Ever have a day when you feel like you got hit by a truck?

There is a moment, just a fraction of a millisecond, before you get hit by a truck, where you realize that it’s going to happen. You know with complete inexorable certainty that this hit is about to occur, and there’s nothing you can do to avoid it.

I was hit by a truck today, crossing the street in downtown Orlando. (Spoiler alert: I’m OK, just a little sore on the side where I was hit.)

I was leaving a job interview in downtown Orlando, wearing a suit and tie. I was walking with the crosswalk, and a work truck with two men in the cab was turning left onto the street. Even though it’s a clear and sunny day, he somehow did not see me.

I saw him before I started walking, but I had the crosswalk and the walk signal, and I thought that he would let me pass since I had right of way. I thought he saw me, too. I was wrong.

In that fraction of a millisecond when I saw that he wasn’t stopping, I did three things by instinct: The first was to try to cross faster so that I wouldn’t be in front of him. The second was to reflexively put my hands on the hood, as if that would stop the truck. The third, hilariously, was to hop up, so that if I was hit I wouldn’t go underneath the vehicle.

In my moviebrain, I totally saw myself jumping onto the hood like Robin Williams in Jumanji. What actually happened was that the main part of the impact was to my thigh, and the rest was transferred to my hands on the hood of the truck, which jolted my shoulder.

“OH MY GOD, are you OK?” It was the truck driver. Followed immediately after, I heard similar questions from a woman on the corner I was crossing to, as well as some people at the opposite corner.

I hadn’t been knocked down, my clothing wasn’t marked or torn, and for one completely ridiculous second, my biggest worry was that the phone in my front pocket had been damaged. A few timid test-steps right after the impact told me that I wasn’t terribly injured, so I said I was OK, and let the driver go on with his day. We both got good stories out of this one.

I hope he pays more attention to where he’s going though.

Have you ever been hit by a car?

15 thoughts on “Ever have a day when you feel like you got hit by a truck?

  1. Amelie Regalado

    I was almost hit by a giant truck once. It was in 1997, South Beach, at around 5th Street and Washington. I ninjaed out of the way, but he would have sure flattened me. He was going pretty fast, and was also driving mostly on the sidewalk. I do remember being splashed with some seriously gross dark water/garbage juice hybrid that never came out of my Chucks. But said Chucks were the only victim of this almost-truck smushing.

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  2. Chuck Barish

    Good grief! Glad you are OK.

    Charles F. Barish, MD, FACP, FACG, AGAF Wake Gastroenterology Wake Research Associates Raleigh, North Carolina

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    1. I did that too, when I was a kid. My brother and I were racing down the street and a car backed out of the driveway- I hit on one side, slid across the hood, and fell off the other side. I was unhurt (and laughing about it), but the driver of the car was seriously freaked out.

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  3. When you were describing your instinctive jumping I could hear the 6 Million Dollar Man jumping sound affect. So if you get hired there…will they pay you extra for combat pay? Sounds like a dangerous hood. 😉

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  4. Saw one of your posts this am and somehow thought it was one of those “what if” things but holy shiz you got hit by a car! Glad you are all in one piece and feeling okay… hope that driver learned a lesson. But now the real question… is your snazzy suit lucky or cursed? 😉

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  5. CB

    No, I’ve never been hit by a car or a truck. Am very, very glad you weren’t badly injured! And I’m also hoping you get the job–unless it’s one of those jobs that seems okay in theory but would make you utterly miserable once you got it. Good luck. 🙂

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