So Very Pedestrian
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) wants you to know that “On average, a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every seven minutes in traffic crashes.” (Source: Traffic Safety Facts: Pedestrians, April 2014.)
And they’re doing something about it, too.
While other aspects of driving safety continue to improve, pedestrian fatalities due to traffic crashes are up eight percent since 2009.
Perhaps if pedestrians stopped placing themselves in front of objects with mass traveling at speed? I may not be as smart as the federal government but that seems like a big part of the problem to me.
Physics has got to physics, yo know? Physics has no desire to play nice, do what’s fair, be compassionate, take sides, or even attempt to adhere to the rules of good form. Like Dr. Momma used to say, “physics does what physics does.” It’s apolitical. Asexual, too, but if you disrespect physics it will fuck you over.
The NHTSA’s solution is one with real traction. Make $2 million in grant money available to cities with high rates of pedestrian deaths. Because, money can buy you love. The money is to be used to “influence the safety of pedestrians through public education and enforcement initiatives.”
Yeah, that’ll work.
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I’ve written about pedestrians before. I don’t mean to be pedantic but I’m driven to hammer my point home.
To me, there’s very little “uncertainty” about crosswalks.
You clearly don’t know who you’re driving over, so let me clue you in. I am not in danger, Skywalker. I am the danger. A guy puts the pedal to the metal and someone gets plowed and you think that of me? No. I am the one who stalks!
–Heisenberg Crosswalk, Braking Bad
In the local news of late there has been a lot of discussion about “dangerous crosswalks.” That got me thinking. What is it about the crosswalk itself that makes it dangerous?
The fact that it exists? That it leaps out and surprises pedestrians? That it has a concealed carry permit? That it lulls pedestrians to sleep with a false sense of security? “Come to me,” it whispers in the wind. “Tread upon me. I will protect you. I will keep you safe. You can trust me.”
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Guru’s Little Helper
I’ve talked in the past about how negativity saved my life. And you can, too!
Come to think of it, that was the day I became the self-entitled self-titled “Guru” of Negativity and earned a Participant ribbon. That was the red letter date in Guru history.
But, if you think about it, negativity can do so much more than simply save your life. I’m talking about the really important stuff. Forget trivialities like staying alive! (Unless you are one of Bee Gees. That’s the only exception and even they don’t do it right.)
Negativity can do the little things, too. Like brightening your day.
I’ll try to think of an example.
Over on yonder shelf sits a massive jar of some life-giving substance that you desperately crave. For the sake of argument, let’s say that it contains granulated sugar. Yeah, that’ll do.
The top of the jar has a screw top lid. So what do you do?
Naturally you reach out and grab that jar, using your krav maga death grip with your overly tiny little hand, and, this is the important part, leech a hold on nothing but the lid.
This is a natural instinct among humans. (Or so I’ve heard. I’m not actually one of you.) It’s an act of faith and trust. It’s a little voice inside you shouting for all to hear, “See? I trust the person before me put the lid back on and secured it tight. I have faith.” This is silly, but especially so when you live alone and are talking about yourself. (That’s the last person you should trust.)
Then what do you do? You hold that sucker out at arm’s length. The jar weighs .01 metric tons and the physics of holding it out that far exponentially increases the amount of force required to keep it aloft.
If that lid comes off what happens next is a certainty. The jar will impact the floor, glass will fly outward in a shrapnel pattern, both eyeballs will be cut out of your face, and the sugar will reach critical mass causing a mini-nuclear explosion that, albeit sweet and delicious, will make one permanently sticky.
This is where negativity comes in. It says, “If you pick that up, you will fail.” It then invites you to picture in your mind what was just described in the previous paragraph.
To negativity you should listen. Get off your ass, walk all the way across the room, grab that sucker, and screw the lid back on tight before attempting anything foolhardy and foolish, fool!