Are runners in DuPage County at higher risk of injury in a car crash than pedestrians who are walking leisurely or simply headed to work on foot? According to a recent article in the Chicago Tribune, the laws surrounding where a runner should be on the road can make jogging a complicated form of exercise, and it may place runners at greater risk of getting hurt in a collision with a motor vehicle.
Running With and Against Traffic: What Places a Jogger at Reduced Risk of a Collision with a Car or Truck?
When there is no sidewalk for a runner, should that runner be moving with traffic (behaving more like a motorist) or against traffic (more like a pedestrian who is walking)? That is a question posed by the recent article for situations in which two runners are on the road, jogging in opposite directions. In this scenario, one of the runners is moving with traffic and the other is moving against traffic. Yet who is abiding by the law, and who is at a lower risk of personal injury in a traffic collision?
As the article explains, the law is clear about where runners should be when there is a sidewalk: when a sidewalk is present, runners are pedestrians and should be on a sidewalk as opposed to in the street. However, “if the shoulder is the only option, no federal laws mandate which side you should be on.” Generally speaking, both the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) advise runners to run against traffic—like a walking pedestrian—when there is no sidewalk.
Jogging Against Traffic May Help to Reduce the Rate of Fatalities Among Runners
According to a study that assessed the rate of personal injuries in runners involved in motor vehicle collisions, running against traffic is indeed the better option. That study looked at car crashes that occurred during the four-year period from 2006 through 2010, and specifically assessed 258 pedestrian accidents. If you run against traffic, the authors of the study say you “have on average a 77 percent lower risk of being struck and injured by a car.” To be sure, the researchers concluded that “facing traffic substantially improves pedestrian safety.”
Why is it better to run against traffic? The authors of that study emphasized how “you can’t react to something you can’t see.” In other words, if you are jogging against traffic and you see a vehicle moving erratically, or if you see a driver texting or talking behind the wheel, you might be able to avoid a collision even if the motorist would have been at fault. According to the executive director of the Road Runners Club of America, “if your back is to incoming traffic, you’re far less likely to react if a car is not giving you an adequate right of way.”
To be clear, if you are out jogging in DuPage County, you should practice what is known as defensive running. This means always keeping an eye out for distracted drivers and doing your best to make eye contact with drivers who may be approaching.
Contact a DuPage County Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer
If you were injured in a traffic collision in DuPage County, you should discuss your options with a passionate DuPage County car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact Mevorah Law Offices LLC to learn more about how we can assist you.
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