Yesterday morning I was almost hit by a woman who didn't see a stop sign. Riding with a friend, we stopped , waited our turn and proceeded through the residential intersection. I heard the squealing tires and humming anti-lock brakes before I looked to my right and saw the white sedan plowing to a stop half-way into the intersection. The driver, a middle-aged woman threw her hands up to her face in fear and panic.
We continued down the road to get out of dodge and catch our breath. After a minute or so we were ready to get riding again and I looked back and saw the poor woman was still there, stopped with her conservative cowling out in the intersection. Eventually she drove off, presumably to work. It was 8:00 in the morning.
I wanted to be angry about it, but it was impossible. I could see she wasn't on the phone; she wasn't texting or eating or putting on makeup. She wasn't even speeding. She was alone in the car, paying attention; she just didn't see the sign.
This poor lady was trying to obey the spirit and letter of the law. She was driving conservatively and courteously. Maybe the morning sun or a tree branch obscured the stop sign. Maybe she's new in town or this is a new route. Maybe she was zoning out after stopping at twenty other stop signs. Who knows.
What I do know is that we're both safe and sound and so is she and we ultimately had a great ride. I give that lady credit too, because that was one hell of an abrupt stop--she really pulled it off. What I took home from all this is profound gratitude for everything I've been given, and respect for everyone out there doing good and looking out for one another. So to everyone out there pulling off the abrupt stop and everyone out there who doesn't need to [hat doff].