I’m going to go ahead and do a Public Service Announcement today. You might read it and think it’s a rant of sorts, but trust me, it is for your own good and the good of everyone, so it’s really more like a PSA.
It is important to remember, when driving through a parking lot, that you should still drive like someone with some sense. There are usually just as many people in parking lots as there are on roads. Do you know the difference between the people in parking lots versus people on the road? In the parking lot, many of them are walking to/from their cars. They are not protected by big pieces of metal and the airbags within. You should probably be even more careful when driving near pedestrians. Don’t you think?
This morning, I was walking out of a store and to my car. The person on my left stopped at the stop sign, because she’s smart. The person to my right wasn’t there when I looked the first time. Then she was, because she blew one stop sign as she was coming around a curve. I kept walking, because I was already to where she would hit me. There was no point in stopping in front of her. I noticed, however, that she was not slowing down. She was accelerating. I took it personally at first, but as she drew closer (much, much closer) I saw that she was texting and not even looking up. She didn’t know I was there. The reason she didn’t hit me was not because she looked up, saw me, and avoided me. The reason I was not hit is because I have cat like speed and reflexes, much like Tommy Boy. I quickly picked up my speed and avoided being hit by a closer margin than I prefer. I can’t say for sure, because my vision and memory are blurred by anger, annoyance, and relief, but if I had to guess, I would say it was within three feet. The distance was close enough that had I not run, I wouldn’t be typing right now. I’d be sitting in the ER.
I have noticed that a lot of people do not drive in parking lots like they do on the road. Most do get slower and more cautious, but there are some that do not. I see so many people – usually they are very young – who treat a parking lot like a timed obstacle course. They whip their cars to the right, to the left, weaving back and forth and ignoring traffic signs at high speeds. I think there is a misconception that driving fast in parking lots makes you cool. After all, there are more pedestrians to witness how fast you can drive, and that must be cool! The other thing I see is that a lot of people text while driving in parking lots. You can’t do it on the roads anymore in Michigan (not that you should have been when it wasn’t specifically banned), because you might get caught and fined $100, but it’s okay to do in parking lots. Right? I mean, what can it hurt? Oh yeah, me and a lot of other people.
They are not just parking lots. They are more like hug pedestrian crosswalks with a place for you to put your car. Please don’t be stupid while driving through them (or anywhere). Thank you.