Running is fun and good for your health, but it’s risky too. Here in California, pedestrian-vehicle accidents have risen by about 25% since 2014.
Too often, drivers fail to see runners along the roadway, on sidewalks, in crosswalks, and at intersections. There are almost 900 pedestrian deaths on our state’s roads every year, plus thousands of injuries.
California runners, read on for some important pedestrian safety tips that could save your life.
Wear the Right Gear
When you head out into the city, wear urban running gear that’s designed for safety. There’s plenty to choose from, like bright/low-light vests, LED light bands, headlamps, reflective shorts, and shoes/laces that are made to blink or reflect light.
Face the Traffic
Don’t allow the traffic to surprise you from behind. Run facing traffic and stay on the sidewalk wherever possible. Use crosswalks instead of jaywalking and avoid situations where you impede oncoming traffic and could easily be hit by a distracted driver.
Try Alternate Routes
Every runner has a favorite route, but sometimes traffic is a nightmare. Although you’re not prohibited from running in high-traffic areas, stay safe by finding alternate routes that are less dangerous. In particular, avoid the city’s biggest hills, blind curves, and roads lacking sidewalks and shoulders.
Keep Your Hearing Sharp
Headphones and earbuds prevent you from hearing what’s happening around you. It’s best not to wear them, but if you must, keep the music at a low volume so you can still hear approaching cars, cyclists, dogs, and people.
Take Extra Precautions at Night
Nighttime creates a low-visibility situation that makes running more dangerous. Of course, you might not be able to avoid night runs due to your work and personal schedule. Minimize the danger by wearing reflective gear and staying in brightly-lit areas of the city.
Stay Alert When Risks are High
Your running risk is highest in certain situations. Stay alert during any of the following conditions:
- In bad weather, like ice, snow, thunderstorms, and fog
- Around construction zones, where traffic can be even more unpredictable
- At intersections, where the risk of accidents is especially high
- In neighborhoods and commercial areas with constant traffic
- Anywhere cars back up, like driveways and parking lots
- While running with one or more friends
Groups of runners are at higher risk of accidents because drivers and cyclists have a harder time avoiding them. Stay single-file and don’t run two-abreast. Warn your running partners of approaching traffic.
Runners sometimes experience road rage from irritable drivers. If a driver seems to be road-raging near you, make a quick detour to a side road. Remove yourself from the situation for your own safety before things escalate.
If You’re Injured, Seek Compensation
When the worst still happens and you’re hit by a car while running, contact an experienced attorney who handles pedestrian accidents. Your attorney will help you understand your options, gather the evidence you need to make your case, and seek a fair outcome.
Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers recently obtained a $100,000 settlement for a San Francisco pedestrian hit by a car. In that case, the driver ran a red light in front of Whole Foods and hit a 29-year-old runner. His high-dollar compensation helped him recover from serious injuries to his legs, pelvis, and vertebrae.
Don’t let traffic stop you from running safely. California is a wonderful place to run, as long as you’re alert and careful. Have fun out there, runners!
Experience a serious pedestrian accident?
Check out our Pedestrian Accident Page to learn more about how the process works.
We Handle Your Runner’s Accident Claim So You Can Focus on Your Life
After a traffic accident, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many areas of personal injury law, including injuries that arise from pedestrian accidents. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering from your accident while we handle the legal details. We truly care about our fellow runners in California. Contact us today for a free online case evaluation.