The Three-Feet Rule
Many cities in the United States have implemented a three-feet rule for drivers sharing the road with bicyclists. This distance is also a good amount to keep in mind when sharing the road with runners. Maintaining this distance will allow for additional safety if the runner should trip or fall or if you encounter an obstacle in the roadway. You should always maintain the highest degree of vigilance whenever you share the road with a runner or other pedestrian, and be ready to make adjustments to your driving, as needed.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]
Running With and Against the Traffic Flow
Drivers should be aware that while runner are advised to move against the flow of traffic to ensure that they can see oncoming dangers not all runners follow this advice. Drivers need to make sure they use special care when approaching runners who are running with the flow of traffic. The runner will not be able to see you approach, so it is up to you to be ready to react if a sudden movement creates a dangerous situation. Honking your horn or yelling may only worsen the situation if the sound startles the runner and they move into traffic as a result.
Distracted driving is a serious problem in America. The U.S. government notes that more than 3,000 people were killed due to distracted driving in 2013, and more than 420,000 were injured. Distraction is also a problem with runners on the road. Many runners listen to music or fall deeply in thought as they run. They fail to pay attention to traffic patterns around them. When this distraction occurs the runner may not notice vehicles on the road, so it is up to drivers to ensure they are paying attention to runners on the road.
Adjusting Your Speed
Drivers should take particular care to follow the posted speed limit when sharing the road with runners. If the driver is unable to give the runner a wide berth due to oncoming traffic or other obstructions in the road then decrease it’s important to decrease speed substantially. In addition, drivers should be ready to adjust their speed to environmental conditions, which can be hazardous for both runners and drivers. Be particularly careful when glare from sunlight is a hazard or in areas where overhanging shrubs and trees can obstruct visibility.
Now that winter is past there will be more and more runners on the road, so make sure to follow all of the above tips. During the drivers education courses at Top Driver we make sure to cover this and any other things you may encounter on the road while driving to ensure our students are safe and intelligent drivers.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]