With the unseasonably warm winter coming to an end in Anchorage, Alaska, many local residents are hitting the road and staying active with a daily or weekly running schedule.
As Anchorage personal injury attorneys, we encourage everyone to stay physically fit, get outside, and enjoy the nature around us with a relaxing jog. However, we also understand the precautions that must be taken in order to avoid an accident with a car, truck, or cyclist, especially in the dark.
A recent article from The Starting Line gives you some tips on how to stay safe when running so that you can avoid being injured in a pedestrian accident.
- Tell somebody you’re going for a run. Before you ever take that first step out the door, tell somebody or leave a note at home saying that you’re going for a run, where you plan to go, and how long you expect it will take. That way, if you don’t turn up for an unexpected period of time, your loved ones will know that they need to search for you.
- Carry some sort of identification. Whether it’s an official ID (like your driver’s license) or a cell phone with emergency contact information, be sure that someone can figure out how to contact your family if you are seriously injured.
- Run as if you were invisible. No, I don’t mean pretend you have superpowers. Instead, assume drivers can’t see you. By doing so, you will behave in a much more cautious manner. Assuming drivers can see you, especially at night, may lead to careless action.
- Face traffic when running. Run on the left side of the road. It is much easier to see and react to oncoming cars. This also helps drivers to see you better.
- Make room if necessary. If you are in a heavy traffic area or if the road narrows, be prepared to move over to the sidewalk or shoulder.
- Wear high-visibility clothing. This includes bright colors and reflective materials, especially in the dark. At night, a headlamp or handheld flashlight may also be a good idea.
- Don’t wear headphones. This recommendation may be the one that surprises you the most. Wearing headphones while running obviously dulls your sense of hearing to the road activity around you. If you must wear headphones, only wear one ear bud and keep the volume low.
- Use caution on hills. When drivers come over hills, sun glare or another vehicle’s headlights may suddenly impair their vision. Be aware of this danger.
- Beware of high-risk drivers. Don’t run near potential problem areas where there may be high traffic or impaired drivers, such as parking lot entrances or bars.
- Use caution when running at odd hours. If your schedule forces you to run early in the morning or late at night, be wary of drivers who may be sleep-deprived, intoxicated, etc.
- Be polite. Wait for drivers to wave you on at stoplights and stop signs, then give them a polite wave of gratitude. By doing so, you will encourage drivers to be patient with you—and other runners—in the future.
As you enjoy the approaching spring weather in Anchorage, please do your best to avoid pedestrian accidents. By following these tips, you’re much more likely to return home safely from your run.