Tragedies occur daily on our streets. And collectively we try to ignore them. They’re just numbers. If we think about them too much, we find our way of life attacked, so we avoid doing so. These campaigns force us to think about them. They (re-)humanize the tragedies.
What if you were about the drive a route and you absolutely knew that you would be crossing paths with your family? What would you do? Would it be different than if you knew you would be crossing paths with someone outside of your family?
I recently had this “opportunity”. Michelle and the kids were coming back from the store, and I was heading out. I didn’t know if they were on foot or bike, but they were coming. It wasn’t just a “maybe”; we had exchanged texts before I left and they had left the store. Maybe this is more common for those with different travel patterns, but the certainty of it struck me. And so I was confronted with the questions: What would I do? Would it be different from normal?
The biggest thing was that I was confronted by the power of the motor vehicle. We talk about it, but here it was. If I made one stupid mistake… Such power just shouldn’t be wielded haphazardly, yet how often it is. I’d be lying if I said this situation had absolutely no effect on my driving, but I was happy to find that the effect was pretty small. The route has a curve that puts the left A-pillar in a terrible spot. That freaked me out, but I usually peak around it constantly. I went slowly, maybe a MPH or two slower than usual, but not a huge amount.
It was a good educational experience. I darn well should continue looking around that curve. I can slow down more than usual. Even when I’m in a hurry. And on other streets too. And I can continue to minimize the trips that I take by car. It’s worth it.
The toddlers waved from the bike. My family was behind me, but others were ahead.