Early one morning, I was driving on some back roads. It was still somewhat dark, and the roads were curvy, so I was being extra careful. I took a very sharp turn, and midway through the turn I saw a woman. She was jogging, in the middle of the road, and not wearing anything reflective. It’s a good thing she was in the other lane, because I only saw her in the headlights for maybe one second, and probably wouldn’t have been able to stop in time if she had been in my path. I stopped and opened my window. I was very concerned, so I told her to be careful because I almost didn’t see her. She looked at me as she pulled out her headphones, and made a rude comment calling me a name, and said the speed limit was 25 mph. I was only going somewhere between 15 and 20 mph, but someone driving in her lane might have gone faster (especially because they wouldn’t have been turning since the stretch of road on the other side of her didn’t have any curves or crossroads). Besides, unless the lady could run at least 26 mph, the speed limit wouldn’t protect her anyway!
I thought it was odd that she would lash out at me, since I hadn’t done anything wrong. She, on the other hand, was doing everything wrong. People really need to be careful and protect themselves.
I believe in being as safe as possible. When I was still in Elementary school, I remember being taught that pedestrians should always make to be visible to drivers. One thing that I’ve also heard repeatedly mentioned was wearing something reflective when going outside when it’s dark. It’s also a very bad idea to do anything to impair your sight or hearing, such as wearing headphones to listen to music. The jogger that day had both headphones in, so not only would it be difficult for anyone to see her, but it would have been difficult for her to hear anyone coming.
Recently, I’ve seen many people jogging on the side of the road. Not even in the shoulder, but the actual road, just inside the line. There is so much snow around here now that the shoulders everywhere are covered. In some places, the snow pile extends into the actual street. Still, people are jogging on the road (even though it’s difficult to see around the piles of snow to see if anything is coming). I recently found out about an 18 year old in another city who got hit by a car at night because of the poor visibility and the snow plowed into piles (and not even as much as we got here).
I did a little research, and was amazed at how many articles are available that address running safely, avoiding being hit by a car, etc. Still, there are so many people who apparently either aren’t reading them, or aren’t taking them seriously.
I can’t do much other than repeat the messages about safety to my children, and spread the word any time or way I can to anyone else who is willing to listen.
Stay safe, everyone!