This morning I was running with Mansfield Run Club and a turning car came a little too close to all 10 of us. Some runners had on lights, others reflective gear and bright colors…we are able to be seen. That led me to the following question. Which is more dangerous: riding on the road or running on the sidewalk?
Well, I don’t know the statistical data on this so I’ll just write about my experiences. I’ve honestly had more close calls while running on the sidewalk against traffic flow then riding my bike with traffic flow.
Here’s why I think that is true and a possible solution. When running against the flow of traffic, cars turning right don’t look right, only left to look for open spaces to pull out onto the road. A runner coming against the traffic flow will be coming from the driver’s right…not the direction he or she is looking. That’s how I’ve almost been hit 4 times in the last three weeks. And yes, I’ve been known to knock on the side of the car as I jump back. Usually I foresee this coming and turn to run behind their turning auto.
I assume the way to correct this issue is to run on the sidewalk with the traffic flow. However, I personally do not like running and not facing oncoming traffic. Either I’m used to them facing me or scared that I won’t see one coming up on the sidewalk to hit me.
Do you have ideas or thoughts on this?