On the whole, running or jogging consistently can be good for your health. It keeps your weight down, improves your cardiovascular system, gives you an outlet for stress and much more. Any fitness expert will tell you that a habit of exercise gives you a healthier life.
That said, running can carry some risks, not the least of which is getting involved in an accident when you have to run near traffic. City streets and rural roads alike can put you in danger. You must know how to stay safe.
Keep these tips in mind every time you run
If you plan to continue running — or if you’re just getting started — and you want to lower your accident and injury risks, here are a few ways to do it:
- Run like you’re completely invisible and none of the drivers have any idea that you’re there. This turns you into a defensive runner, assuming drivers are going to make mistakes. It can help you see those mistakes coming.
- Do not run with traffic, like you would on a bike. Run against traffic. You need to see cars approaching so that you can avoid them — if a texting driver drifts onto the shoulder, for instance.
- The amount of traffic matters far less than your own visibility, so wear bright clothes and run during the day. A deserted rural road usually feels safer, but all it takes is one driver to cause an accident.
- Leave your headphones behind. Yes, this one hurts. It’s much more enjoyable to run with music, but it prevents you from hearing traffic around you and it can be a dangerous distraction.
- Look out for driveways, parking lots and side streets. It’s easy to tell where cars are going to be on main streets, but cars from these other areas can appear out of nowhere. Be especially wary if you’re running near bars or other places where you may encounter impaired drivers trying to enter the street.
Will this always be enough to avoid an accident? Unfortunately not. Accidents happen all the time. If you get injured while running, make sure you are well aware of your rights to seek compensation.