- When you come up to a runner who is on the street (as opposed to the sidewalk), pull your car away from the runner as you pass him or her, if you can do so safely.You may know you're giving the runner plenty of room, but the runner doesn't know whether or not you're paying attention...and fears you might accidentally swerve at the last minute. By changing lanes, or even just moving over within your lane, the runner knows you probably see him/her.
- Most of us run on the left side of the street, if we're actually on the street. (Why run on the street if a sidewalk is available? Asphalt isn't as firm as concrete, and it's easier on the joints!) So if you're coming toward a runner, (s)he will be able to see into your car if the light is right. As you pass, smile! Smiles from strangers--whether they're in cars, on foot, or on bikes--give me extra energy to keep going! The runner you pass might be five minutes into the run, with plenty of energy--or an hour and a half into a long, challenging run. Your smile might act as a calorie-free "Power Bar" for that tired runner!
- If you're backing out of a driveway, make sure you check both directions before you pull onto the sidewalk and/or street. Many drivers only check behind their right shoulders until the last second. A runner on the left side of the street will appreciate it if you see them and let them pass. (A kid playing outside will appreciate that too--at least his/her parents will!) My (incredibly unscientific) experience has been that about half of drivers don't carefully check both directions before progressing down the driveway.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Suggestions for drivers, from a runner
Because I generally run streets (not trails, treadmills, or tracks), I see a lot of cars during my runs. I know a majority of you aren't runners, but almost all of you are probably drivers! Here are my suggestions for you when you are driving and you see a runner.