When it comes to cardio, there isn’t better exercise than running. You don’t need a gym membership, expensive equipment, or even a track, for that matter. All you need is a little motivation and a place to run. Of course, tons of people run on a treadmill or drive to the nearest track, but you can get just as good of a workout in your own neighborhood. However, while there is nothing wrong with running on the streets, there are important guidelines to follow to ensure your safety.
Distracted Drivers are Everywhere
It doesn’t matter if you are on a small neighborhood road or a major highway, distracted drivers pose a threat anywhere you go. According to studies, pedestrian-vehicle accidents have increased by 51 percent since 2009. If you were struck by a car while running, it is crucial to contact an experienced pedestrian injury lawyer to get the compensation you deserve.
So whether you just discovered the joys of running or are a long-distance marathon runner looking to conquer some new terrain, here are six tips to ensure your safety while running on the street.
Run On The Opposite Side Of The Road
While it is important to ride your bike with the flow of traffic, running in the same direction as cars is extremely dangerous. If you are running with the flow of traffic, you may not be able to notice a car coming up behind you, especially if you have your headphones in. Running against traffic allows you to see out-of-control cars coming your way so you can quickly jump to safety if needed.
Stick to Sidewalks
Sidewalks are specifically designed for pedestrians, so make an effort to use them whenever you can. However, it is important to note that some sidewalks can be bumpy, cracked, and broken, which can lead to serious injuries. It is essential to always be aware of your surroundings and watch out for any rough terrain.
Watch Out For Blind Spots
Once in a while, you will run down a street with lots of hills or sharp winding turns, which could make it difficult to see oncoming traffic. If you find yourself running into a blind spot, consider briefly crossing the road to get a better view of any cars that may be coming your way. Before crossing the street, look both ways to ensure it is safe to cross.
Use Crosswalks and Intersections
Whenever you need to cross the road, try to always use a crosswalk or intersection. Drivers are more likely to expect pedestrians and will see you crossing the street. In addition, you should always follow traffic lights, and even if it looks clear, wait for the appropriate signal. However, it is important to note that many roads and streets are not properly equipped with crosswalks. If an intersection or crosswalk is not available, find a visible path and wait until there is no oncoming traffic.
Wear Reflective Clothing
If you are running at night, it is vital to never wear black and dress in reflective clothing. If you can, bring a flashlight with you to alert drivers you are on the road. The brighter you are, the more likely a car will notice you.
Wear Proper Footwear
Cars are not the only threat to runners on the street. If you are not wearing the appropriate footwear, you could risk severe injury. Asphalt and concrete are not as forgiving as grass or a rubber track. It is crucial to wear running shoes with thick soles to absorb the hard street or sidewalk in order to properly protect your feet and knees.
While running through your neighborhood streets is an excellent form of exercise, it is crucial to always follow these guidelines to ensure your safety. Make sure you are always aware of your surroundings, wear bright clothing, and run against traffic at all times.
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