Pedestrian Fashion Trends: Light Colored Clothing a Must

Strolling Semoran Boulevard

Light colored clothing for strolling the streets of Metro Orlando is de rigueur, definitely in fashion and absolutely a must to wear this spring.

As well as making a fashion statement, wearing light colored clothing is a practical, defensive, proactive move.  When you are crossing the street and are hit and killed some tranquil evening or rainy, dark day, the newspaper article describing this shocking event will not be able to say, “she was wearing dark clothing”.  Such a report is tantamount to saying, “she was so very dumb and mostly to blame for not wearing the latest, hot colors and standing out like a mating cockatoo”.  It’s not everywhere that wearing the wrong clothing can get you killed, or at least be able to be used as an excuse for killing you.  But wearing dark clothing on the streets of Metro Orlando will give a murderous driver the time-honored excuse:  “I didn’t see her, she was wearing dark clothing and darted in front of me”.  This excuse is almost always excepted unless the driver is weaving noticeably and smells like the inside of the neighborhood pub.  If the driver is let off, your heirs will have a very tough time of it collecting anything from the motorist’s insurance company.  And after all, you do want the little life you just gave up to count for something to those you leave behind, don’t you?

The same goes for where you walk.  Using a marked pedestrian crosswalk for your promenade instead of crossing the street any old place you feel like is definitely recommended.  Not only does it provide that ramp-like experience, if you’re hit and thrown 50 feet or so and land on your head and another SUV runs over you and drags you 100 feet further down the street, you want all that final sacrifice to have meaning.  However, if the whole sordid affair happens without benefit of a crosswalk, the newspaper will report “she was not in a crosswalk and failed to yield to the vehicle”.  And that means, “Solly Cholly, no monee”.  Of course by the time you are hit, thrown and dragged it might be difficult to determine just where you were crossing the street.  So another tip is, make sure there is an audience around to watch your stroll and testify you were launched from a crosswalk.  You do want someone watching you strut your stuff.

Well that’s the pedestrian fashion advice for the day.  Hope you enjoy walking the streets of Metro Orlando and don’t become a casualty, at least not without some recourse for your next of kin.  What did you say?  Make the streets safer?  Punish drivers for killing pedestrians?  Oh dahling, that would take all the sport out of it, and cost real money besides.  Now wouldn’t it?

11 replies
  1. Keri
    Keri says:

    LOL! Nicely done, Bill!

    Yesterday afternoon Lisa and I walked over to the movie theater at the Mall. I love that I live less than 1/2 mile from such amenities!

    First of all, there is no sidewalk on Executive Center Dr, so we walked in the street. When we got to the corner at Maguire (directly across from the theater entrance) we discovered massive amounts of traffic in both directions. We waited a little while, but there is no light there and the signal timing at other lights was not giving us a gap in all 4 lanes at the same time. We walked north to the light at the mall entrance where there is a crosswalk. As we approached the crosswalk, the light changed, stopping traffic on Maguire. One car turned left from the mall, but there were no others, so we decided to make a run for it. The ped sign said “don’t walk” the whole time because no one had pushed the button. The light was so short that Maguire got a green just as we got to the middle of the road. Fortunately, the northbound drivers who were waiting didn’t run over us. To cross legally, we would have had to push the button and wait another cycle (a cycle which favors Maguire). Even without doing that, we could have gotten to the theater faster by car.

  2. Bill
    Bill says:

    You left the most important question unanswered. Were you both sporting light colored clothing while navigating our friendly streets?

  3. JohnB
    JohnB says:

    This is making me feel even more conflicted that our Maine DOT is making us insert a bit of pedestrian safety into the bicycle safety presentation that it pays us (through our Bicycle Coalition) to teach to 3rd and 4th graders.

  4. Bill
    Bill says:

    John, it’s simple. Light colored clothing, crosswalks and patience. Applies to walking and bicycling. These youngsters need to learn how to dress, where to walk, and patience. You may have to wait until rush hour is over, but you’ll by God get across safely. Signalized crosswalks and patience. The impatient pedestrian is a dead pedestrian.

    Take Keri and Lisa. No light colors, no patience. It’s a wonder they made it. So what if you can drive faster than walk. Waiting and watching cars go by is part of the enjoyment of taking a stroll. Count the number of drivers on cell phones. Lots of ways to pass the time. Wait for an accident to happen. Have your camera ready and get a good picture. You may be involved if you’re waiting in the median. Patience. Patience and light colored clothing. And crosswalks.

    • NE2
      NE2 says:

      And forget unmarked crosswalks. They don’t exist. Don’t cross at them even if nobody’s coming. If you don’t trust me, read Fahrenheit 451. (But if you do find yourself getting run over, drop to the ground and inflict damage on them.)

  5. John Schubert,
    John Schubert, says:

    Bill, I love your satire. I would like to attach a serious footnote. Speaking as a court-certified expert in conspicuity issues in bicycle accidents, I believe that the difference between dark clothing and light clothing is far, far overrated. People in dark clothing are not significantly more difficult to see than people in light clothing under most roadway environment circumstances. I do think this needs to be said, and said often.

    John Schubert

  6. khal spencer
    khal spencer says:

    Bright clothing is definitely a must, but the question is, was the deceased wearing a helmet? After all, when you get flipped over the car at 40 mph and slammed headfirst onto the pavement, you don’t want the article to open by saying ” A pedestrian was killed today on Metro boulevard by a motorist who claimed not to have seen the deceased as she crossed in a marked crosswalk. The pedestrian was not wearing her helmet…”

  7. Bill
    Bill says:

    John, I believe you are absolutely right, which makes the standard excuse used by drivers as I cited in the piece just a bunch of crap. The problem is the cops and the newspapers buy into this farcical excuse time after time after time. Maybe we need independent experts to investigate each pedestrian fatality to get to the real cause of each one. Unfortunately in cases of one car, one victim, it’s the driver’s word only.

    Khal, helmets are sooo out of style. I didn’t even bring them up because no one would would be caught dead in one this season.

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