Well, we can finally score a point in favor of runners. I was out running my customary 6 miles early yesterday morning, and I had a really scary close encounter with a service van-this was probably the closest I've ever come to being hit by a vehicle.
I was running southbound in the northbound lane on a usually quiet, traffic free street. I noticed a service van across the street backing out and I assumed he would either turn into the lane closest to him and head south, or he might back all the way into the next lane and go north-either way, I figured it was a really wide street and he had lots of room without even coming close to me, so I continued running south.
I realized he had chosen option 2 and was backing in to my lane. OK, I say to myself, there's still plenty of room. What I didn't count on was that the driver would take a third option-he was backing into my lane all the way to the curb. He was well into the bike lane where I was running and kept coming, forcing me to jump the curb and land in knee high weeds. He was right next to me before he ever saw me-then there was a sudden screech of brakes and his tires hit the curb hard so I figured I must have startled him when he saw me in his side mirror. Now I was pissed, so I smacked the side of his van really hard with my hand.
The driver came running around the van to my side with a look of absolute, complete terror on his face and I realized that when I smacked his van he must have thought that he hit me. The look on his face told the story of his thoughts-"Oh crap oh crap oh crap I just hit that runner I'm gonna lose my license and my job and I'll be sued and thrown in jail oh crap oh crap oh crap!"
Seriously-I thought I was going to have to give the guy CPR and I'm trying to remember the BeeGees song that has the correct rhythm for the compressions (is it How Deep is your Love? No, that can't be right, it's too slow, oh yeah, Stayin Alive....) and all the guy could do was tell me over and over that he was really sorry and was I ok and he didn't see me until the last minute and where did I get hit?
I took pity on the guy and told him he didn't hit me, but that he should be a little more careful-there's lots of kids on that street especially in the afternoon when school gets out and they may not be as observant as I was. He agreed, apologized again, and we went our separate ways.
If I had realized sooner that he thought he hit me, I would have laid down in the street and played dead. That REALLY would have given him a heart attack!