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Pennsylvania Drivers Asked to be On the Lookout for Joggers

Running is one of the most popular forms of exercise among Americans. In fact, according to Running USA, there are over 35 million recreational runners in the United States.  Although there are numerous health benefits to running including, weight loss, improved cardiovascular health, natural stress relief and increased strength, runners also risk serious injuries from being struck by a vehicle.

Just this month, a 20-year-old woman was jogging in Blooming Grove, just 35 miles east of Scranton, when she was struck and killed by a car, according to news reports.  The driver apparently intentionally ran his vehicle onto the shoulder of the highway and struck and killed the woman as she jogged on Route 507. Although this was an extreme case, it does serve as an example of the dangers Pennsylvania runners face when running on the roadways and highways.

Runners and pedestrians face the same risks when around traffic – distracted drivers, poor visibility and blind spots, and intersections.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports over 4,000 pedestrians die, and nearly 60,000 are injured, in motor vehicle accidents nationwide each year.  Transportation for America reports that from 2000 through 2009, more than 47,700 pedestrians were killed in the United States.

In Pennsylvania in 2009, 10.7 percent of the 1,256 fatal car accidents involved pedestrians. 134 lost their lives in those accidents.

Drivers are required to yield to pedestrians and runners whether in a crosswalk or not.  That requires drivers to stay fully alert and aware of their surroundings at all time.  When driving in residential areas and cities, drivers should be especially vigilant to joggers.  When entering and exiting driveways and parking lots make sure to look both ways, even on one-ways streets, as runners may be approaching.

Pedestrians and runners should also do their part to ensure their safety when going for their morning or evening run – the most popular times of day to exercise.  Following are some safety tips from the Road Runners Club of America for avoiding accidents or injuries when running:

  • Don’t wear headphones. Use your ears to be aware of your surroundings. Your ears may help you avoid dangers your eyes may miss  during evening or early morning runs.
  • Run against traffic so you can observe approaching automobiles. By facing on-coming traffic, you may be able to react quicker than if it is behind you.
  • Always stay alert and aware of what’s going on around you. The more aware you are, the less vulnerable you are.
  • Run with a partner. Run with a dog.
  • Wear reflective material if you must run before dawn or after dark. Avoid running on the street when it is dark.
  • When using multi-use trails, follow the rules of the road. If you alter your direction, look over your should before crossing the trail to avoid a potential collision with an oncoming cyclist or passing runner.

Our Pennsylvania accident attorneys ask drivers to share the road with runners and walkers.  Slowing at intersections, driving focused and sober and staying on the lookout for people on the roadways and crossing intersections are good driving behaviors that can help save lives.

About Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys

Munley Law is a Pennsylvania accident and injury law firm that represents car accident victims and their families throughout the state of Pennsylvania and the Northeast, including those injured in accidents that involve speeding, distracted driving, drunk driving, fatigued driving, aggressive driving and careless driving in hazardous weather conditions. The Pennsylvania personal injury law firm’s additional practice areas include trucking accidents, motorcycle accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, toxic chemicals, workplace injuries, nursing home litigation and other serious accidents. To contact the law firm, use the firm’s online contact form.

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