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Stupid things I worry about: Getting hit by a car

10/26/2012

Belle

First things first, you guys are amazing! I never in a million years expected SO MANY women to come forth and confess the same fear of pooping out their baby! I also did not expect all these awesome natural poop remedies. My grocery cart this weekend might look like someone is trying to un-constipate the state of Wisconsin. Y’all rule!

A few weeks ago I was hit by a car while walking across the street. I was very fortunate in that it was not terribly hard, I am fit and have good balance and I was wearing sneakers instead of my usual Mary Jane’s so I did not fall. It did leave my hip pretty bruised and sore and my wrist hurt for days. What was so terrifying about this incident is that the Cadillac SUV was flying through the bus lane, racing to the stop light for God knows what reason. When they hit me no one stepped out of the car, instead the driver rolled her window down half an inch (not an exaggeration) to ask in bewildered broken English “What happened?”

You hit me, you idiot!

They hit me at the bus stop. The same bus stop where I catch my bus home each day. The same bus stop I walk by every day. Of the 12 or so people at the bus stop, not one asked if I was ok. Not one came to help me. Not one picked up their phone to call the police. I was shocked, bewildered and just limped off, completely forgetting to get the license plate number or insurance card.

I have walked across this street hundreds of times. I walk to work at least three times a week. When not pregnant and exhausted I often walk home from work. Some days I bike to work. I walk and bike to the market. I LOVE being a pedestrian. After three years of sharing one car with my husband this pedestrian status has become  a badge of honor. And it keeps my ass toned. Usually I feel safer on foot or bike then I do behind a wheel.

Now newly pregnant, every walk to work is laced with this obsessive fear of getting hit. My walks used to be these wonderful, cleansing times. The three miles of meditative reflection on the previous day got me ready for the new day ahead. These walks used to fill me with the energy I need to deal with a less-than-awesome job. This week, though, my walks have sucked. I’m jumpy and terrified of getting hit again. In my mind this horrible video plays on loop of me getting hit, being carried away and later learning my baby is dead. It’s ridiculous and anxiety producing and is really killing my morning zen.

Yesterday while driving I saw a motorcyclist get hit. Not five minutes later a cyclist was hit. Two weeks ago one of our friend was biking to work and got hit by a car at quite a high-speed. He is still recovering. Three weeks ago one of the Professor’s students came into class early with her mom to explain she had been hit by a car while walking across the street and was knocked unconscious. Could she please take the exam later?

What the hell, y’all? I want to keep walking to work. Walking is so good for me and baby. I actually feel really good in the mornings, too, and need to get my exercise in when I can. (Just like the last pregnancy, I feel great in the morning and like garbage in the late afternoon/evening). I already don’t listen to music while walking so I can hear approaching cars. Why do these idiots have to ruin it for me?

Source. NOTE: I way to vain to actually strap this to my ass. I’m thinking more along the lines of pinning it to my bag.

I’m thinking about ordering one of these for my back pack. Dorky? Yes. Better than getting hit again? Abso-freaking-lutely.

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19 Comments

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  1. Katie T #
    October 26, 2012

    My lawyer side is wondering: Are all these happening in the same place? Are any signs poorly marked? I’m wondering if this is something you could report to the city/university. Maybe they, in an effort not to get sued, could put up more signs or add patrol/speed bumps?

    If not–when I was a kid my step dad taped a yield sign to the back of my bike (with duck tape) and added a tall orange flag on a stick. It was embarrassing but effective 🙂 You could always walk around in a bright orange windbreaker for added cool points.

    • October 26, 2012

      Lol! I remember stories of your dad when you were growing up 🙂 Maybe I should walk with a giant yellow flag?…
      No, all the incidences are in different areas of the city. People drive way to fast here and are NEVER looking for pedestrians and cyclists. Lexington police also do not give out nearly enough speeding and light running tickets, in my opinion, and the city desperately needs more crosswalks and bike lanes, but they really are not doing anything “wrong” per say. Just lazy.

  2. October 26, 2012

    I’m not sure what time you leave for work in the morning, but I would absolutely get some sort of flashing light or yield sign that you can put on yourself. When we lived in CT we were not on a busy street, but that meant that people driving around our neighborhood would FLY and when we were walking the dogs it was definitely scary. So I ended up putting a flashing light on both of the dog’s leashes and got another flashing light armband for myself. It’s better to be safe and look stupid, then to get hit by a car!

  3. October 26, 2012

    Ouch Belle!

    It amazes me how people aren’t willing to get involved. Several years ago I was in a car accident. A witness talked to the police, but when the insurance tried to contact the witness, she wouldn’t return the call. A 15 minute phone conversation was too much work to simply tell the insurance the police report was correct and my light was green.

    Sometimes safety is more important then fashion. Be careful.

  4. October 26, 2012

    Dang that’s quite a few accidents! Makes me feel like I should be MORE careful – as I was one before to run on the side of busy streets. I also want to see a picture if you wearing that thing on your backpack if you decide to get it 🙂 Be safe!

  5. October 26, 2012

    I got hit by a car several years ago when walking home from the bus stop. Like you I was just badly bruised, though it was my knee, not my hip and it wasn’t fun getting around for a couple of weeks afterward. It was partly my fault (I was not being careful and it was dark) but I completely understand your fear now. My husband will just walk out into crosswalks against the light and so on, and I’m always left standing on the other side watching him go because I’m too hesitant to cross.

    Now that we’ve moved, I’m much less of a pedestrian and more of a driver, and I now find myself driving really carefully, afraid I’m going to get into an accident and lose the babies. I think partly it’s in our nature. We’re just more cautious and protective when there’s some little defenseless being inside you that is completely dependent on you for comfort and safety.

    I would definitely put something on your bag to make you more visible, and be careful not to wear all dark colors at night or in early mornings before sun-up. Maybe get a nice light or brightly colored scarf to wear? That way you can feel stylish and visible at the same time.

  6. October 26, 2012

    Clearly not a stupid thing to worry about since it happened to you and others as well. That’s scary. I’m afraid to cycle here in the UK, where there are little to no cycle paths. My husband is wearing a helmet and reflect west when cycling to work. Stay safe.

  7. October 26, 2012

    You could also strap on a Baby on Board sign to increase people’s incentive to be more careful. Hopefully they’d pay attention long enough to notice.
    Don’t give up the walking though…It’s too good for you.

  8. October 26, 2012

    It’s called the bystander effect, I think. Everyone thinks that someone else will do something to help and nobody does anything.

    Try this to calm your anxious thoughts.. how many times have you walked to work and not got hit by a car? If that doesn’t work, get out your sewing machine and fashion yourself an outfit made of bubble wrap. Safe, functional, easier to fasten a sign to than your ass, and fun to play with at your less than awesome job. 😉

  9. Aspgriswold #
    October 26, 2012

    What is it with people?
    #1) I can’t believe all the driver did was roll down his window.
    #2) No one helped you???

    Awful. Awful. Awful. Sending many vibes that you start to feel better.

  10. Jen #
    October 26, 2012

    I can’t believe all those hits! I’m glad you are okay, but is that guy who hit you going to get cited or anything? Sheesh! The more people who report, I’m guessing, the more careful people will be when driving in that area. Or maybe you could get a reporter to do a story on it for the paper or the news!

  11. October 26, 2012

    I can’t stop laughing at that photo. Thank you Belle! You know, I was hit by a car once too, in a crosswalk, I think. I also was not hurt, thank goodness, although I scared the daylights out of the friend I was walking with.

    I vote yes for some reflection tape or decal, but also be careful! Of course, I say this when I’m totally not. I fell down again today, this time in front of a whole building full of people being evacuated due to a fire alarm. Ugh.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  12. October 26, 2012

    One time I was walking with my husband and we were crossing the street. I was reluctant to dash across the street like usual because I was pregnant. I said to him – the cars on this street are going like 40mph! If I get hit I will lose the babies! He said, if you get hit you might die! It’s interesting how I hadn’t cared about that before I got pregnant. And even after getting pregnant I was still more concerned about the babies.

  13. October 26, 2012

    Unbelievable. Guess you have to be even more aware of your surroundings now! Have fun this weekend!

  14. L #
    October 26, 2012

    Hey, that is not a stupid thought at all!!! I would probably not even step out of my home if the drivers seem determined to knock cyclists and pedestrians. The yield sign looks dorky as you said but who cares. Better silly than sorry.
    Take care and walk safe.

  15. October 27, 2012

    Totally valid fear. My sister was knocked off her bike a few years ago and never recalled what happened. Too many drivers refuse to yield to bikes and pedestrians.

  16. October 27, 2012

    Cars and especially the people behind the wheel are dangerous. A friend of mine’s kid was recently hit by a car, quite badly. People in our town are scary drivers to and prolific at driving through red lights.

    That reflective triangle would be great on a bag. Here people use little reflectors quite often. The reflectors make a person more easily seen in dark conditions. I have several (in fun shapes) on different jackets and bags, even the stroller.

  17. jak #
    October 28, 2012

    WTFFFFFF???!!! can’t believe the driver or the fellow bus-stoppers. wow. the world really is full of assholes. glad you are ok, physically, hope that you can get over your fear of getting hit by a bus! good gawd.

    my guess is the driver was texting or looking at their cell phone. maybe most people wouldn’t believe this, and maybe i’m crazy and this is really a stretch, but….. i think it’s actually REALLY HARD to hit someone with your car if you are looking in front of you at the road.

  18. November 3, 2012

    Oh my gosh Belle! You have every reason to be freaked out about getting hit again! It doesn’t help that when you are pregnant every worry comes out full force to protect you and your baby. I will be praying you stay safe in that crazy town of yours.

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