Running Safety

Let’s get this out in the open – running on a treadmill is boring, and doing laps around a track isn’t much better. Running outdoors on the road or sidewalk offers more stimulation, but brings with it a new set of challenges. I always choose the sidewalk option if available, although there can be more surface changes such as curbs and sidewalk cracks. This makes it more important to pay attention to your foot placement, especially in low-light conditions. Running on the road should be done on the left side, going against traffic. This way you can clearly see cars coming towards you, and move off the road if necessary. I’ve found the most precarious situation in road and sidewalk running to be when there is a car up ahead of you turning right from the side street onto the main road you’re running on. They often have their heads turned looking left to check for traffic, and rarely look right to check for pedestrians or runners. I’ve almost been hit several times like this when the car attempted to pull out onto the main road just as I was running by. Do not run past the car without making eye contact first. Even though you may have the legal right of way, remember that the laws of physics trump the laws of the road every time.

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