Traffic & Road Safety


Experience From - Rich Schick, Charles Steele,

Rich Schick

On the "for or against traffic issue" both parties are right. If running with support vehicles on four lane roads the best solution is to run with traffic.

The reference was to running on wide shouldered interstates were one can stay well out of harms way. It is also often possible for the support vehicle to follow the runner on the shoulder, providing a shield. The need to cross the highway to get support is also negated. However if running unsupported, no question - face traffic.

Other traffic tricks:

Charles Steele

Rich wrote:

If on roads with good shoulder that you run regularly, don't wear reflective gear. Normal drivers aren't a problem in this scenario and I don't want to make it easier for the idiots to aim for me.
To which I add: If you do this, make sure it is a BIG shoulder, and ALWAYS stay far away from the traffic. When driving, I try to be "extremely" careful about runners, walkers, cyclists, etc., but have nearly hit a few because they dress so as to be nearly invisible and insist on being close to, or in, the traffic lane. They can see me, and assume that I can see them...but I can't, even with headlights on them, until I'm almost on top of them. I suppose they think I'm a jerk who doesn't care; I think they are simply crazy. It scares the heck out of me, and should scare them, too.

As a runner, seeing a fellow runner on the road isn't a surprising thing for me, but I suspect for many drivers it is an unexpected sight, which means that they are much less likely to notice you. ("Running? Out here? At THIS hour?")

When I run roads at night, I avoid high traffic areas, wear one of those LED flashers and reflector bands, and stay alert. Whenever I run roads, day or night, I try to stay away from the traffic lane as much as possible: if I have to stop running for a second to do so, so be it. And when drivers go out of their way to pull into the far lane to give me space, or slow down, I try to let them know it's appreciated with a friendly wave or nod(if there are too many cars for this to be practical, maybe you are running on the wrong road).

In 25+ years of running I've only had 1 encounter where a driver came at me intentionally; if it is a big problem where you are running, I again suspect you are running on the wrong road.

Nearly 100% of drivers want to avoid you. Go to great lengths to help them out.