For hundreds of millions of people around the world, Coronavirus has us on lockdown, wearing masks, maintaining social distance and self- diagnosing every odd pain, sniffle and sneeze. Most of us want to bust out of this governmentally ordered self-quarantine faster than a politician’s promise that help is over the next horizon!
Apart from the Coronavirus outbreak causing many of us to run, jog, and walk outdoors, there has been an increasing interest in jogging and running worldwide and across all age groups. According to Statistia (a sports and recreation statistics publication), in the United States alone between 2012 and 2016 there were more than 115,300 road races from 5k’s to full marathons. Over 60 million people participated in running and jogging in 2017.
When folks come to the decision to run, walk, or jog, they must also consider safety issues along with that decision. It is important to run smart, jog smart and walk smart. According to the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2018 over 6,200 runners, joggers, bikers and other pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in America. This is the most since 1990! According to Road ID, over 122,000 runners get hut by cars in any given year.
I am a runner, and I see other runners, walkers and joggers who consistently violate the rules of the road. These violations can and will result in catastrophic injuries and likely death, unless these folks become more attentive to the rules.
In Louisiana, traffic ordinances and statutes provide rules that we should adhere to when running, walking, or jogging. La. Rev. Stat. 32:216 provides that:
Pedestrians (runners, joggers and walkers) on highways or interstate highways
A. Where sidewalks are provided, it shall be unlawful for any pedestrian to walk along and upon an adjacent highway.
B. Where sidewalks are not provided, any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall.. walk ONLY on the left side of the highway… FACING TRAFFIC which may approach from the opposite direction.
So to be clear, what this statute is directing us to do is run AGAINST TRAFFIC. Pedestrians are different that cyclists who are directed to ride WITH traffic. It makes sense too. If a pedestrian is walking facing on-coming traffic, it allows him to see the oncoming automobile.
I cannot tell you how many times I see joggers running with their backs towards the over taking vehicle. If the driver cannot see you or is distracted, you will get seriously injured if you are the unlucky pedestrian to be hit. Additionally, if you are running facing traffic and a distracted driver is coming straight at you, you will at least have an opportunity to jump out of the way.
People who walk in the street at night or early in the morning are stupidly serious violators of this law. Oftentimes these folks do not wear proper reflective gear while walking with traffic. Drivers are lucky to see them. Imagine a driver texting when a walker is wearing black clothes and is moving with his back towards the overtaking vehicle; the inevitable is certain to occur. Always walk facing traffic and wear proper reflective clothing.
Also, for goodness sake, do not run 2 or 3 abreast. You are supposed to run as near to the curb as is practicable. 2 or 3 abreast is not running near the curb. Be Smart.
When in doubt as to whether you or the car has the right of way, just use common sense and utmost caution. Remember, metal breaks bones. Rarely does the car sustain much damage when it hits a pedestrian. It only takes one injury to end your run for life.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian-automobile accident and would care to discuss your case, please contact us today. PHONE CARDONE at 504-522-3333 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.