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How Joggers Can Avoid Being Hit by a Car

It’s estimated that at least 70,000 pedestrians are hit by cars every year, which includes joggers.

It would help if you had your wits about you when you’re jogging or else you’ll end up part of the statistics. A car won’t necessarily kill you if you’re hit while running, but you’re far more likely to experience a severe injury. You can’t trust that a driver is going to see you, let alone do what they can to avoid you, so you need to take matters into your own hands.

In today’s post, we’re going to discuss running safety and give you a few tips on how you can be a better defensive runner. Joggers have as much right to the road as drivers do, but you need to be extra careful. Keep reading and we’ll make sure you’re doing everything you can to prevent a pedestrian accident at your expense.

Have Your Wits About You

Defensive running is all about having your wits about you. The less you’re paying attention to your surroundings, the more likely it is that you’ll end up in an accident. When you’re running, you’re moving faster and have a shorter time to react to objects moving toward you, like cars.

That’s why it’s best to exercise extreme caution at all times, especially in areas where visibility might be low for drivers. A healthy portion of accidents involving joggers are because the driver just couldn’t see them.

If you’re running at night, stay on the sidewalk and stop at all crosswalks. You should stop at crosswalks and stop signs regardless of the time of day. If you’re running on a residential street, pay attention to the driveways to ensure a car won’t back out and into you.

Use Designated Running Paths

In reality, the best thing you can do as a jogger is to take designated running paths instead of busy streets. Many states have laws that prevent people from running on the street to protect both pedestrians and drivers.

Florida is no different. Sidewalk use is mandatory and if there are no sidewalks, you must stay as close to the shoulder as possible. Not many joggers are going to be pulled over for this, but if you decide to cross the road into traffic, it’s illegal.

Understand Traffic Laws and Signals

So, understanding the laws is an essential part of any running routine. If you know the traffic laws, what all the signs mean, and the signals you should be using, that’s a great start. It’s not enough to rely on the fact that you’re following the rules though, you still need to be wary of what drivers are doing.

The most important thing is to think of yourself as a vehicle. Just as drivers have to stop at stop signs and lights, yield in traffic circles, and signal when they’re changing lanes or turning, joggers need to stop at stop signs and use hand signals when possible.

You may recognize hand signals if you’ve ridden a bike before. They help let drivers know what you’re thinking while you’re on the road. You can find a short video describing them on Runner’s World.

Wear the Right Gear

What you wear while you’re running makes a massive difference in how well drivers can see you. If you run early in the morning or the evenings, it’s important to wear reflective clothing or, at the very least, bright clothing.

If you don’t have anything, you can always pick up a high-vis vest to wear over your running clothes. Many runners also utilize wearable lights that make it extremely easy to be seen in the dark.

A lot of runners choose to listen to music or podcasts while they work out. While this is fine on a running path, it’s not advisable when cars are in the mix because you won’t be able to hear their horns in an emergency. One solution is to use bone-conduction headphones that don’t go in your ears.

Run Toward the Traffic

When you’re on a bike on the road, it’s safer for everyone if you ride with the traffic. That’s not necessarily the case for runners, who benefit more from seeing what’s coming at them.

Try to always run with the traffic coming at you, then you’ll have time to take evasive action when necessary. For example, when a car is turning. Joggers aren’t legally obliged to do this, but many states do recommend this tactic.

Where to Run and Who to Do It With

The better you know your running route, the safer you’ll be each time you go for a jog. When you’re trying new streets and paths, you won’t have a feel for how the traffic flows, which can put you in harm’s way if you make a wrong turn.

If you’re trying a new route, make sure that you tell a friend or loved one where you’ll be. In the event something happens, you must be easy to find. Of course, you should always have your phone on you.

Lastly, to make your jogs as safe as can be, it’s always best to run in a group or with a buddy. When several people are running on the side of the road, it’s a lot easier for drivers to see and avoid than a single runner.

Take Running Safety to Heart

If you take running safety seriously, there’s a good chance you’ll never have any harmful encounters with vehicles. That being said, accidents can happen when you least expect them, even when you’re doing everything right. If you’re hit by a car while running, it puts your life at risk.

Whether you’re injured or not, you need to get yourself checked out by a medical professional. Plus, you need a lawyer. It may not have been the driver’s intention to hit you. But there are consequences for hitting a runner who was consciously being as safe as possible.

To get legal counsel after being hit by a car in Florida, contact us at RHINO Lawyers ASAP.


In short, after a car accident, you may not know your rights. Above all, don’t struggle through the process alone. Actually, our personal injury team is here to help you with any legal needs you might have regarding your accident.

Lastly, let RHINO Lawyers answer your questions and review the facts of your case with a Free Consultation. So, get started by completing the “Free Instant Case Evaluation” or by calling us any time, day or night, at 844.RHINO.77.