March 14, 2016
Running Injuries On the Road
With the Boston Marathon just around the corner and spring temperatures on the rise, many runners will take to the streets to continue their training in the next several months. Running Injuries on the Road, this post, you’ll learn why things happen and how to take precautions.
Unfortunately, the combination of runners and drivers on the road is not always a harmonious one. Recently, a Hanover woman was struck and killed by a driver while jogging. Amanda Russell, a nurse at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, was training for the Boston Marathon in December, and was hit by a car while on a training run two days before Christmas.
These stories are all too common: an Arlington woman was hit by a car at a crosswalk, and a sixteen-year old Massachusetts cross-country runner was hit by a car and killed several years ago while jogging. Personal injuries from auto accidents can occur whether the victim is in a car or on the road, and an accident involving a person unprotected by vehicle safety features like seat belts and airbags can cause fatal injuries. Taking extra precautions is extremely important, especially during popular times for motorists and runners to be on the road together.
Safety Tips for Drivers
· Be alert and watch for runners and pedestrians on the road, especially at night and in crosswalks.
· Practice safe driving by avoiding driving over the speed limit, texting while driving, and driving while under the influence. These activities will cause you to be less aware of your surroundings and more likely to lose control of your vehicle, increasing the risk of causing an accident.
· Allow a runner or pedestrian to have the right of way when possible to avoid confusion that could lead to an accident.
· Respect that runners and pedestrians have a right to use the road too, and ensure that you give them the space to perform their activity safely.
· If you do accidentally strike a pedestrian or runner, stop your vehicle and call an ambulance.
Safety Tips for Runners
· Abide by Walk and Do Not Walk signs to avoid confusing drivers about when you plan to cross the road.
· Make sure to use crosswalks, and avoid crossing streets in between cars or congested traffic.
· Stay alert and aware of your surroundings. If you run with music, try leaving it at home or leaving one ear piece out so that you can hear traffic.
· Stay on the sidewalk if possible, especially in crowded conditions on the street. If you run on the street, stick to the left side so that oncoming cars can see you, and you can see them. When possible, move to the sidewalk to allow oncoming cars to drive safely past you.
· Wear brightly colored and reflective clothing to make yourself more visible.
· When in doubt, give a vehicle the right of way. Even if you were in line to go next, the dangers of being hit do not compare to waiting a few extra seconds to cross.
· Acknowledge courteous drivers with a wave or a nod – cultivating a respectful atmosphere between runners and drivers will benefit everyone.
What To Do If You Are Involved in an Accident
Despite all safety precautions, accidents can still happen. If you are involved in an accident, it is important to consult an experienced personal injury attorney immediately to help you understand your rights. Call New Bedford attorney Paul Santos at 508-996-0941 or contact me online for a free initial consultation to review your case.