You started running on a treadmill, trying to do a mile per day. That was fine at first, but, as your mileage increased, you started getting bored running inside. Now you want to go out and run on the road, but you’re nervous to be so close to traffic. What can you do to stay safe?
First and foremost, remember that you do have a right to run near the road. Sometimes, that means on the sidewalk. Sometimes, it means running on the shoulder or even on the edge of the road. You may use crosswalks and other pedestrian walkways. Don’t ever feel like you can’t use the road or that it’s only for cars, no matter how drivers act.
That said, drivers don’t always put safety first when driving near runners, so here are some tips that can help you:
- Don’t wear headphones or earbuds.
- Run with others.
- Wear bright clothes.
- Wear LED lights at night.
- If possible, don’t run at night at all, but during the day.
- Face traffic whenever you run in the road.
- Assume drivers won’t look for you and don’t see you.
- Remember that the greatest risks you face are where there are visual obstructions — hills or curves — or where traffic enters or exits the road.
As you start putting in more and more miles, no matter how safety-conscious you are, you are exposing yourself to potential risks. One of those drivers just has to make one mistake, one time, to put you in the hospital. Be sure you understand the legal steps you can take to seek compensation for your medical bills and other financial losses.