By Ed Griffin
As a runner, it’s hard enough to stay fit and injury free. And then in the winter, many of your favorite off-road running destinations are not available, which means you have to hit the streets. This is where it gets tricky. Motorists are more distracted than ever, creating many bad situations for anyone trying to get in a few miles.
This leads me to today’s topic: the five most dangerous running situations.
Running with traffic: Most of us take for granted that you run against traffic, so you can see what is coming at you. Too often though, people continue to run with traffic. Unlike cyclists, who are considered to be on a vehicle and in many cases have a mirror to see what is behind them, runners should always run against traffic.
Running on Highways: Neighborhood streets and country roads can be peaceful and scenic but when you run on a busy highway, things can get dangerous. Traffic is moving at a high rate of speed and as I mentioned, motorists can be distracted, which is a bad combination for a runner.
Crosswalks: New York state traffic laws give pedestrians the right of way at a crosswalk. According to the law, pedestrians in the crosswalk or attempting to enter the crosswalk have the right of way. Signs are popping up at crosswalks to make sure motorists are aware of the law. However, anyone who has attempted to use a crosswalk knows that many motorists ignore people attempting to cross, creating a dangerous situation. Be very careful in crosswalks. Make sure you give the motorist enough time to stop for you (don’t dart out), make eye contact with the driver and be sure the driver acknowledges you are crossing.
Business Districts: This is an obvious problem for runners. Limited sight lines, heavy traffic and vehicles entering and exiting all combine for potential accidents. Avoiding busy business districts will let you concentrate on your run and not your safety.
Canal Crossings: The New York State Canalway Trail is a wonderful place where runners can relax because they are away from vehicles. However, there are many places on the trail where runners have to cross a busy highway to continue on the towpath. There are a variety of crossings and some are just crazy, with multiple paths of traffic or traffic at a high rate of speed. The canal crossings all have crosswalks and the same laws apply when running here. Just be aware that due to the rural nature of the canal crossings, motorists are not always expecting people to be crossing.
Connect With Us
see the latest from Fleet Feet Syracuse