People have got to take more care using the roads

The ring road at Pin Hill leading to the Wincheap roundabout

People amaze me with their lack of care and attention for themselves as well as for others.

Yesterday, turning into the Waitrose car park off St George’s Place I had to halt as a young lady engrossed in her mobile phone walked straight across in front of me without looking.

She had the good grace to jump and to apologise.

Minutes later I stopped close to where a post office van was waiting to turn out. The driver was clearly looking at the oncoming traffic.

Seeing a gap he started forward but fortunately braked within inches of an older guy who had just blithely walked across in front of him, oblivious of the fact that he could get run over.

This morning I took the outside lane to turn right at a roundabout on the Thanet Way.

The driver next to me took the inside lane to carry out the same manoeuvre, going three quarters of the way round the roundabout in the wrong lane. Fortunately, I was more alert than she was and avoided her accident.

At the Lord of the Manor roundabout and traffic lights, I have learnt, don’t pull away quickly as soon as the lights change for, if you do, you’ll hit the car that has jumped the red light coming from the Broadstairs direction. That happens almost every day, and today was no exception.

I could add my regular bete noir, the drivers who accelerate hard onto a roundabout, seeing a gap coming on their right, but who then have to brake to avoid a car joining from the next arm of the roundabout, in front of them, of course they hadn’t seen that one because they were focussed solely on their opportunity to get onto the roundabout.

And that is the world we seem to live in today: each in our own invulnerable little bubble, totally unaware of what I happening around us

While it is easy to blame the mobile phone zombies, it is less easy to explain those who take their lives in their hands not using their phones.

I sometimes think that some motorists work on the assumption that if they are involved in an accident it won’t be their fault so they won’t be to blame.

Maybe the man who walked in front of the Post Office van has the same philosophy of life.

If I’m involved in an accident it won’t be my fault. That’s fine until the accident happens. That girl and that guy yesterday were both within a whisker of being stretched out on the ground. Those drivers could so easily have been sitting in the wreckage of their cars, waiting for the ambulance to arrive.

Where did this attitude come from? Is it a belief in invulnerability, “it couldn’t happen to me” syndrome? Or is it born of an arrogance, a belief in their right to act stupidly because nobody has the right to harm them for doing so?

I suspect that its neither but just a self-regarding attitude where they are totally oblivious of the rest of the world, focused solely on what they are doing or thinking and unaware of the world around them with its dangers.

People need to be more alert. Put the phone away, look around you as you walk to see what traffic and other pedestrians are doing and motorists, look ahead, what’s going on up the road and what are the implications for you, don’t wait until the accident reaches you, see it coming and avoid getting involved. That way there’ll be less accidents!


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