A few days ago, one of my good friends was the very first guest speaker for the Tucson, “Destination YOU!” C25k group. She spoke about safety and mentioned lots of things we can do as runners to mitigate the risks of lacing up. Among those many tips, she mentioned something that, for me, is a big pet peeve – runners going the wrong way. On a very local level, being aware of your surroundings and stacking safe practices will protect you and perhaps even save your life as a walker, runner, cyclist and driver. Conversely, not taking your own and others safety seriously can lead to injury or death.
When running on the road or in a bicycle lane, pedestrians should always move against traffic and not with it. It is quite common to see someone walking their dog or someone out for a jog, moving along with traffic, oblivious to what’s behind them. Even more so, when you are in the bike lane, running or walking with traffic, you can’t see cyclists coming up behind you and you force them to go around you – and they’re gone before you have a chance to react and move out of the way. They might startle you and, if you jump, you might cause an accident. Also, consider that forcing them to move around you might also cause them to move out of the bike lane and into traffic, putting their lives in danger, and yours.
Also, when you move with traffic, you’ll never see the car that is drifting in behind you because someone is changing the radio station or texting.. or they may even be driving home after an all-night binge, drunk off their gourd. You have removed your ability to react to the situation – you won’t stand a fighting chance!
Do cyclists and do yourself a favor; run against traffic, share the road by moving further to the left so that cyclists can maintain their lane, and help others stay safe as well.