of the walls

Yesterday I was coming across the crossroads in the dark and a young man with a toddler stepped out from behind the wall right in front of me without looking - with the toddler nearest to the oncoming traffic. They must have walked off the pavement and gone round the corner into the lane itself before starting to cross from behind the wall where no-one could see them until they actually stepped into the road. I finished up slamming my brakes on halfway into the lane and bringing the whole crossroads to a halt while the man wandered across the road entirely oblivious.

Utter muppet.

Lifeisontheup Tue 23-Oct-12 09:15:29

Recently I just managed to stop when a woman ran out into the road carrying her baby in a car seat. She was running to catch the bus on the opposite side of the road. Took me the rest of the night to stop shaking.

megandraper Tue 23-Oct-12 09:18:45

She might be visually and hearing impaired. I am. I am very careful about where and how I cross roads, but it is difficult. Bikes are very difficult to spot since they are quite small compared to cars (and often don't obey traffic rules - though not suggesting that was true in your case).

Yanbu to be shaken up. But if it was due to sight and hearing impairments, then don't be angry - her life is much harder than yours.

LRDtheFeministDragon Tue 23-Oct-12 09:22:38

Oh, that's scary. Well done you for managing to avoid her. My friend is partially sighted and has a lot of hearing loss (meningitis does this, it's horrible), and it is really frightening, I think.

If she was wearing headphones that would piss me off hugely, but from the way you describe, it sounds unlikely - if they were so loud she couldn't hear you ring your bell, I bet you would have been able to hear the music leaking.

I hope you're feeling a bit less shaky by now.

Fakebook Tue 23-Oct-12 09:25:34

You should be aware of all hazards as you're riding. I don't think she was the only one at fault here. If you saw her go onto the road, you should have slowed down instead of shouting "Excuse me".

DesperatelySeekingPomBears Tue 23-Oct-12 09:27:55

But surely if she was sight/hearing impaired the onus is on her to be even more vigilant when crossing roads rather than on the road user to be extra vigilant on her behalf? In no way should it lessen the OP's annoyance at her!

LRDtheFeministDragon Tue 23-Oct-12 09:31:50

desperately - no, the onus is on both people.

She can't really be 'more' vigilent if she's got disabilities with her hearing and sight - she can't magically improve them. Maybe she is doing the best she can?

A mate of mine is disabled this way, and her DLA doesn't stretch to the option that would be safest, which is either getting taxis/buses everywhere, or having someone walk with her everywhere. So how does she get to work? She has to just do the best she can. And everyone else has a responsibility to look out for her.

I learned this when I learned to drive - I'm pretty sure it's on the Highway Code, that you must be aware of the possibility of people who might react unpredicably because of disabilities or similar. That's why you learn emergency stops and so on.

megandraper Tue 23-Oct-12 09:33:33

Desperately - I didn't say that someone with hearing/sight impairements should be less vigilant. I, and no doubt others, are as vigilant as we can possibly be, but we will not always see or hear things that others would do and there is no 'vigilance' that will make up for that.

The OP hasn't described the circumstances here fully, so apportioning blame is not possible.

megandraper Tue 23-Oct-12 09:35:17

Fakebook is right. Shouting at a pedestrian isn't an alternative to stopping/going round them. As LRD says, you have to assume that someone might be deaf (or wearing headphones...) because you have know way of telling.

DesperatelySeekingPomBears Tue 23-Oct-12 09:39:04

If the woman stepped blithely into the road then she probably shouldn't be out and about without assistance. Not meaning to be unkind, but there is a point when an emergency stop wouldn't help and a road user would plow straight into her. If her sight was impaired to the point that she can't cross a road safely, then she should be carrying a white cane to give others a clue that she nay require more attention. If its just her hearing, then she should be hyper vigilant with checking for cars/bikes/other vehicles before stepping out.

Most likely however, she's just an ignorant twunt with very little common sense and no disabilities at all.

helpyourself Tue 23-Oct-12 09:39:36

I wish everybody would assume they need to be alert.
Headscarves, hoods, dr beats, dark school uniforms, silent cars- its a jungle out there.

LRDtheFeministDragon Tue 23-Oct-12 09:39:48

bed - I don't think the OP knows exactly what was this woman's issue? She's described the situation as fully as she can but obviously her main concern was just to brake and get out of the way, and she was shaken up, so she won't have been able to work out if it was headphones or what.

It's scary to have a near miss no matter what the reason, she did really well to manage it safely.

Lovecat Tue 23-Oct-12 09:40:28

I started a thread about this when I first joined MN in 05 and was roundly told that it was my fault as a driver and how dare I expect that pedestrians looked both ways when they crossed the road...hmm

Where I live there is an epidemic of people not looking to the main road when crossing side roads - so if a car is turning in from the main road (usually the only opportunity they have to turn due to breaks in traffic) they have to slam on the brakes and block the main road while people amble across obliviously - that or run them over. I may have rolled down my window & shouted at some of them at times....blush

I nearly killed a jogger last week, I was turning right into a side road, I saw him jogging very slowly as I passed him on the main road, at that pace I was going to easily be able to turn before he got there, as I turned he suddenly shot forward and nearly under my wheels. I slammed the brakes on and thank God there was no-one behind me or they'd have shunted me and I'd have gone into him despite braking. He looked up in horror, mouthed 'sorry' and went on his way. Hopefully the silly fucker won't do that again, but I was shaking.


LRDtheFeministDragon Tue 23-Oct-12 09:40:30

desperately - 'she probably shouldn't be out and about without assistance'

Maybe so. Are you going to pay for it? The government won't.

Fakebook Tue 23-Oct-12 09:41:50

This is a reason why they've introduced the Hazard Perception Test for drivers. To be constantly aware of unpredictable events and be ready to stop/give way. I don't know why cyclists aren't given a test before being let on to the roads.

DesperatelySeekingPomBears Tue 23-Oct-12 09:42:34

LRD I did say a white cane would suffice... Just to give road users a clue.

LRDtheFeministDragon Tue 23-Oct-12 09:46:46

But you also think she can be 'hyper vigilent' if she was hearing impaired. No, she can't. That's what the word means! She has less ability to be vigilent than most.

There are good reasons not to carry a white cane, btw - if you are going to fall, you really, really don't want to have a handy stick around to trip you up. It sounds like a good idea but it's not practical for everyone.

We don't know why this woman didn't react to the OP - and it could have been she was just in a world of her own. The OP did the right thing and avoided her. But that is her responsibility as a driver.

NotGeoffVader Tue 23-Oct-12 09:47:27

I have a glut of people who do this on my nearest high street - walk straight out without looking, but also a huge amount of cyclists who ignore the red lights (even though this means potentially being mown down by taxis approaching the taxi rank at the station), and drivers who reverse out of high street parking bays without checking oncoming traffic.

Although it pisses off other drivers, I usually take the high street slowly, and avoid it when I can as I am forever slamming on my brakes to account for the stupidity of these people.

Just to pick up a point upthread - with regard to those people who have visual/hearing impariments; I believe that it is possible to obtain a white/red and white stick which indicates these impairments or disabilities? Although saying that my very elderly uncle is practially blind and won't admit it - won't use a white stick and will just step out into the traffic. sad

DesperatelySeekingPomBears Tue 23-Oct-12 09:52:06

Well LRD I will maintain that we can only look out for those with disabilities if we know they have them.

LRDtheFeministDragon Tue 23-Oct-12 09:53:38

Ok, I'll drive safely, and you do that, then.

You should be aware of all kinds of potential hazards, and you don't get special warning of them because you're too lazy to learn to drive properly. It doesn't work like that.

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