I had a very close call last night. I walked to the mailbox to drop in some letters with checks, which means I have to cross 2 streets. And yes, before you ask, I was wearing a brown jacket and navy slacks. It was around 5 PM on a largely cloudless afternoon, and while it wasn't blazing sunny, it wasn't what I call dark, either. It was bright twilight.
The intersection I have to cross is a T, and I was crossing the base of the T when this happened. As I walked across the street, a car pulled up to the stop sign in front of me, on the arm of the T, and signaled a left turn. I had just about reached the center line, so I stepped out a little to allow the driver to turn behind me. The driver then pulled into the oncoming lane and came straight at me. I jumped backward to get out of the way, lost my balance, and fell in the crosswalk, rolling on my right side. If that judo class I attended briefly decades ago taught me nothing else, it taught me how to fall! The car missed me by maybe two handspans - a little over a foot.
I picked myself up off the pavement as the car pulled to a stop (still in the oncoming lane). The driver (a 60-ish white woman) got out with both hands to her cheeks and said, "My God, I didn't even see you - I was thinking about something else!" My personal take is that when you're driving a car you should be thinking about driving the car, but I realize that's hopeless. I pointed out to her that if she had turned into the correct lane we wouldn't have been having the conversation at all, and stomped off. Except for a sore hand and hip, both of which are largely gone now, I wasn't hurt; but oh brother, was I shaken!
The incredible thing about all this is that I never dropped the letters, which were in my left hand.
I went on to the mailbox, and a woman in a car that had come up (in the lane where the idiot stopped) called to me and asked if I wanted the license plate. On consideration, I decided I did. I tried to report this to the police and they wouldn't take a report since I wasn't injured, and no officer saw the illegal turn. I may yet file a citizen's report.
There's nothing startling here. It's been suggested that I should have been wearing lighter colored clothing, to which I respond that the driver should have been aware of her surroundings. But the most dangerous thing any of us does, ever, is have anything to do with an automobile - including walking across a street in a quiet residential neighborhood.