“inattention and failure to yield”

And yet again I read another reminder of that frightful day almost four years ago. Tears, fear, shame, blame, anger, danger, pain, and all so impossible to
explain. Thankfully the result for my being hit by a car as the result of a driver’s inattention and failure to yield” was much
less serious than death–the outcome for 103 pedestrians during the period this article describes.
“Inattention and failure to yield is what you are pleading guilty to,” said the judge to the person who hit me. And the ultimate
in irony, due to Washington traffic laws, promise to be good for a few years–seven I think– and you get no fine and a clean
record.
It was two years ago that I sat in a King County court room listening to a judge speak those words–the same words I’m guessing
are spoken dozens of times a year here in King County alone? I really wonder if the drivers realize the pain, damage and lifelong consequences they cause in the people they so “inattentively happen to hit with their cars? I know the driver in my case didn’t since a witness told me that the person was more interested in borrowing a cell phone to tell another that they’d be late for dinner, repeatedly interrupting medical personnel who were attending to me.
Inattention and failure to yield” We couch such wanton disregard for the safety of another in such mild terms that it sounds
almost like the person did little more than spill a glass of milk. Make no mistake, it is the blood of another human being
spilled and trust me there’s more than enough crying to go around afterward.
Where’s the inattention and failure to yield” of the pain I feel after doing nothing more than walking for a few miles? I guess
I’m the lucky one who gets the gift that keeps on giving because the docs say “that’s just the way it is.”
Oh rest assured I’m more than thankful to have the pain. After flying 12 feet in the air, doing a flip I’m told would do a
gymnast proud and banging my head on the pavement, I’ll gladly take the pain. The alternative, given to 26 folks a year here in
King County for the period covered by this article, is something that I’m all to aware of could have happened to me.
I’m also all to aware that pedestrian safety is not taken seriously nearly as often as it should be. Ironic that my own home town newspaper publishes an article on the topic of pedestrian safety where the police chief of a neighboring city says cars don’t stop for folks in crosswalks often enough.