Whether you are running or walking, being a pedestrian means sharing the road and the crosswalks with drivers and vehicles that are much more protected than you are. While the drivers of motorcycles, cars, and other vehicles are bound by laws designed to protect you, you should also take some basic precautions to keep yourself safe.
1. Remember that you may not have the right of way
As a pedestrian, it can seem like the laws that govern cars are the ones that matter—they are there to keep you safe, after all. However, pedestrians have legal guidelines set down for them, too.
According to Kentucky law, whether you are walking or running, you should obey traffic lights where they are present and use the sidewalks and crosswalks that are available to you. The vehicles around you also have the right of way outside a crosswalk, and if you leave the curb or sidewalk suddenly, then you have become a hazard to them.
2. If there isn’t a sidewalk, stick to the shoulder
Not only is it in Kentucky’s law to stay on the shoulder if there isn’t a sidewalk to walk on, but you’re safer when you’re further from the moving vehicles. If there isn’t a shoulder, you should try to stay as close to the edge of the roadway as possible.
3. If you’re walking or running on the road, go against traffic
If you’re a regular driver, you might naturally gravitate toward the right side of the road when you are walking or running, but The Road Runners Club of America recommends running against traffic rather than with traffic. Because you can see the cars coming your way, it’s easier for you to react quickly and see vehicles before they put your safety at risk.
Keeping these three simple tips in mind while walking near traffic can help reduce the chances of you or a loved one getting in a serious accident.