Rapid City has just imposed a ban on texting while driving. This is probably a good thing, but for me it comes a little late. I have already been run over by someone who was texting.
The incident was clearly not my fault. I wasn’t doing anything life-threatening like running into traffic or crossing the street at a corner. I was right where a good law-abiding pedestrian ought to be: on the sidewalk.
Of course, so was the woman who ran over me. Did I mention that she wasn’t in a car at the time? She was walking.
I saw her coming a block away. She wasn’t a kid, but she was young; maybe in her 30’s. She was walking down the sidewalk toward me, along with a man about her age and a teenage girl. The three of them, of course, took up the whole sidewalk. Not a problem. I assumed they would do the polite pedestrian thing and drop into single file while we passed each other. As we drew closer, I did my part by moving to the right, so I was walking on the edge of my side of the sidewalk.
I could see that the woman was looking at her phone, but I assumed she was also paying some attention to her surroundings. Silly me.
Just as we were about to meet, the girl veered off to her right and headed across the street. The woman finally glanced up from her phone as she turned to say something to the girl.
And that’s when she hit me. Her elbow got me right in the solar plexus, which was uncomfortable as well as surprising.
What was equally surprising to me was how surprised the woman was. She had been so focused on her phone that she had no idea I was mere inches away from her until she ran over me. Her “radar,” that warning sense we have when someone approaches our personal space, was totally disengaged.
I’m sure that warning sense has been crucial in helping humans survive all kinds of predators and evolve into the technologically advanced beings we are today. But as we continue to evolve, I’m not sure where our technology will take us. This woman was so completely unaware of her surroundings that she was at serious risk. A mountain lion would have considered it poor sportsmanship to grab her.
She didn’t apologize for running over me, either. Possibly because she was still focused on her phone—in dismay, this time. When she hit me, she had dropped it onto the sidewalk, where it exploded into several pieces.
I couldn’t find it in my heart to feel the least bit sorry.