Stay safe out there!

Those of you who received yesterday’s Rogue email read Carolyn’s account of the runner who was hit by a car over the weekend, and the safety reminder that we all need to hear.

It is worth repeating, and Rogues certainly aren’t the only ones who need to hear it – all runners get complacent, and we could all use a reminder.

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From Carolyn:

On Saturday morning, one of Gilbert’s runners was hit running on Shoal Creek while crossing 2222 at the light.  I was only about 20 meters away so I saw the whole thing. The car hit her hard.  It was so loud that for a sec I thought 2 cars were colliding.  I hope she is OK.

The point of this post is that as runners we think we are all invincible, we think cars see us at all times, we think they can stop in time, we think that we are fast enough to cross in front of them.  Unfortunately this isn’t true, and large groups tend to magnify the problem.

We should only be 2 abreast and not running all over the roads.  We should be running against traffic (left side of the road).  We should look before we cross.  We need to run safely, not making dangerous decisions.

A classic example around Rogue is what happens every time that groups run west on 4th. Everyone runs all over the road as they cross under I35, when all you need to do is run a few feet over to the left on the sidewalk to be safe.  The coaches’ reminders seem to fall on deaf ears, but one of these days a car is going to fly through there, as they often do, and someone wont be able to get out of the way in time.

A few years ago Austin City Council talked about runners all over the roads in Austin – many groups were mentioned.  If we aren’t careful and don’t become more mindful of what we’re doing, there could come a time when we are forced to get permits for large groups.  If that happens, we wont be running the roads any longer.

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Please, observe the two abreast rule (this applies on trail too, more for courtesy than safety!), stay on the left and don’t fall victim to “group think” – look for yourself before following a crowd across the road, don’t assume it’s clear. If you are running before dawn or after dark, don’t wear black/navy unless you are also wearing reflectors or lights. If you run after work, give clearance when running in front of driveways or parking garage entrances. If you absolutely just cannot live without the ipod, turn it down and make sure to look both ways, then do it again, before crossing any road. Even if you think you have time to “make it” before the car passes, just wait. That ten second pause is worth saving your life.

Yes, there are lots of crazy, inconsiderate, dangerous drivers out there and we all have times where we want to teach them a lesson, but guess what…crazy or not, they’re still bigger than you! Let them be on their way, then you be on your way.

Luckily we’ve heard that the woman who was hit on Saturday will be okay, but please let this serve as a wake-up call – stay safe out there!

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3 thoughts on “Stay safe out there!

  1. Carolyn, thanks for posting this, and sorry you had to witness it.

    To add, one of the ultras had to watch her best friend die after being hit by a car during a run a few years ago.

    Also, be extra careful on roads like Stratford. me and my running mate had a close call a couple weeks ago when we were comming back from a long run on Stratford around noon. We were both on the side of the road and the car missed us by just a few inches.

  2. I almost hit a runner, so scarey!!! he was running before dawn and not wearing anything light. If it wasn’t for his white legs in my headlights, I would not have seen him at all! I love to run and bike and I was horrified by the incident. I did make a full stop and looked both ways before letting off my brake and there he was. He came from the other side of a median. I suppose he thought since I stopped fully, I saw him coming. The point I want to make is that eye contact with driver’s is extremely important! If you don’t see them see you, do not go!! Also, if it’s dark and you have no other time to run, assume the driver does not see you. So happy to report that nothing serious happened.

  3. Here’s a safety tip. When you are running against the traffic (on the left hand side of the rode) be particularly mindful of drivers at intersections on your left side of the rode that are turning right. They are not even looking your direction because their traffic is coming from their left side. I have several close calls in this situation. I now either stop until the car turns and clears the intersection or run behing the turning car if there are not others cars waiting.

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