PSA: Eyes on the road.

28 Aug

This post is an important PSA for both drivers and runners alike, so listen up.


I almost got hit by a car on my run this morning. 

Luckily, I always run against traffic so I can see what’s coming toward me. I was able to jump out of the way in time to escape harm’s way, but if I hadn’t seen the car first he surely would have hit me head on.

It was shortly after 5:00 AM and, as I mentioned yesterday, very dark. I was wearing a reflective band with blinking red lights, carried a very bright LED Knuckle Light with me and wore clothes with reflective details, as usual. There’s no question that I was visible.

So why did this driver nearly run me over? BECAUSE HE WASN’T LOOKING. (Not to mention that he was also driving way too fast for a residential area.)

When he drove past, my light shone into his car to reveal that he was holding something in front of him on the steering wheel, which was clearly distracting him. I won’t repeat what I shouted at him.

According to RoadIDover 122,000 runners, walkers, and cyclists are hit by cars each year.

OK, drivers. It does not matter what time of day it is, there is always a chance for pedestrians to be on the road (I passed at least 5 other people running or walking before sunrise). In case you’ve forgotten the basics, here are a few reminders:

  • Your eyes need to be on the road.
  • Put the cell phones and other devices down.
  • Slow down in residential areas. 
  • Share the road.
  • Keep your hands on the wheel.

No, you cannot multi-task while driving. If what you’re reading/texting/calling about needs immediate attention, then pull over.  A car can become a deadly weapon very quickly, so take it seriously.


As for my fellow road runners, safety should be a consideration for every run. Here’s a review of some important things to remember:

  • Always run against traffic. This is typically on the left shoulder unless you’re going around a blind curve or hill.
  • If there’s a sidewalk or path available, use it.
  • If it’s dark or there are low visibility conditions, wear reflective and illumination gear. The tiny reflectors on your shoes are not enough.
  • Always carry ID and if possible, your cell phone.
  • Keep your eyes up and on the road ahead of you.
  • If you must listen to music, use only one headphone or let it play through the speaker.
  • Tell someone where you are running and when you expect to be back.

Do not just rely on drivers to obey the rules of the road. While we do have a right to use roadways as pedestrians (within state traffic laws), that does not mean we can assume drivers will respect that right. Stop signs can be ignored, speeding is common, and yielding to pedestrians is not guaranteed. Run safe.

Questions: Have you had a similar experience? What else do you do to run safely on the road?


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