June 2, 2010 isNational Running Day. This is a national initiative of the running industry to promote running as a healthy, easy, and accessible form of exercise. There are running events scheduled throughout the country to celebrate running and a healthy lifestyle.
What better time to review tips for safe running and to avoid an accident, particularly involving a vehicle? I am not aware of specific statistics kept regarding accidents solely related to runners injured by a vehicle, but at least 5,000 pedestrians are killed annually in the United States by a vehicle. It's a good guess that a significant percentage of these accidents involve runners. A few tips can make your running experience safer, including the following:
- Run in Daylight: Twilight is a particularly dangerous time to run on the roads, as visibility can be challenging to even the most cautious driver.
- Run on the opposite side of the road to traffic: You are both more visible to drivers, but you can see what the cars are doing and have a better chance of evaluating a dangerous situation.
- Limit your distractions: Many of us run with an Ipod or MP3 player. This can make the run more enjoyable, but also more dangerous. While you are focusing on that Van Halen riff, you are not likely too focused on the road. Listening to music means you can't hear the road. Try not to run on the road while listening to music.
- Carry identification: At a minimum carry your drivers license. It's also a good idea to carry a cell phone.
- Use Common sense: Drivers are not always thinking about or looking for runners. Don't try to assert your rights as a pedestrian against an on coming car that may not see you. Run defensively! Running safely is the best way to avoid an accident involving a vehicle.
Any other tips for runners that should be included on our list?