Most of us have been made to believe that cats have nine lives until we studied logic in college. Also, as early as three years old our parents taught us on how to cross roads. Do I make sense? Well, to put a connection between the two, let me share to you a riddle.
You saw a cat that is about to cross a busy road. How will you know that he already consumed his 8 lives and now spending his last?
(Please spend a few moment to think of the answer before you scroll down.)
The answer: If before crossing, the cat checks first his left and right to make sure that there are no coming vehicles from both direction, then he is now in his 9th life.
Either it is true or not, the fact is we humans are not cats. We only have one life to live. Surely, we don’t want to end our own in getting hit by a speeding car, unless you are not in a proper state of mind. But, however true that it is very dangerous to cross a busy road without using a pedestrian lane, many people still risk their lives by not using the designated areas for crossing roads and highways.
In my country, the Philippines, a lot of overpass structures, pedestrian lanes and signage are available to either remind or warn people to do the proper way of crossing, but still there are a lot of violators. But not like here in Jeddah, KSA. Overpasses are only available in few places and most pedestrian lanes are just on major road’s intersections and to places where there are traffic lights. People tend to risk their lives by playing hit or miss with speeding cars to be able to cross the road. Many avoid spending time to reach the proper areas for crossing, and I am one of them.
Every night, after work, I cross the highway on the above photo. Note that what is shown is just the other half of the total length I have to cross. The available pedestrian lane are far enough for me waste time using it. By doing it every given night, except during day-offs, somehow I mastered the art of crossing such kind of highway. Let me share some tips which you may apply if you are in the same situation. But remember this is not an encouragement that you do it my way. You always have that option to use the provided areas for crossing.
Here are some tips:
1. Don’t double your rush. You are on a rush that’s why you’re taking the risk, but don’t overdo it. Wait for the perfect timing.
2. Second thoughts are not allowed. When you decide to finally cross it, then finish it. Don’t change your mind by going back after a few steps. Chances are you put yourself to higher percentage of getting intro trouble and be hit. That’s why it is important to wait for the perfect timing.
3. Choose how you will cross. It’s either you run through it without stop or take it one lane at a time. Run through if you saw an imaginary line where you can pass through by running without getting hit. It is a matter of looking and calculating the distance and speed of all the cars. Take one lane at a time if there is no available way of running through. Have a couple of stops in the middle of the road to let the drivers see you and use your hand to signal them to slow down for you to be able to pass through.
4. It’s better to wear white clothes. White or any light color clothes are easily visible especially at night. Drivers can easily spot and avoid you.
5. Don’t do it alone. Wait for other people who are going to cross too. Crossing with a group is better than crossing alone. When crossing, if possible, use them as a shield. If bad luck happens, they will be the one to be hit first not you.
6. Wait for the clear road. If nervousness attacks, there will always be that moment when the road is clear and you can even walk through and no need to run. This needs a lot of patience. Patience that you rather use in reaching the nearest overpass or pedestrian lane.
In places where drivers feel they own the road, there are no better defense than telling ourselves that we are not superman nor a cat. By doing so we will value our lives more than reaching our destination at a lesser time.