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Safety Tip: Run Against the Traffic

Many of you have made running a 2009 goal. Yay! Running is a great form of exercise, but you need to be safe out there and to do that you must run defensively. Whether you run on the sidewalk or in the road, because asphalt is more forgiving than concrete, run against the flow of traffic. That's the left hand side of the road here in the States. Running against traffic means you can see what is coming toward you, because sometimes motorists do some unpredictable things, like pull into a driveway. You must always assume, no matter how bright your jacket is, that the driver doesn't see you. So play it safe and run toward oncoming traffic.


Join The Conversation
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
This tip is only if you're running on the road, where your safety is in question. On a sidewalk, I don't think it matters as much if at all.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
this probably makes sense in most of the country - but i'd still have a MAJOR fear of doing that in NYC knowing that people drive crazy here still. thank goodness for the running path on the east river since i HATE running when there are cars involved (and having to stop at all the traffic lights)
almostloli almostloli 8 years
yeah, i did this when i used to run on tracks n roads
Joe-Hrdlicka Joe-Hrdlicka 8 years
I had just written a post about this very topic. I included a link here and posted today. After many early Sat. morning runs this past fall, this is valuable advice.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
Whenever I run on the country highways by my in-laws' house, I always run on the left side of the road so I can see approaching cars. The roads aren't very busy, but a lot of people drive too fast and don't watch for pedestrians, so you really have to be careful.
heatherhas heatherhas 8 years
I agree with mudnessa. When I run at my parents, I find myself switching sides on their remote gravel road, so I can maintain good awareness of my surroundings, and no one can clip me when they cut a turn. However, I run in the city, so this rule doesn't really apply in all cases. I mostly dodge traffic and pedestrians. And if I'm running in the same direction of traffic, I always look over my shoulder before I cross. I've been almost hit so many times its ridiculous.
mudnessa mudnessa 8 years
I agree with this on the main roads in my area, but in the tiny twisty and turny back roads of my area I find it's easier to drive when runners are on the same side. Two objects moving towards each other on a sudden blind turn is not as easy to avoid as ones moving the same direction. In that case it does not matter if the runner can see the driver because by the time you do there isn't much a runner can do and it's up to the driver and going opposite directions you meet each other a lot quicker. That is just my opinion.
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
It drives me nuts when runners don't do this!! My friend will run with traffic behind her and not pay attention. Cars have honked at her because she's been in the middle of the lane! You can't rely on cars to be paying attention; definitely always run against traffic!
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Great advice.
paine paine 8 years
I missed that poll, but definitely my goal too. I barely practiced any form of exercise in the last 4 years, oh god.. I need to start NOW before I get old, and cause its good for health.
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