I had a little incident happen yesterday afteroon that shook me up a bit. Of course, it shook up the other person too! I was on my way to the grocery store and stopped by the library to pick up some books on hold for me. As I was leaving the library, I was going to turn right onto the main road from the parking lot. I pulled up to the road, looked left, but didn't look right. When I let my foot off the brake, suddenly there was a teenaged boy smack dab in front of my car! I hadn't seen him, and he hadn't stopped to make sure I saw him before he stepped out in front of me. The driveway is slightly sloped, so just letting my foot off the brake gave the car enough momentum to move forward (I hadn't even turned the wheel to the right yet) . . . just enough to catch the boy off guard and make him lose his balance. I was horrified! He fell to the ground, but jumped right back up, of course glaring at me the whole time (and I don't blame him). He was walking away before I could even get my window down, but I called to him, apologizing and asking if he was ok. He said he was . . . so I apologized again . . . and asked one more time if he was ok. He stopped just long enough to look at my license tag, then he was still walking and yelling back that he was fine. By this time I was shaking and about to cry. It had only been a few seconds, but it felt like slow motion!
He wasn't showing any signs of being hurt, so I started down to the grocery store, which was going to take 5-10 minutes, but by the time I got to the exit for the grocery store, I had decided that I needed to at least report what had happened. So I drove back to the shopping center where the library is and went into the RCMP office (the police) and told the man in there what had happened. He instructed me to call the non-emergency hotline when I got home, which I did, and they pointed me to the insurance company. Since no officer had been called to the scene, the RCMP was not involved, and since the car actually touched the boy, our insurance had to be notified. I have an appointment with them tomorrow morning to record the details and have them check out my car. There is no damage to the car, of course, but I want the whole thing on record so that if the boy decides to file a report and claim an injury, I've already done my part and everything is above board.
I know I'll never forget the initial horror I felt when I looked into that boy's eyes when we both realized that I was going to hit him. I'm so glad that he wasn't hurt and that no other cars were coming when he fell into the roadway in front of my car. I know I'll be making extra sure from now on that there are no pedestrians on my right when I turn. Walking is a way of life up here, and there are always pedestrians out, but I've never had one that just stepped out without even bothering to make sure I saw them. I see lots of teens just walk right out in front of cars, assuming the driver sees them and will stop. Sometimes we don't see them. Yes, it is the driver's fault for not paying close enough attention . . . but when I'm walking, I make sure any drivers I walk in front of know that I'm there. I make eye contact with them and give a little wave to say thanks when they stop for me to cross. I feel that I have a responsibility for my own safety. I hope this boy will do the same from now on.