By Miss Sara Drury
So I was running right… it was a rainy day and I just had to get out; who doesn’t love running in a good rain storm?? Well, not even fifteen minutes into my run and BAM!!.. I was hit—yes by a car. The woman who hit me had just hit my thigh before I slammed my hand on the hood of her car and leaped out of the way. I was not injured, nor did I go to the hospital. I just kept on running and thought about how I couldn’t believe the woman who hit me did not even react until I hit her car; how did she not see me?
Well, this was my second encounter with cars… there is no way I can put the entire fault on the driver. Looking back, there are a few guidelines I could have followed (and now do… I might add) to avoid an accident.
To the runner:
- When crossing a street or public parking entrance/exit (where my accident actually happened), ALWAYS look in all four directions—front, back, left, and right.
- Make eye contact with the driver and as a safety precaution, hold your hand up in a wave/stop position. I could’ve sworn that I had eye contact with the driver before my accident, she was even slowing down; I was wrong. If the car has slowed but you have not reached eye contact with the driver, it is your responsibility to stop completely—they do NOT see you!
- Wear proper clothing and protective gear. I was wearing black… on a rainy day; stupid, I know. Even during the daytime, bright clothing is best. To those of us who are self-conscious and don’t want anyone to look at us while we are running, it is time to get over that anxiety… nobody is watching you run on purpose, they just pass you in the car, envious and think, “I need to go running today too.” So actually, you are probably helping somebody get out and enjoy the sport. On top of the bright colors, reflective gear is a necessity for early morning and night-time runners. The amphipod xinglet is my recommendation—it provides 360 degrees of reflectivity, and it has a pocket for a cellphone and spare cash. We sell them at all three of our locations!
- To all who run in the road… run AGAINST traffic. Even doing so on the sidewalk helps protect you from cars making fatal right hand turns.
- And finally, if you run with music, don’t blast your brains out. For extra protection, run with only one ear bud so you can utilize your keen sense of hearing for oncoming traffic in all directions.
So there you have it. There are a billion precautions to take while running. But heed the few guidelines I’ve listed and don’t get hit—I was a young amateur and had to learn from experience.
To the driver: Just think of all the important lessons we learned in Drivers Ed.
- Be aware of your surroundings
- Yield to pedestrians
- And completely stop at the stop sign or before the sidewalk crossing on both the road and in public parking entrances/exits, not 3 feet in front of it, before proceeding.
Well guys, Happy Runners Safety Month. Remember to Prepare, Be Safe, and Run On!
P.S. Oh, and if you ever are in a minor accident like mine, where you can actually finish your run, be courteous enough and assure the driver that you are okay. Even though they hit you, and you are probably angry, the driver is most likely very sorry and shocked; they should feel horrible. If you leave on good terms, I promise your run and there day will go a little better. I still regret just running off with a chip on my shoulder; my run in the rain was not so enjoyable that afternoon. Another lesson learned! Until next time!