Going out for a run should not feel like a real-life game of Frogger. But I have certainly had my fair share of times when I have thought to myself, “Should I cross, does the driver of the car see me?” And the occasional, “Oh, crap! They don’t see me!” As much as I would like to give certain drivers a lesson on looking and yielding for pedestrians, it is probably easier for me to make some changes to become safer when running.
After a little web searching, I came across these tips from dummies.com.
1. Don’t wear headsets. This is the No. 1 rule for safe running. Why? Because when you listen to music or the radio while running outside, you can’t hear car horns, cyclists, or, heaven forbid, the footsteps of someone coming up behind you. This is a hard one for me as music and running go hand in hand for me. But I have my music volume low enough that I can still hear the outside world.
2. Run against traffic. A bicycle is considered a vehicle, so it is subject to the same laws as cars and trucks. Cyclists ride with traffic. You are not a vehicle. You are a runner. You are also in a highly vulnerable position if you’re running near cars, trucks, and bicycles. Luckily, I never have to worry about running on the road as I always run on the sidewalk. I would be too nervous to run on the road.
3. If you run at night, make yourself visible. Wear light-colored clothing and invest a few dollars in a reflective vest, which you can purchase at a local running store or through a mail-order running catalog. I am too chicken to run in the dark, but even at dusk I make sure I wear clothes that stand out.
4. Don’t challenge cars to a race. If you and a car are both approaching an intersection, stop and let the car go first. (News flash: They’re faster than you.) This one is a no-brainer!
5. Beware of stopped cars waiting to make a right turn. Stop and wait until they make the turn, or run behind them.
6. Run with others. This may be the easiest way to avoid problems altogether. Sharing the road with other runners is also a great way to stay motivated and to enjoy the sport. You can find potential partners through your running club, your running apparel store, or community bulletin boards at your library. And it is fun to run with our runners!
How do you keep yourself from feeling like Frogger when you go out for a run?