An Open Letter to Drivers

Confirming that a driver sees you before crossing is critical to ensure one’s safety. Don’t cross until the driver acknowledges your presence. It’s the only way to guarantee they won’t hit the gas and hit you.

Dear Drivers:

When driving on the roads, please see the runners that must pass through a crosswalk and/or cross a street and acknowledge them. Don’t assume that you looking at the runners while wearing dark sunglasses through a glare-prone windshield is enough. Remember, you are in a large, metal vehicle. And they are simply in running shorts and a shirt.

I bring this up because over the past two weeks while running on the roads with my high school track team, driver after driver has stopped to give us the right away but never really acknowledged that we were there. They assumed stopping their car was enough. I’m not sure if they were angry, annoyed, or whatever, but they all stopped their cars and just sat there waiting for us to cross. Those that know me well, know that while running (especially with the team) I will wave my arms, yell, snap, or do whatever I have to in order to get a driver’s attention and then cross (and signal for the team to do the same).

Today, while crossing at the crosswalk at St. Andrews and Yamato roads in Boca Raton, there was a white SUV trying to make a right hand turn into Broken Sound Country Club. Even though we had the right away and the crossing sign said “go,” I made sure the kids saw the turning car and told them to wait to run in front of the vehicle. (Right hand turners are always the ones you have to watch out for when running/crossing.) The woman in the SUV was wearing dark sunglasses. She stopped her car but I still waved to make sure she saw us. She did nothing in return. She did not smile, wave okay, or anything. With her in sunglasses, making eye contact was nearly impossible. I continued to wave in hopes that she would do the same. She did not. Rather stared at me (and the group) and sat there. After another few seconds of waving and her directly staring, I was sure she was annoyed at us (but most importantly saw us) and we continued to cross.

The question is, why couldn’t she wave back? Why couldn’t she acknowledge us and confirm that she saw us? I am running across a street with numerous high school kids behind me. Is it too much to ask you to wave back and confirm you’ve made eye contact so I can be 100% positive that you see us? It’s dangerous on the roads…for cars let alone individuals (specifically kids) that are crossing streets. With all do respect, staring back at me behind a pair of dark sunglasses behind a glare-filled windshield is not enough.

Thank you for your time…Now and of course the 5 extra seconds we took earlier today while trying to cross the road.


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