A woman driving a minivan nearly hit my daughter on her bicycle today at an intersection where the entrance to a gated community crosses the Virginia Capital Trail. Then she had the gall to honk at her. I pulled in front of her car and let her know very firmly (without profanity) that cars are legally required to yield to cyclists in a crosswalk, even if there is an (unofficial) stop sign on the trail. What I should have said was, “You nearly hit my daughter with your car! You could have killer her!”
It amazes me how motorists are so obstinately ignorant are of how dangerous they are in a vehicle. Wrapped in their protective automotive shell, they are oblivious that there are live human bodies out there that they can maim and kill with their carelessness, and when they threat another person’s life, all they can do is insist that it is the victim’s fault. I don’t f-ing care if there is a stop sign on the trail—you are responsible to ensure the multi-thousand-pound machine you are piloting doesn’t kill someone.
My father-in-law said most people in that community are mindful of cyclists on the trail but that there were a few Karens. I think that is unfair to Karens. I’m sure this particular woman was shaken by the incident, especially after encountering an enraged papa bear, and that could partially account for her cowering in her car and angrily pointing at the stop sign. However, there is a simple fix for all of that—don’t be a criminally negligent narcissist asshole when you drive. Your actions affect other people—people whose lives matter.