Like many of us who run on roads, I have personally had many close calls with cars. As some of you know, my wife Alison was hit this past year in a CROSSWALK while wearing a reflective vest. Fortunately she is doing much better but this is a topic that is important to me and one that I have and will likely continue to write about.
Please read below regarding some tips for runner or cyclist that I would encourage you to share with others. Many of these suggestions have come from others sites including my job.
Be Visible, Be Aware, Be Smart and Be ACTIVE!!!
Stay Safe Always, Nick
Before heading out the door, be sure to have ID with you. While this may sound like a commercial, I would highly recommend Road ID. This simple and inexpensive ID can save your life in the event a paramedic needs to know if you have any drug allergies? your blood type? or the type of insurance you have? Click on this link to learn more Road ID
TIPS FOR GETTING THERE SAFELY WHEN YOU’RE RUNNING…
When approaching intersections, even if you have the light, survey the environment before stepping into the street — many times drivers fail to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians while turning.
Keep an ear open
Walking or running with headphones can isolate you from your surroundings. If you must walk or run with music, leave one ear open, especially at intersections, so you can tune in to the crossing environment.
Wear Reflective Materials at Dawn, Dusk or Night as well as a headlamp if possible. Try to always wear anything that’s bright which increases the chance of being noticed by a motorist or bicyclist.
Run facing traffic,
Sidewalks are an option but still use this approach regardless. Cross at corners or intersections whenever possible. Stand clear of parked cars, buses, hedges, or other obstacles before crossing so drivers can see you.
Stop, look, listen and look again.
There are more than 2 million hybrid-electric vehicles on the roads since 1999 that are completely silent at low speeds. When crossing in a parking lot, be especially alert for hybrid vehicles backing out, since they may be silent.
Get the facts!
- Pedestrian deaths were up in 2010 after four straight years of steady decline, according to a report issued by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA.) In 2009, 4092 Pedestrians were killed (12% of all traffic fatalities) and 59,000 were injured. The GHSA study notes that one factor in the reversal may be the increased distractions for both pedestrians and drivers.
- In 2009, on average, a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every nine minutes in traffic crashes. However, according to NHTSA, only a fraction of pedestrian crashes that cause injury are ever recorded by the police.
- In a recent NHTSA study, hybrid vehicles were found to be twice as likely to be involved in pedestrian crashes at low speeds when compared to cars with conventional engines. This is due to the fact that they are silent when running in electric mode.
- Ohio State University researchers reported that pedestrian texting accidents (falls, running into things) led to more than 1,000 emergency room visits nationwide in 2008. At the time of the study, the number of texts sent was less than half of the current annual estimate of 2.1 trillion.
- A recent observational study found 1 in 6 drivers traveling through an active school zone is distracted. Use of cell phones and mobile electronics were the leading distracter, followed by eating/drinking/smoking, reaching/looking behind, grooming and reading.
When you’re the CYCLIST…
- Set a good example by always wearing a helmet.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children be at least one year old before riding in a bike seat or trailer to allow adequate development of neck muscles.
- If taking your kids for a ride in a bike seat or a kid’s bike trailer, make sure they are properly secured and wearing a helmet with the right fit. For information on correctly fitting a bicycle helmet, see the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) publication “Easy Steps to Properly Fit a Bicycle Helmet.”
TIPS FOR GETTING THERE SAFELY WHEN YOU’RE THE CYCLIST…
Wear a helmet
A properly fitted helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 85%.
Wear bright, reflective clothing. For night riding, use a white front light and a red rear reflector, as required by law.
There’s safety in numbers. Whether riding for exercise or for your commute to and from work, make the effort to join up with other cycling enthusiasts. Not only will the ride be more enjoyable, you’ll increase your visibility.
Always ride with traffic and obey all signs and signals
Cyclists traveling against traffic put themselves at higher risk. They are unexpected, can’t see or follow traffic signs and signals, and are breaking the law. Whether in the road, in a bike lane or on a sidewalk, ride with the flow of traffic.
Look for obstacles in the roadway and learn to avoid them without swerving into traffic.
Be wary of the door zone
Ride an arms-width out from parked cars on the road and watch for drivers or rear-seat passengers who may be inattentively exiting their vehicles, putting cyclists in the path of an open door.
Pack the iPod away
Ride focused using your eyes and ears to help keep you safe. Look and listen for traffic, sirens and other sounds around you.
For more information on kids and safe cycling, see the NHTSA publication “Kids and Bicycle Safety.”