Welcome to another article here on Vocal. It's been several months since I’ve written, and this topic today is going to make those of you who drive think. This is a true story, and happened on the 6th of February.
Picture yourself walking getting ready to cross the street. It's dark outside. As we discussed in prior articles here on Vocal, I’ve taught you how we as people who are blind cross the street and what techniques we use. I was using these techniques, and detected the light turning green. At the same time I was stepping off, a car turned right where I was stepping. My only recourse was to double back the couple of inches back to the curb and off to the pole where I can hang on for dear life as the car took off. Another car and several bystanders asked if I was OK, and the driver was asking if I was going to go. I said that I wasn’t. Someone had to cross me, and I took the offer to be crossed.
Folks, we can not see you. Even though I have the wristbands on, I’m sure the driver was not even paying attention. This was on a clear night. There was no bad weather. Can you imagine if that was someone who could see, but yet they were looking at their phone or other electronic device? I detected the car that was there, and determined that the light was green at the same time they started to turn.
The thing we need to remember from prior lessons, is that we can’t see you. Most people will not be wearing the wristbands I’ve promoted on my podcast, as they may not feel they benefit. I’ve found improvement from these wristbands I wear, and I believe I’ve talked about them. You also should know that there are rules in place when driving — where you should stay especially when turning in any direction.
I’m wondering what we, as a community, can do to educate people in the fact that this kind of thing is not just a disability issue, but an issue that affects everyone. We all hear stories about children and able-bodied adults getting hurt or killed by drivers who may do the same thing that happened to me, a disabled traveler. We must find a way to be able to remind them that this is not safe.
The first thing we should do is make sure that the driving test is updated to encourage safety. While I personally do not drive, my understanding from what I’m told is that the driving test only covers a few aspects of driving. This includes parking, changing lanes, and basic travel. If this is wrong, I’d love to hear from readers through my contact information found in my profile.
Next, every time you renew, you should need to take a refresher on what you should do behind the wheel. I am not sure if a driving test is necessary, but maybe something written. Maybe some dialogue would be needed with this, but it is something to think about.
Next, if applying to become a driver that requires an additional license, make sure drivers know it is especially important with the larger vehicles to pay attention and enforce that behavior somehow.
Let's dialogue this idea of being safe with fellow drivers, as the need is now. It's not later when someone else is dead because they are fully functional and can drive safely. Please leave those thoughts. You may do so by finding my email address in my profile on Vocal, or by going to my website where other contact information is given. Thanks for reading, and make it a great day!