A perfect Winter day.
I left the house with a little more pep in my step than usual, due in part to that flawless blue sky and the birds serenading me from the trees. My favorite nature nook lured me like a magnet.
It is also worth mentioning that I was running late. 🙂
In a four-season state, when Winter’s harsh weather finally begins to wane, you cannot help but just exhale deeply. We are promised 64 degrees F (17 C) this Thursday. That is cause for celebration and time for a Spring Fling. What’s a Spring Fling you ask? It’s the day you leave behind the hat, scarf and gloves and maybe even end up carrying your coat home.
This is National Pedestrian Awareness Week.
There’s no Spring Fling yet however; it was still a little chilly, but I bravely left the hiking boots at home and ventured out in my walking shoes – yeah for that! I am more of a fleet foot in my comfortable walking shoes that seem like slippers to me. But … no matter how late I was running, or even with my Easy Spirit “Punters” on my feet, I still had to be mindful of vehicles on my one-mile trek each way to Council Point Park.
The statistics for pedestrian accidents and fatalities here in our state is quite alarming. Granted, many of these accidents take place after dark, or in bad weather. This bulletin was issued by the Michigan State Police in an effort to make drivers and pedestrians aware of how accidents happen.
Every so often MSP will send out plainclothes troopers in unmarked vehicles to scope out who is not paying attention when they are driving. I’ve mentioned it here before and a few fellow bloggers who are runners agree with me. We simply can’t daydream out there.
Often I’ll see a vehicle idling in a driveway in the ‘hood. So I will wonder if the driver is in the car ready to back up, or, did they remotely start the vehicle from inside the house and they are still nursing a second cup of coffee?
It pays to be ever-vigilant, and not laid back.
So … as a public service announcement to those who might be getting out and enjoying the Spring weather, I’ve compiled a list of the types of drivers that pedestrians should be aware of:
First we have the fiddlers … and no, they are not playing a stringed instrument with a bow. They are fiddling with their radio, or the heat, or the A/C, or some button or gizmo on the car. Their eyes aren’t on you, nor the road. Yup, it only takes a second, one bad swerve and yikes! In other words, when crossing the street, don’t be dragging your wagon or you might be missing part of it when you get to the other side.
The snoozers are those folks who hit the snooze bar one too many times and you, yes you, are in their way. If you see them speeding down the street, run like the dickens!
Of course there are the texters – if you’re tall like I am, if they’re in a car, you see them as they drive by, head bent toward the floor with a smile on their face. They’re not going to see little ol’ me, or you either.
The noshers have one eye on a fry and the other on the road. Swiping a fry or two from the carton is okay in my book, but do beware if a driver zooms by and they’re cramming a Big Mac into their mouth.
The bleary-eyed drivers stayed up late watching Netflix and should have stopped for a caffeine fix because they have that deer-in-the-headlights look.
Since 2011 when I began the walking regimen, I’ve amassed thousands of miles on my feet. At the Park my mind AND my feet can meander (as long as I watch out for police patrol cars on the perimeter path – you’ll recall how the officer had to wait while I was taking pictures of Harry the Heron a few months ago). If not, just click here.
So remember my advice to be ever vigilant, and …
… stay bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and you won’t become a wet spot on the pavement.