A question for drivers

As you might know, I’ve been walking every day now for over a week, and part of the path that I take involves walking along the side of a road. Out where I live, we don’t have sidewalks, so I have to walk on the road. Most of the time, the road that I’m on has two full lanes, along with a decent shoulder (about three or four feet wide). There is also a part of the road that does not have a shoulder, but I’ll get to that in a bit.

What I don’t get – and it might just be purely a safety concern – is why people insist on going all the way over to the other lane when they encounter me (or anyone else) walking alongside the road. Do they seriously think that I’m going to suddenly jump out at them in some kind of bizarre attempt to take my life? Could it be that they think that I’m going to try to flash them (a very difficult task considering that I wear sweatpants when I’m walking)? Well, in that case, I don’t think that going to the other lane would solve anything anyway.

As it is, almost all of the time that I am walking along the road, I make sure that I’m at the edge of the pavement, something that comes in handy in that aforementioned shoulder-less section. In that case, I can totally understand moving into the other lane since there is little to no room for me to move over to clear the way for them to use the full lane. In that case, when I can move over, I do make an attempt to get as far over as I can – within reason of course, considering that at one point, there is a straight drop of about 20 to 30 feet into the floor of a forest.

So, my question is – why do you do that while driving? I would think that you’d make a more dangerous situation for yourself by going into the other lane – though there is good visibility down the road. Is it something that is advisable to do in general?

3 thoughts on “A question for drivers

  1. Hi Sephy,

    The only time I do that is when someone is walking/running along with the traffic and have headphones on. They may not hear mecoming behind them and I guess people don’t want the pedestrian trip and fall in the lane.

    You are right though that most people seem over cautious.

  2. I just like to give people plenty of room. As long as there’s no one coming toward me, it just seems nice to give them a wide berth. Also, I don’t want people jumping out into the road suddenly, as walkers are wont to do, nor do I want to accidentally mistake the person for my ex or my mortal enemy, in which case I might just run over him or her accidentally a few times. Did I mention it would be an accident?


  3. Two reasons why I cross the center-line as I approach walkers (I don’t go anywhere near all the way into the next lane; halfway across at most). First, I’d rather give an over-wide margin than say, misjudge things like how far my side mirror extends and/or scare the walker (or worse).

    Second, my wide margin allows an on-road walker to stay on the pavement if they so desire. They almost never do, apparently choosing – as would I – to make no assumptions about a driver’s plans.

    Can’t say I’ve ever much thought about a walker lurching into my path, though. Same for flashing.

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