After running the half marathon on Saturday morning, I enjoyed two days unplugged from the world. I was on my phone checking Facebook and Instagram from time to time, but for the most part I was just being a lazy bum. When I did get back onto the computer on Monday to check on a few things, I saw this article. See, Jared ran the race on Saturday. He was training for an Ironman. And now he’s gone because he was hit by a car that he didn’t see coming.
Then – in the past week – I’ve almost been hit by a car while running or walking my dog three times thanks to speeding cars with drivers who are simply not paying attention.
Here is the truth: People in cars DON’T see us. They just don’t. They are more focused on their radio, their destination, their make up they are putting on in the rear view mirror, their phones, texting…anything and everything except the person who is trying to cross in front of them while the car is stopped and waiting for a break in traffic.
Part of me totally blames them for their lack of awareness around them. They should be more aware, then there would be less accidents, but the truth is…we as runners can do just as much to protect ourselves. Drivers feel that they own the road, and since they are in something significantly bigger than I am, I tend to agree with them. Most don’t mind sharing with runners or bicyclists or whatever, but a lot of them do have issues with it, and that’s why you need to do what you can to be safe.
Wear bright colors that are easily seen (here is where neon works wonders), wear reflective gear or blinkies when you are running in the dark, pay attention to what’s around you. Stop at the roads you need to cross to make sure there is no traffic, run AGAINST the traffic so they can see you better, and wear only one ear bud so you can hear what’s going on around you.
Granted, I don’t do everything I just listed. I wear both ear buds because I need my music to run and part of my usual run route is WITH traffic, not against it. But I am constantly stopping and checking traffic, looking over my shoulder to see what’s coming up next to me or behind me, and I always assume that no one can see me. I haven’t run into any real trouble on my own, but I have running with friends. Especially when I run the bridges downtown.
Downtown, while running the bridges, is always dangerous. It IS a popular running area for us because it has bridges (or Florida’s hills) and anyone who is downtown a lot knows there is always someone running – but that doesn’t mean that they see you when you are trying to dart across the street and they are turning into you.
Please friends, do be safe out there. From one runner to another, take the necessary precautions so that you are safe. Wear the reflective gear (Joann’s has reflective ribbon in their dollar bins for Halloween costumes. Get you some for running) and wear blinkies when you run at night. Pay attention to whats around you.