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Whenever you have a moment, please read the attached (short! under 500 words) Word file. If you agree that the message is worthwhile, please forward it on to as many people as you can. Maybe we can save some lives here. Thanks much.



    Two Steps From Death

On a late afternoon last month, I’m walking to a local library. As I approach a cross street, the white walk light is blinking down from the number nine – plenty of time to cross the narrow 2-lane street. It occurs to me to speed up and jog across, but instead I simply continue at my normal pace.

That instantaneous, subconscious decision saves my life – or at the least, catastrophic injury. For as I’m in full stride in the middle of the road, passing in front of a car waiting at the light, another car turning left (from my right, off the street I’ve been walking down) cuts me off, whizzing past a scant couple inches ahead. I instinctively jerk to a halt as I hear the male driver (whose window is open) utter a single word: “Shit!”

In an instant the car’s gone – the same instant that I realize I could have been too.

The daydreams that had been swirling in my head instantly vanish, replaced by an overwhelming rush of wide-eyed shock… and relief. A couple steps more and I would have been hit dead-on by a car traveling at least 25 M.P.H. Though I’m generally a very alert pedestrian – no earbuds for me – this moment of inattentiveness nearly cost me my life, or serious injury.

Car accidents killed 4,784 pedestrians and injured 61,000 more in the U.S. (more than six times the amount of casualties involving bicyclists) in 2006, according to the most recent National Highway Safety Administration figures available. Though the numbers have generally been trending downwards over the years, that’s little comfort compared to the stark reality that I came within a hairsbreadth of becoming one of those statistics.

But the walk light was on, my mind tells me. I was in the crosswalk. I had the right of way! And there was still plenty of light outside. Tell that to the police or the coroner or grieving friends and family. It means nothing. If we could hear from any of those 4,784 fatalities, I bet many would voice similarly futile assertions.

I am, simply put, lucky to be alive. While the chilling thoughts of this near collision fade, I am eternally reminded of that simple but sage advice I last heard from my late mother a half-century ago. Everyone has heard it too: LOOK BOTH WAYS BEFORE CROSSING THE STREET! Make no exceptions. Remind everyone you know to do the same. And if you’re behind the wheel, be ever mindful of pedestrians and cyclists.

If the driver of that speeding car reads this, I say: at least you don’t have to carry the weight – of smashing into a clearly visible pedestrian in a crosswalk – to your grave. And most thankfully I’ve avoided going to mine, at least for another day. L’chayim.











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