Last winter in Connecticut, Michael Walsh went for a run from his home. He was tragically hit and killed by a snow plow while running in the early morning darkness, on the wrong side of the street, under low-visibility weather conditions, wearing headphones, a white t-shirt and black pants, but without a light or any reflective gear on. Michael sadly made a lot of road safety mistakes that put him in danger.
Nine years earlier, at high-noon on a clear, warm Tuesday afternoon, wearing a florescent yellow shirt and running into traffic without music, I was hit by a car. The driver smashed into me going 35 miles per hour. I landed 50 feet away. The rescue squad came to scrape me off the pavement. Against all odds, I got up and limped away.
While runners on social media debate whether to carry mace or what headlamp is the best for running at night so you can see the sidewalk cracks, there’s another safety issue that most runners don’t consider. The majority of us, at some point, will run on roads. Whether we run on them in the dark or in broad daylight, running on the road is perhaps the most dangerous situation we put ourselves into while running.