really off topic but I've been wondering

gibby2015December 21, 2005

about this and when it happened again tonight I thought, I'll ask you all if this ever happens to you or is it just me.

Have you ever noticed pedestrians in parking lots walk right behind your moving car as you're backing up? I am finding this happening more and more often and it's scares the bejeezuz out of me. I look and look to make sure it's safe to back up - no one in sight - then I start backing up slowly still looking back and then suddenly there are people walking right behind my moving car!! What is up with these people?

It happens in my parking ramp at work, the grocery store, now tonight at the shopping mall. Please tell me this happens to someone else - or I am going to think I'm starting to develop some age related driving deficiency and/or peripheral vision problem. Like these people are there all along and I just don't see them until I'm almost ready to hit them!! I find it hard to believe people can be so dumb as to walk within inches of the back of a car that is backing up!!

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Nope, it isn't just you----

These are the same people who walk down the *middle* of the driveway in the parking lot. They cross the street without even looking at cars, much less making eye contact with the driver of the car.

And I'll warn you, don't be aorund when they back their car out!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 12:29AM
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Ditto - it's not just you. They walk without looking, it's amazing to me. There's not even any hesitation as they cross the street. I've seen it at grocery stores, shopping malls, and as Fairegold said, they don't even make eye contact to ensure that you have seen them. It's a wonder to me how people aren't hit more in parking lots.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 1:21AM
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yep -- and it doesn't help that it's so hard to see around the military-type vehicle squeezed into the space next to my little car. I've had that pedestrian scare so many times lately I've lost count. Another pet peeve - pedestrians in dark clothes at night.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 2:38AM
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I too have experienced that; mall parking lots are scary places for drivers and pedestrians alike. The distraction level is so high. Pedestrians are looking for their car, paying no attention to the cars backing up. Some people don't realize that driving rules apply there too, these are streets. Entering the lot behind a car whose driver is almost at a dead stop because they are wondering at which store they are going to park, how fun.
This time of year, big mall parking lots are dangerous places to

I shop downtown mostly and pedestrians in Montreal cross everywhere, on any color light.... I find new yorkers more respectful of street crossings than montrealers, that says a lot. I guess they value their life more, lol.....

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 5:43AM
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You are so right. We talk about this every time we go out. And many of these oblivious stupids have little children walking with them.

Yesterday we saw a woman pushing a shopping cart and her little toddler was trailing her several cars behind. This in the crazy, busy Costco parking lot! She didn't even watch her child as she got within view of her car.

Why do we insist you go to school to drive, but have to pass no competency test to be a parent?! Zheesh!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 8:00AM
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This is the whole reason that as a habit now, I'll always BACK into a parking space. Used to be the only time someone would do that was on the streets of the worst parts of town, and I always saw it as a sign of ignorance. Now it happens everywhere. go figure.

Oh, and I STILL see it as a sign of ignorance.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 8:21AM
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I went to the mall for the first time this season yesterday with my 6 and 4 year olds in tow. I was shocked at how many adults just ran ramrod over them like they didn't exist. I was like a mother hen, pulling them close to me so they wouldn't get hurt and walked over. So it's not just you. I had the same ped experience trying to get out of the parking lot too. And Pamela, when I'm walking with my kids, if they won't hold my hands, I'm still walking slowly with them, and if I'm a few steps ahead, I get a crick in my neck by constantly swiveling it around to check on them :-) Children are so vulnerable to the increasing rudeness out there.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 8:21AM
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Don't you think society has become much less considerate in all aspects.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 8:26AM
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I think it boils down to a sense of entitlement. I'm a pedestrian, I have to right of way, you won't hit me because then I'll sue you and you know it.

I'm with bunglogirl on the dark clothes at night issue. I work in a college town and I can't tell you how many people on bikes I've very nearly hit because they're wearing all dark clothes (often at 10-11 pm!) and have nothing reflective anywhere on their bikes. *shakes head* It makes me wonder if it's supposed to be "cool" to risk one's safety like that. Or again, if it's everyone else's responsibility to keep their eyes peeled for these idiots.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 8:35AM
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I think Paige hit the nail on the head. Some people only care about being "right" in a technical legal sense, even if it means they could wind up getting hurt or worse. It's the same thing on the freeway -- cars who refuse to let other cars merge, change lanes, etc., because they don't have to. If there's an accident, maybe it will the other guy's fault, but will you really care if you're dead? Use some common sense, people.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 12:16PM
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Yvonne Albertyn_Brazil

and watch out for middle-aged women in big SUV's! They're on a mission this week. I've almost gotten run off the freeway three times this week by these women! Yeah, it's weirder than usual this time of year.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 1:12PM
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The year I was pregnant with DS I attempted to do some last minute Christmas shopping at the local mall. There was no parking and I was pretty pregnant, so I followed a woman leaving the mall to her parking space. Lots of other people were doing the same.

Anyway, I sat there with my blinker on for some time while she got in and buckled up and whatnot, and around the corner comes this guy with his whole family. He looked at me and then positioned himself to a more advantageous position vis a vis the direction the woman was pulling out, then stole my space right out from under me (despite my best efforts to thwart him).

My hormones must have kicked in, because I put my car in park and got out and proceeded to tell him off for stealing the parking space of a pregnant woman the day before Christmas. His family was horrified, but he didn't seem fazed at all. And he didn't move his car.

Some people . . .

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 1:41PM
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These are the same people who (ususally as a group) get right inside the entrance of the store and STOP right in the path of everyone else trying to enter the store. Or stop right in the middle of the aisle to have a love fest with their neighbor that they haven't seen in a week. They are also the people who bring 37 items to the 10 items or less checkstand, then wait until their order is rung up to pull out their check book. Apparently their is a word for these people: Obliviot

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 5:17PM
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I agree with the earlier post that some people carry the "pedestrian has the right of way" logic to the point of risking their personal safety. And while they may have the law on their side, common sense should dictate that there comes a point when pedestrians should simply allow the driver to complete the process of backing his car out so he can be on his way. Of course drivers must continue to look behind them the entire time they are backing out. But once they are almost completely into the aisle, it would be nice if a driver didn't have to keep stopping every 3 inches to let a new group of pedestrians walk behind his car. At this point he is blocking traffic in the parking lot aisle to any other cars attempting to drive by. But these inconsiderate people are probably the same ones that never let a car merge into their lane because it's easier to turn a blind eye than extend a common courtesy.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 5:24PM
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Well what a relief - it isn't just me. I can't quite figure it out. Is it that there is a generation now that didn't learn to "look both ways" and "watch out for cars"?

Or is it kind of an "all about me" outlook and maybe some lack of personal accountability for one's actions? Like, if I walk behind a moving car and get hit it must be someone elses fault so I think I'll sue.....or maybe just enact some legislation to prevent this kind of thing.

I'm not as cynical as I sound but geez, these people are really pathetic.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 6:27PM
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You know Paige..I've always secretly felt that might be the case, but was afraid to say it..thank you!
As someone who's DH has been in pain and on meds for 30 years now, I'm completely amazed at their lack of caution. I guess they just don't believe that there's no amount of compensation that would make up for a lifetime of pain and disability.

As a former bus driver, I cringe when I see people who don't keep ahold of their kid's hands in the parking lot..or at least keep them by their sides. The front of my bus was tall and stuck out, and I had a special mirror fixed to the front so that I could see if there were children in front of the engine that were shorter than the front cab. It doesn't dawn on people that if their children are shorter than the back of some of these larger SUV's and trucks, and the child is within a foot or so of the back of the vehicle, there's no way the driver can see him or her. I could place a 5 or 6 year old directly behind a Suburban or Explorer for example, and it would be impossible for you to see them from the driver's seat. It gives me the shivers every time I see it. Even with older children, parents should teach them to watch the tailights of occupied vehicles in parking lots, and if the backup lights go on - stop until you make actual eye contact with them and are sure they have seen you.

And good for you for telling that guy off for taking your space! :-)

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 6:27PM
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i drive a marked fire officer ATV with rollers on the top. if i feel life having fun on my lunch hour, or stop to take a study break, i like to park near a 25mph school zone just to watch speeding cars hit their breaks when they think i am a radar cop car. maybe they will think twice before speeding through that zone again. or i could bring my hair dryer and pretend i am clocking

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 7:41PM
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Years ago, I taught someone a lesson about walking across in front of moving traffic. I've mentioned a few times in here that when I was a kid I was a "gearhead", and into building cars and racing. My "daily driver" was an older trans am that was actually built for the track, with a 455 cubic inch motor, complete with a dual quad set up sticking thru the hood where the stereotypical trans am hood scoop usually sat, and believe me when I tell you, it wasn't just for show. My father's office was in New Haven, right on the edge of one of the worst parts of town. (Paige-- for your benefit-- it was the old tile place at the corner of the Boulevard and Congress ave.). Now, this "Congress Avenue" was the kind of area that if you stopped at a street corner, someone would always come up to the car looking to sell you drugs. However, on the far side of it is Yale New Haven Hospital, where this one particular day, my wife was after having our first son. Anyway, here I come, tooling down the road, and these two guys come walking out in front of me, so I slowed down, and finally had to stop right there in the middle of the road, because they thought it would be great fun to have a conversation right there. I sat there for about 30 seconds, until it looked like some other folks sitting on some steps on the sidewalk were getting real interested in my car. At that point, I figured if they wanted the car, they were gonna have to run real fast, and I just dropped it in low and matted the gas. You want to see these two guys in the middle of the street jump just as fast and as far as they could! Just imagine standing on a drag strip about 30 feet in front of the cars when the green light comes down, and that's about the view these two guys had, complete with the noise and the wheel stand. I'd be willing to bet it was a long time before they walked out in front of anyone else.

(and before anyone passes judgement for being that reckless, when it comes down to it either being me or them, I'll guarantee you-- it'll be them, every time)

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 9:28PM
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Has anyone ever wanted to do a "fried green tomatoes" and smash into someone who stole a parking place or some other grevience? I have a secret desire to get a tank of a car, Ford LTD or something, then wait for someone to piss me off!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 9:48PM
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It's the right - no the obligation - of pedestrians in lower Manhattan to view a red light as a mere suggestion, and not a strong one. But that doesn't apply to the rest of the city. I nearly had to tranquilize Mr Preppy yesterday when a couple pushing their child in a stroller in front of them ignored the steady red light and didn't hesitate or glance around as they crossed the street as we were approaching the intersection. Mr Preppy tapped his horn at them and they looked at him quite annoyed. I had to physically restrain him from getting out of the car to berate them for using their child to run interference for them. And hey, we have a transit strike, there's a few more cars than normal on the road.

I see it as a generational thing and it's a sense of entitlement. They've gotten too many trophies just for showing up.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 9:54PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

It is nice to know other people - you- are aware of all the obliviots out there. I love that word!
Personal pet peeve is people walking down the middle of the parking lot to get to their car.
Particularly when crossing in front of the grocery store.
They don't just cross, they cross at a steep angle taking three times as long, knowing your right behind them.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 10:14PM
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I agree it is partly a generational thing. I live near a large university and often cut through campus on my way somewhere. A whole school of obliviots! It's really scary. What's even scarier is an obliviot driving and talking on a cell phone.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 10:33PM
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Gibby mentioned something that I've started to think: that kids nowadays just aren't taught to "look both ways" as much as they were years ago. This thought occurred to me some time ago when I was driving behind a school bus. The flashing red lights came on and the bus stopped to discharge some of its occupants. I of course had to stop behind it, and could easily see all the kids running out of the bus and across the highway *without ever even GLANCING* either way. It's like they innocently believed the flashing red lights on the bus would magically protect them.

Then a few weeks later I noticed the same phenomenon at a school crossing. The crossing guard held up his little stop sign, and the kids went rushing across without looking either way. It made me start to think that we are subtly inculcating into our children the idea that it's the responsibility of others to see to their safety, rather than watching out for themselves.

Don't get me wrong. I believe these safety measures are good. But I think parents need to educate their children as if those safety measures did not exist.


    Bookmark   December 22, 2005 at 4:13AM
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I don't notice a lot of rude pedestrians. Honestly where I am I notice a lot of drivers who are oblivious or rude to pedestrians. My major pet peeve is drivers who are turning onto the street that I'm crossing when the walking signal is flashing. It's fine when I've just started crossing and am still far away from them. But I get really mad when I'm walking directly in front of their car and they are edging forward. In that situation they are supposed to act as if the light is still in remain at a dead stop. Has anyone else experienced this?! And they act annoyed...I walk at a good's not like I take all day to cross a street. Geez!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2005 at 11:49AM
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Of course, this whole pedestrian thing goes both ways. About two weeks ago, someone sent me the url to a wmv file that showed an elderly woman crossing the street, getting part way across, and getting disoriented. Meanwhile there's an "up and coming" yuppie sitting in his convertable, waiting impatiently for her to cross. Finally, he starts leaning on the horn, so she smacks his bumper with her purse, which activates his AIRBAG, which of course pops him in the face, leaving him wondering what the hell just hit him!! It was the most hilarious karmic forward I've ever received!!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2005 at 3:02PM
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