Distracted driving comes in many forms: daydreaming, applying makeup, texting, eating, dog on the lap, children fighting in the backseat, or changing the radio. The list is endless.
Distracted driving results are many: missed turns, crossing the center line, driving on rumble strips, and, in extremely horrible cases, death.
It seems like bicyclists and fellow runners are getting hit by cars more frequently. Of course, it could also be that I am paying more attention to news of my fellow calorie-burners being struck by vehicles, but either way, these deaths could have been prevented.
Victim blaming will not help anything, but there are somethings that we, as runners, can do. Wearing bright clothing and reflective gear in the evening is a wise choice. I have been run off the road in neon yellow in the middle of the day. I have thought about adding a lighted blinking vest to my holiday list, but question whether blinking lights would actually catch the eye of a distracted driver. Perhaps, it would actually serve as a magnet to a drunk driver as they may drive toward the “pretty lights.”
Just this week, I read another news story about a runner who was hit and killed.
Perhaps this wasn’t because of distracted driving but because it was icy here in Michigan and that is how the driver lost control. Either way, there are at least two families who are suffering.
This is probably not news to you, but when I was a new runner, everything was news to me, so here are some easy things runners can do to minimize their risk:
-Wear reflective clothing
-Run during daylight
-Tell a friend or family member when you are going out and your route
-Wear a RoadID or some type of identification
-Run on the left side of the road, so that oncoming traffic is visible
-Do not wear earbuds
Be safe out there!