Put your phone down and drive



April 9, 2018 - 11:00 PM

LOS ANGELES — Like many pedestrians, I’ve 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 didn’t 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 driver’s 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.

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