November 20, 2015

Runners have a right to run along the side of the road, but that doesn’t mean it’s always safe. Drivers—and especially those who are distracted—can cause many accidents, which can easily be fatal. It’s important for runners, who may be very dialed-in to their times and keeping on pace, to be well aware of these dangers.

Experts warn that drivers who are using different gadgets behind the wheel, like tablets and smartphones, are especially dangerous. They only need to swerve off of the road and onto the shoulder for a brief second to hit a runner.

If no one was there, the driver may just have heard the change in road noise and corrected his or her course, not thinking it was much of a big deal. This lax attitude, though, can be deadly to a runner.

So, what can runners do to protect themselves if they don’t want to be confined to gyms and treadmills? They should consider:

– Running on the left so that they face traffic.- Choosing bright clothing. Reflective clothing is even better.- Not listening to music on headphones while they run.

These things are especially important at night. Though runners may have all the right in the world to be there, it’s very hard for drivers to see them at night, with the shadows and the glare from other cars. Plus, drivers often don’t check for runners as thoroughly as they should, focusing on vehicles.

Still, even taking these safety steps will not prevent all accidents in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, so runners who have been hurt need to know their rights.

Source: Runner’s World, “Collision Course,” Liz Robbins, accessed Nov. 20, 2015