By: Martin Courcelles, Specialist, Web Accessibility and Adaptive Technology
I get knocked down, I get up again. A quote from a very catchy chumba Wumba song, but it's something I recently had to do. Today's entry is not about technology, nor is it about a new fandangled web service I just found. It's even more personal than that. Let's talk about something everyone should think about, pedestrian safety. Why is this coming up in this blog? Read on.
I consider myself a safe traveler. Whether I use my dog guide or a cane, I always pay close attention to what is happening around me; especially when it comes to crossing streets. A few weeks ago, I found myself crossing a little residential street that I have crossed a million times. The difference on this particular occasion is I wasn't successful. One second, I was walking confidently through the intersection, the next I was on my back wondering what the heck had happened to me. Seems the driver had not seen me… and I guess I had not heard him. I had the right-of-way in this circumstance, but it's difficult to argue with a 1 ton piece of metal.
To give credit to the driver, he did help me to collect my dog guide, my glasses and my hat. He even offered to bring me to the hospital. But I only had one thought in my head: "I want to go home." Seems this is a
natural shock reaction. Because, indeed, when I got home, I realized my mistake. I never got his info. I never even asked him his name, although he asked me mine. I only gave him my first name, so that didn't help much either. I don't even remember the bus ride home. I had so many options at my disposal, but I chose to rush back where I felt safe. So, in order for me to feel a bit better about this unfortunate event, I figured I'd help my fellow readers if they ever get into this situation.
So you've been hit, but you've survived. What should you do?
First, if you get to this point and you are still in our dimension, thank your lucky stars. Most people lose arguments with vehicles.
Try to make sense of the situation. If there are witnesses to the event, make sure you get them to participate in the process.
Most importantly, Call 911. This is considered an accident and should be documented.
Get yourself to a hospital. You may feel fine, but that's adrenalin making you feel super amazing and enforcing the fight or flight scenario. Don't give into it. It is in your best interest to assure you have your ducks in a row on this one. Don't worry. You'll feel the pain the next day.
Once you get home, write down your experience. Not only does it feel good, but it's a good reference if you ever need it for insurance claims and the like.
Finally, if you ever are in an accident and are unable to communicate with the paramedics, there's a cell phone emergency concept called, ICE (In Case of Emergency), which you can read about at the following link: http://www.wikihow.com/Add-ICE-to-Your-Cell-Phone
Pretty simple suggestions, but believe me, they may not be the first things you think of
when you're in the situation; unless it's previously been brought to your attention, hence the goal of this blog. I did a quick search on Google and it seems there are varying laws and regulations when it comes down to pedestrian rights. I would encourage you to research this on your own. Oddly enough, there is a lot of information on what to do when you hit a pedestrian, but a lot less the other way.
At any rate, hopefully, I have given enough information for my readers to at least consider the issue and do the right thing if it ever happens.