I’ve recently discovered Freakonomics, and it’s safe to say that I’ve fallen in love. I have really enjoyed all of the books, and I listen to the podcasts while walking with J. The authors definitely make me look at the world in a different way.
One of the podcasts I listened to lately was about motor vehicle accidents involving the death of pedestrians. Data from 2012 show that there about 4,500 pedestrian deaths in the US annually. That’s a huge number, and far too big.
When I heard that, my mind quickly went to my friends and family who love to run, walk and bike this time of year. After long Northeast Ohio winters, we can’t wait to put on our sneakers and hit the pavement. But it’s the reality that we share the road with vehicles – lots of them. I’ve had some closer-than-I’d-like experiences with cars while biking, running and walking, so I wanted to share safety tips for all users of our roadways – whether you’re in a car or not.
Safety Tips for Runners and Walkers
– I hate this one, but it is recommended that you do not wear headphones, especially if you’re going to be running or walking on the road.
– Remember to run/walk against traffic, so you can see what is coming. Never run down the middle of the road.
– Carry your ID and a cell phone. I love these Road ID bracelets. You never know what could happen, and in case of an emergency, having your ID information could be life-saving.
– Stop at stop signs to ensure traffic yields to you. Never assume cars will stop for you, even if you are in a cross walk.
– If you’re running at night or early in the morning, be sure to wear bright, reflective clothing. Avoid head-to-toe dark clothing.
– Running with a friend or group is great and can be very motivating, but be courteous – and safe: don’t run more than two abreast.
Safety Tips for Bikers
Keep in mind: Bicyclist on public roads have the same rights and responsibilities as car drivers. They are also subject to the same state laws and local ordinances.
– Ride with traffic, not against it.
– Obey all stop signs, yield signs and traffic lights.
– Use hand signals for turns. This alerts drivers of your directional intention and helps keep you safe – and it’s the law.
– Don’t weave in and out of parked cars, even if they are in the way. Motorists may not see you when you try to move back into the flow of traffic.
– When riding at night or early in the morning, be sure your bike has good lights. Front light, wheel and pedal reflectors are a good idea – and often required by law. A rear red light wouldn’t hurt either. Again, as with running and walking, wear light-colored and/or reflective clothing.
– Always ride in a single-file line.
– And of course, always wear a helmet!
Be safe out there, friends!