Running near traffic is hazardous. Many drivers don’t look for runners at all. Collisions are more likely to lead to severe or even fatal injuries for runners. This is especially true with large pickup trucks and SUVs, which pose a greater danger.
That being said, many people don’t have much of a choice. They have to run around traffic if they want to stay in shape. Here are some things they can do to stay safe.
Run facing traffic
It’s always best to run on the sidewalk, if possible. But not all roads have sidewalks. Runners who have to be on the shoulder should face traffic, rather than running with it.
Focus on visibility
Runners may also want to work on making themselves as highly visible as they can. Bright colors can help to stand out during the day. LED light vests and headlamps can help to make runners more obvious even at night. Drivers often say they “never saw” runners before hitting them.
Ditch the distractions
Many runners like to wear headphones or earbuds so that they can listen to music. However, this can be a distraction that makes an accident more likely, so it is usually best to leave them at home.
Act like you’re invisible
Finally, runners should always just imagine that they are invisible to the drivers around them. If you make this assumption, it helps to keep you out of harm’s way because many of those drivers honestly haven’t seen you, even if they should have. Never assume they do.
That said, all the safety tips in the world can’t guarantee that you won’t be injured in an accident. If you are, be sure you know what legal options you have.