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 Post subject: Running Safety
PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 9:40 am 

Joined: Wed May 28, 2008 2:16 pm
Posts: 379
I know this isn't technically a Health and Fitness issue, but the general discussion forum seemed a bit crowded so I thought I'd post it here!

I know everyone's a veteran runner now, and we all think we're running safely, but the occasional reminder can only help. Fall's coming, days are already getting shorter, and we have a big group out on the roads every Saturday morning running more and more miles in "reduced visibility" conditions. A couple weeks ago I got my usual Thursday morning group email from Bill Peatross who leads the Saturday Morning Run group that meets at Starbucks each week (we see them out on the roads occasionally). With Bill's agreement, I've posted part of his email below.

Not trying to be preachy, just want to make sure we don't have any incidents with the group. I know from experience that a car on person collision is a lot harder on the runner than the car - I've still got a small scar on my elbow as a result of a "minor incident" with an SUV a few years ago.


It's been two or three years since I've "preached" about running safety
so I think it's time to revisit some of the basic safety tips. Here ya' go.......

If you have wood nearby, knock on it. We've been fortunate that no one
running has been hit by a car in my remembrance. There have been a few
close calls, but thus far, no collisions. That's a record I'd like to see continued. It's probably in order that we think back over some of the common sense safety rules of running.

1) Run toward traffic. This is the reverse of biking but different principles apply because of the relative speed of biking versus running. I know we all joke about "Run toward traffic so you can see what hits you" but it is true that you are better able to dodge a daydreaming driver.

2) When a car approaches, form a single line on one side of the street. Our group is good about providing warnings of "CAR UP" or "CAR BACK" but not as good at staying to one side of the road. Making oncoming cars thread the needle is not a good idea.

3) Wear reflective gear when running at night. Certainly this applies to the weekday guard shack crowd as well in their predawn runs. Reflective vests or hats go a long way to alert oncoming drivers that they don't have the road to themselves. If not reflective apparel, wear white.

4) Be careful if there are multiple groups running. Drivers have a tendency to pass one group and then look at them in the rear view mirror. As a result, that driver is approaching the second group while looking elsewhere. A dangerous situation and one that we see often when running on 70th Street on Saturday mornings.

5) Keep an eye on your fellow runners. Lee and others saved my bacon a couple of years ago as I was about to cross Youree Drive oblivious to the oncoming
cars. I obviously was having a rerun of "Mr. Bill's Mind Takes a Vacation" and was a couple of steps from testing my accident insurance.

We all get to thinking about other things and need an occasional keeper.

6) Look out for cars coming out of side streets. Drivers turning right
are looking left and visa versa. If you are approaching from the direction the driver is turning toward, odds are that you won't be seen until the turn is completed.

7) Ladies, don't run alone and especially don't run alone at night. There are more "bad guys" out there than I care to know about. Always be aware of what's happening around you and don't run with earphones, you're losing one of your defense systems.

 Post subject: Re: Running Safety
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 12:42 pm 

Joined: Wed May 28, 2008 2:16 pm
Posts: 379
I had a message sent to me recently by another member of Sunrise Tri club complaining about road safety/courtesy issues. Message was dated Sept 6 so I'm pretty sure he is talking about a Saturday as opposed to a weekday, and since we frequently run on Highland, I am also fairly sure he's talking about us rather than the SMR group that runs from Starbucks on Saturdays.

For the most part we do a good job of running safely and not hogging the roadway, but this is a good reminder that our view of "sharing the road" is not always shared by others. Please try to stay on the same side of the road as others in the group - preferably running in the lane with approaching traffic so you can keep an eye on what the cars are doing. Drivers these days are often busy talking on their cell phones and/ or 1000 other things besides watching where they're going, so it's up to us to watch out for them. Also I ran early this morning and noticed it's not really getting light until around 6:45-6:50, so if you are out running early be sure to wear something light-colored AND reflective if you're running in a high traffic area.

We've done a great job of being safe, let's keep it up for the next 80 days (at least), and most importantly keep an eye out for the cranky cyclists on the road! :D


I'm sending this to you in hopes that you can relay the message to the SMR group.

I was biking up Highland this morning heading downtown at about 7:00 when I passed the SMRs. At least three of the groups had people running 3-5 abreast in the roadway, some all the way out to the double yellow line, and did not attempt to fall back when my passing was obvious. This caused me to have to cross the double yellow, riding in opposite direction traffic, to get around them. I see no reason why they need the entire lane or why they can't fall back into one or two lines.

As a cyclist, I must ride as far to the right as safety allows and when in a group, no more than two abreast. When the runners are taking the entire lane, it puts me in an unsafe place, riding into head on traffic and unable to stay to the right.

I've got one of the "Share the Road" signs, mainly for motorists, but I guess it means runners now too.

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