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.

Accident Client

“Last March, my partner was struck by a vehicle while crossing the street. During this difficult time of healing, we knew that bills were going to pile up and his was going to be a long process. After looking at multiple law firms, we knew that Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers was going to be the best place to work with. Lauren and her team were patient, supportive and caring during his difficult time. His schedule was always busy with work and doctor appointments that his main source of communication was through email. Lauren and her team made it to where he didn’t have to worry about anything but just sending over the paper work he got from the hospital, and other bill collectors involving his incident and they worried about the rest.

Because of all their help my partner Aaron, was able to heal with less worries on his shoulders. By end of December, everything was settled and we were pleased with the results. I’d like to give a huge thank you to Lauren & the Sally Morin team. If you’re looking for a law firm for your incident, I’d definitely look at this law firm.”

We're here to help with your Personal Injury claim

Check out our Personal Injury FAQ Page to learn more about how the process works.

We Handle Your Personal Injury Accident Claim So You Can Focus on Your Life

After an injury, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many areas of the law, including pedestrian and car accidents that involve speeding. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering while we handle the legal details.

We truly care about the people of San Jose and all of California. Contact us today for a
free online case evaluation.


It is essential to know your rights after a traffic accident so you can protect yourself and the value of your claim.
This guide will help you:

  • 1Know what to do when dealing with insurance claims, police reports and lawyers.
  • 2Avoid making mistakes that undermine the value of your claim
  • 3Put yourself in a position to get the best settlement possible