Defensive Walking

Earlier this week, a pizza delivery truck nearly hit me and then honked at me after the fact. I was within a pedestrian crossing line on a green light. I wasn’t terribly surprised. For those unfamiliar with Tuscaloosa, the driving is bad on an epic level. This coming from someone who drove five years in Atlanta proper and two additional years in the Atlanta area. Drivers in Atlanta are crazy, but they simply do 90 on the highway. Other than speeding, they follow most other driving laws. In Tuscaloosa, I’ve seen every driving law imaginable broken. Here’s an article about a bad Alabama driver who died and killed 10 other people because of bad driving, although it happened in Kentucky. 

I see double-parks on a daily basis. A double-park is when one vehicle uses two parking spaces. At any rate, it was yet another reminder that in Tuscaloosa you not only have to be a defensive driver (let’s not get into a few weeks ago when I alertly never let the brake go despite having a green light because someone ran a light that had turned red many seconds before), you have to practice defensive walking. 

I stumbled upon this comical blog about defensive walking sticks. The entry dates from 1901, when people walking late at night had to be on-guard against potential attackers. 

I also found this more practical blog about defensive walking. As far as I can tell, the blogger is from Toronto. It’s difficult to tell, which highlights the importance of having an About section on your website. But I definitely recommend reading the defensive walking entry. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings, especially when your surroundings involve crazy drivers. 

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4 thoughts on “Defensive Walking

  1. OMG! Erich I’m so glad you’re okay. I would’ve given the pizza guy the finger and a few choice words, but that’s the Georgia girl in me. I agree with you 100% about the driving here. People complain about Atlanta drivers, but that’s only because most of the people that drive in Atlanta are from all over the country. So, they bring their bad habits with them going 100 mph. I miss Atlanta for far more reasons than I can include in this comment, but I do miss not experiencing road rage every time my car graced the highway. In other words, I’d take I-85 congestion any day over driving even on University Boulevard, not just the interstate. I can only imagine the torment as a walker. Just crossing the street to get to campus is a danger for me on a daily basis. I thought the blog was funny yet true. Georgia offers a discount to insurance policy holders for taking a Defensive Driving class. I’m guessing Alabama should do the same to avoid situations like the article you posted about the guy in Kentucky (sad, btw). Here’s to hoping I only have to drive two more months in this town and Alabama! Good post!

  2. Funny thing is, I find the driving here much more tame than any where else I have lived. To date, I still have not heard someone honk their horn…crazy stuff. In Honduras, there are no lanes. Literally. People like to invent their own, converting 4-lane roads into 6-lane roads. Think about that plus driving around cliffs. Fun stuff. South Florida driving is also quite interesting. Those people have no patience. Neither do the people in Tallahassee. I feel much more calm here. Call me crazy.

  3. It is so strange for me to read yall’s comments about bad driving. I guess I’m just used to it. I’ve driven around Florida and Mississippi, but I didn’t find it to be much different than here and Birmingham. Granted, my driving in Florida has pretty much always been at the beach, where people are walking everywhere, the driving is slow and you have to dodge people on bicycles. I’m thinking I’d rather live there than be stuck in Birmingham’s lovely 280 traffic (yuck!).

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