Safety in High Traffic Areas

A good rule of thumb for when you are running near (auto or bike) traffic, regardless of stoplights, stop signs, etc:  Assume the driver / rider is not paying attention at all, and does not see you, and is not going to stop for you. 

Assume the worst.  So many drivers are distracted by mobile phones, other items in the auto, and are in a hurry so they don’t follow traffic laws.  Never cross an intersection with any cars stopped at it, or coming to a stop, without first making eye contact and ensuring the driver sees you and is stopped for you.  If you have the option, choose going behind the stopped car instead of in front of it.

Running on sidewalks is preferable to running on roads with auto traffic, but if running on roads is necessary, always run on the shoulder and always run TOWARD (facing) oncoming traffic.  This allows you to see oncoming autos, and to move out of the way.  This is much more difficult if autos were to approach you from behind. Again, always assume auto drivers don’t see you, and be ready to jump out of the auto’s path if needed.

When running and sharing paths with bikes, the same rules apply as with autos:  people on bikes are also often distracted with mobile phones or audio devices.  Ensure bikers see you, and listen and look for bikes approaching you from the front or behind.

When running with other runners, get in the practice of calling out to your running friends when autos or bikes are approaching the running group from in front of the group:  state “car (or bike) up!”  or from behind the group:  “car (or bike) back!”

NOTE:  wear bright clothing that makes you highly visible