Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Spot the runner

I've written before about runners that disregard the basic rules of safety when they run. Sometimes I think it's hubris: "I'm on foot and have the right of way" but most often it's the misassumption that drivers can see you because you can see them. There's a statistic on the web that says over 122,000 runners, walkers, and cyclists are hit by cars each year.

This morning I encountered two potential hospital victims on my short drive out of my neighborhood. It was 6:10 AM and completely dark as I came up the street and saw the faint reflection from a runner's pants as I passed him by. He was wearing black from head to toe. Fortunately this person was running with traffic in my direction so he was over on the other side of the road when I saw him. A car coming from the other direction would have had more trouble seeing him. Ten seconds later I came around the corner where I encountered another runner, this one in gray sweats, running in the middle of the road about fifteen feet in front of me. I had to honk to get him to move. He may have been listening to music because he didn't seem to know I was there.

I realize that it's difficult (and in cases with buckled paving, dangerous) to run on the sidewalk but if you must run on the street at least do it facing oncoming traffic and by all means move when you see a car. And running in all black clothing at 6:00 AM is never a good idea.

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