As a Cross Country runner, I run an average of 8-9 miles a day, long runs are normally 13-15 miles, and I encounter many things on these runs. I have ran into bears, coyotes, deer, and snakes. While some of these animals are dangerous, they do not compare to what I normally run into on a daily basis… CARS.
If you run in an urban environment, then you already know what I am talking about. Cars will zoom right past you and often times won’t even give you the courtesy of giving you space on the side of the road. I won’t provide statistics but trust me when I say it is very easy to BECOME a statistic if you aren’t careful. Most of the time it is the driver’s fault rather than the runner, which is why I am creating this list to protect joggers/runners from being hit by a car.
Run Facing Traffic
Some runners may disagree with me on this one but I don’t say anything without experiencing it. Storytime.
I was running on a wide road (plenty of space for a runner, cyclist, and car!) one day and on this particular day there was a lot of traffic. I was running against traffic, which means that I was facing the cars driving on the road. That way I could see oncoming traffic and jump out of the way of an oncoming car if necessary. Anyways, cars were at a complete stop and one car didn’t feel the need to wait like everybody else. They drove completely on the side of the road directly in the same path that I was running!
The car showed no signs of slowing down and was swaying side to side. I jumped to the side of the road to evade the speeding car that never slowed down. Other drivers were just as stunned as I was. The driver of the speeding vehicle was likely under the influence of something, but that is out of my control. Oddly enough, while the driver was speeding and swaying, I could not hear the oncoming car. I could only see him coming at me. If I was not facing traffic, I surely would have been hit by the car and potentially would have lost my life.
Wear Bright/Reflective Clothing
If you are running at night, wear neon colored clothing such as bright yellow, orange, or green. These colors make it easier for drivers to see you. Reflective clothing is even better. These items only aid you in being seen. They don’t actually lessen injuries from being hit by a vehicle.
Wear a Headlamp at Night
Wear a light at night, it will not only make it easier for you to see but other people as well.
Thanks for reading this article!