Unless you live in a federal wilderness area, you have plenty of experience sharing the roads with cars. I’ve been fortunate in never having a close call, though I was witness to one.
I was once running with a track teammate, and he insisted on crossing an intersection against a red light. When we reached the traffic island in the middle, a line of cars in the left turn lane blocked our view. I stopped to look for oncoming cars, but my teammate continued. A car was sailing through the intersection, and I screamed out.
My warning wouldn’t have mattered – he was already crossing. The car skidded, and fortunately for my friend, stopped just short of striking him.
I often run at night which of course increases the danger of being hit. Turning cars are the biggest hazard. I always head check for right-turning vehicles before crossing a busy intersection. I’ve had drivers turn just in front of me, requiring me to abruptly stop.
Sometimes when cars take a right out of a parking lot, the driver checks left for traffic, but not right for pedestrians. Some drivers give me an apologetic wave after turning into the street and noticing me waiting there.
Making eye contact is the way to avoid accidents, but some cars have such dark tinting, it’s impossible. In this situation, a waiting game ensues until it’s apparent the driver sees you and is waiting for you to go.
Though I’ve never been hit by a car, I’m a recovering victim of another type of violence cars inflict on runners. And I think there are many other victims out there. It can be a winter day with heavy snow that is melting or a springtime downpour. When a car whizzes past and throws cold slush or a wall of water on me, the shock, trauma and helplessness is debilitating. By the time I reach home, immediate medical attention is necessary. Warm soup, a thick blanket and my favorite TV show usually eases symptoms.