Safety Tips for Runners & Walkers: Do You Walk With or Against Traffic? Here's Something You Need to Know STAT If You Jog, Run or Walk by Dawn Taylor
As a personal trainer and runner, I love to see people out walking and running. Both are excellent ways to stay active. Something I see far too often though is people walking or running in the same direction as traffic. This is extremely dangerous.
When you have traffic coming up behind you, you are more likely to be struck by a vehicle. When you walk or run facing traffic you can see potential dangers and have more time to react. One study of more than 250 pedestrian accidents in Finland found a 77 percent decrease in accidents involving fatalities and injuries when the pedestrians were traveling facing traffic.
By going in the same direction, you simply can't prepare or act defensively on the road. Ideally, if there are sidewalks, you should use them. Many areas don't have them, especially out on country roads where many walkers and runners like to be, so you won't always have this option.
The exception to facing traffic is when you are coming to a blind turn or hill and simply can't see far enough ahead to spot dangers. In this case you should cross the road when it is safe to do so, and return to facing traffic once you have gone round the bend or over the hill.
I can't stress this rule enough. As much as I love to see people outside staying fit, I shudder every time I see someone walking with traffic. This applies to people who are simply walking from point A to B and not necessarily exercising. Please remind kids of this rule, too.
Stay safe out there!
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