This morning, I ran rather unexpectedly and unusually into tail-lights. It’s not a heavy traffic road and it was 6:45am, and still dark. What I discovered was that there was a young woman in the middle of the highway. Walking in and out, back to the shoulder, wandering into the highway again, totally oblivious.
It was immediately apparent to me that something was terribly wrong with her. On drugs, mentally ill, perhaps mentally retarded. It was raining.
As cars swerved around her and kept going, I became increasingly alarmed. She would go to the shoulder, then stumble back onto the highway. Several cars nearly hit her and they all kept going. I was already calling 9-1-1 (they had been called and told me that an officer was being dispatched).
When I got to where she was, she ran into the road again, then back to the shoulder. I turned my hazard lights on and pulled halfway off of the road and kept my car on half of the left lane to block that lane of the highway and keep the IDIOTS away from her.
I was nervous about getting out of the car because she was acting so bizarre, but I knew I could stay right with her and keep her safe until the police arrived.
Which is what I did.
I just sort of followed her very slowly and kept talking to her out the window. She was mostly incoherent and kept saying “I can walk”. When she tried to dart into the road, I just cut her off with the car.
Would anyone believe that people were honking as they went around me. Anyone could see that this was a dangerous situation and the woman was vulnerable and something was terribly wrong.
Yet not one person stopped before or after me.
Not one person saw what I was trying to do and had the idea of perhaps doing the same to build a safety fence made out of cars around this woman.
I’m not Mother Teresa. Believe that I was cursing and lots of hostile thoughts about these morons were going through my mind! But what is wrong with people? What are these people who would not only NOT stop to help, but actually honk and speed on by.
EVERY one of them…if ASKED hypothetically, would say that they would stop. They’d all be all over this story had she gotten run over. Wondering in outrage why someone didn’t help her!!!
I’m not a hero. ANYONE should do what I did. When that sort of thing becomes heroic, there’s something wrong with our society.
I’ve felt for a long time that if you want to see a person’s true character, get into a car in heavy traffic with them! But this morning…I just could not believe that people were honking at me in frustration. It blew my mind.
Maybe someone else would have stopped had I not??? I don’t know. She was like a dog darting in and out of traffic and people were just going around her and moving along. Yes, Karma is a bitch. I could be their Karma! See, not Mother Teresa!
I posted this story on my Facebook and one of my friends shared the following link:
Someone did a study on this in 1978. See “HELPING BEHAVIOR AND THE GOOD SAMARITAN” at
From the article: “ignoring the victim was not necessarily a result of uncaring attitude, but of being so wrapped up in their own world that they genuinely did not notice the victim.”
Would you have stopped? Seriously, would you have? I’ve never met anyone who would say “NOPE” but NOONE DID! Would you have stopped?