In an ideal world, there would always be a trail, a sidewalk, or a path to run on, but as we all know, that's not always the case. Most veteran runners (except for the lucky ones) have experienced running on the road at least once before. We know the risks, the annoyances, and the thrills of running alongside a speeding car, but do we always practice safe running? I've been a runner for many years and I still don’t take all of the safety precautions that I should. I don’t always run facing traffic, I don’t always take out my ear buds, and I never carry an ID or a cell phone.
So if you’re a veteran who needs a reminder (like me) or just getting into running, it is very important to know, and follow, the ‘rules of the road’ for runners.
- Run on the shoulder of the road (if possible) against traffic
- Stop at a stop sign, stop light, and all intersections, wait for the driver to wave you through—then acknowledge the driver with your own wave
- Respect a driver’s right to the road
- Don’t assume a driver sees you
- Do not run with music, or turn your music down low while running on the road so that you can hear cars that you cannot see
- Run with proper ID, and carry a cell phone with emergency contacts taped to its back
- If you run with a group, run in single file so that cars can pass
- Wear reflective clothing, especially at night