Sunday, March 7, 2010

Don’t Let Distracted Drivers Run You Off The Road

As a self-proclaimed social media junkie and corporate blogger, I’m a big fan of technology. But the growing problem of drivers using mobile devices creates a dangerous situation for runners.

According to Runner’s World, nearly 20 runners were killed by drivers in the first 10 months of 2009. And the Department of Transportation states that 80% of all car accidents are caused by driver distraction.

Atlanta roads present their own risks. Along with our famously congested roadways, sidewalks can be scarce in some neighborhoods. It can be scary – which is why it’s important for runners to plan ahead.

Here are some tips to consider:

· Think About Your Route – Parks can offer safe pathways away from traffic. If that’s not an option, choose a course with sidewalks. Run against traffic to see cars and to react to drivers who may not see you.

· Be Visible – Wear apparel that makes you noticeable to others. Reflective vests and bright colors are helpful any time of day. If you’re running during dusk or dark, add a light to illuminate yourself.

· Stay Alert – Leave iPods and headphones at home. If you have to cross a busy street, do so at a stop sign or traffic light when cars are forced to stop. And be sure that drivers see you before you cross the road.

· Wear I.D. – If the worse happens, have identification with you. Road ID is a great choice – you can have your name, emergency contacts and insurance information engraved on a shoe pocket or wrist band.

Be sure to check out recommended safety gear from Runner’s World – lots of great ideas for apparel and reflective items.

Stay safe Atlanta!

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