If you’re a runner, you know that it comes with a certain level of inherent risk. People get injured running every day. You could pull a hamstring or strain your calf, or you could suffer a fall and fracture your arm.
But your risks are much more serious if you’re often running in town or around traffic. Being struck by a car can lead to severe or even fatal injuries, even when the vehicle is moving relatively slowly at the time of impact. What can you do to keep yourself safe?
Important safety tips
Every runner needs to be aware of their own situation and what they need to do to stay safe. The following are certainly not all of the tips that you want to follow, but they can give you a nice place to start.
- Wear a headlamp or an LED light vest if you’re running after dark.
- Wear bright clothing at any hour.
- If you can, try to run on the sidewalk and not the side of the road.
- If you do need to run on the side of the road, do so while facing traffic.
- Always obey traffic signals and crosswalks. Never jaywalk, even though you’re running and moving more quickly than most pedestrians.
- Don’t run with your headphones on or while listening to music. At the very least, listen to one earbud or turn the music down far enough that you can still hear.
- Frequent roads that you are used to where you understand the traffic levels and road designs.
Above all wlse, always assume that drivers are going to make mistakes. Don’t trust them. Assume they can’t see you or that they haven’t even looked for you. Many runners get hit when they believe that they have the right-of-way and they go in front of a car, but the driver suddenly begins moving because they had no idea the runner was there.
Is that your fault?
To be very clear, if you get hit while you have the right of way, it is not your fault. Say you enter a crosswalk just as a driver starts to turn right. That driver needs to wait for you to complete the turn. So it is smart to assume drivers are going to make mistakes, but that is not to say that it’s your fault when they do.
The above tips will help you, but all runners face risks around potentially negligent drivers. If a driver has made a mistake and injured you in an accident, then you need to know how to seek proper financial compensation.