Story: There was a story on the news the other day about a woman who ran over a doctor on Long Island, NY. The poor doctor's family was shown grieving over his death. It seems that the woman realized that she had hit someone but didn't stop. She was probably upset and confused, since she called into the police pretending to report she hit "debris" in the road. They eventually hunted her down and arrested her. She's facing felony charges for leaving the scene. Very sad, indeed.
Story: A colleague of mine was driving home recently on a public road, and a child ran out into the street chasing after a ball. Witnesses confirmed that the child ran into the side of the SUV my colleague was driving, and that the SUV didn't hit the child. Unfortunately, the child died from his injuries. Unfortunately, my friend's wife and three kids were in the vehicle with him, and now they're all dealing with this unfortunate incident.
My biggest fear while driving is the possibility of hitting a pedestrian. Hear me on this: You don't have to be speeding to hit a child who runs out in front of your car. And you don't get a second chance. Believe it or not, driving around the neighborhood poses more immediate dangers than any highway ever can. I have been known to exceed unnaturally low speed limits on the highways, sometimes by a factor of two, but you'll never catch me speeding around residential neighborhoods. Frankly, on a hot summer day when people and pets are running about, you should be consciously driving slower than the posted speed limit. Remember, you have one chance at this.
This is why properly working brakes are so important. Also, you have to be very aware of your surroundings. All actions you take while driving around the neighborhood are important. Speeding is only one issue. You have to be using your eyes. You can't roll through stop signs. You have to be aware of the people that are on the street, kids on bicycles, and pets running around. So, as always, the car phone, radio, makeup, and all the other distractions can't be allowed to interfere with your driving. It's simply not worth the risk.
Please be careful out there!