LOS ANGELES Like many pedestrians, Ive learned to treat Los Angeles streets as an obstacle course of distracted drivers. Rule No. 1: Make sure a vehicle is stopped or braking before stepping off the curb. But even that didnt save me at a corner near my West Hollywood home.
The approaching car was on my right, slowing for the stop sign ahead. I started across but midway I realized the drivers attention had drifted and her car was regaining speed, veering my way. It was too late to dodge it, so I threw myself onto the hood.
Startled, the young woman looked up from her smart-phone. Texting. Of course. She braked and I rolled gingerly off her hood before she sped away. I was furious. Had I been older and less mobile, pushing a baby stroller, or preoccupied with a cellphone myself (another growing problem), her negligence might have been fatal.