Ninjas in the night
By Anne Marie Abraham, Contributor
I was driving home from the store at 10:30 p.m. The weather was typical for a Vancouver autumn night: cold, rainy, and dark. I’m a confident driver and I didn’t expect anything to happen. There were not many cars on the road and no pedestrians were visible—but then again, the streets were not well-lit. I know that if I were a less careful and less assertive driver, there is a chance that something unpleasant would have happened that night.
I was not prepared for two pedestrians to step out from the shadows. They were dressed in black, from the toques on their heads to the shoes on their feet. Not one speck of them could reflect the light from a car’s headlight. Dressed as they were, they were impossible to see until they stepped out into the light. If I had seen them before they jumped out into the street, I would have made a more graceful stop, but considering their poor choice of wardrobe, I did not. Despite being at a pedestrian crosswalk, you would think that they would have made sure that the cars had seen them before trying to cross the street.
When I screeched to a halt, they yelled at me and cursed my blindness as if it were my fault that they were hidden in the shadow. If the ninja-clad pedestrians were practicing surprise attacks on drivers, then I would say that they were doing a fine job of it.
Pedestrians seem to have this mindset that since they can see the car, the driver can see them. Drivers are going at a much faster speed and are more likely to missing small details—such as two pedestrians wearing nighttime camouflage.
I dread to think of what could have happened to the two careless pedestrians and myself had I been driving even a little faster. What would the consequences of their choices have done to them? How would I have suffered?
This is not the first time I have been subjected to the thoughtlessness of pedestrians, and I know many drivers share my feelings. Pedestrians should take into consideration that in a battle between man and car, the car will win without breaking a sweat. If pedestrians really believe that they should be seen, then they should wear more reflective gear, if only to spare drivers the quickened heartbeat and the dread of what could have been. Reflective gear can go a long way in saving lives.