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Joggers beware: Tips to stay safe on California roads

It's been a hot summer in Southern California, and now that it's drawing to an end, you're looking forward to ditching the exercise bike and the indoors and getting back outside to a running routine.

You've been away from the ritual for a few months, so here's a quick reminder of how joggers should share the road with drivers.

  1. Run against the traffic. By doing that, you see cars sharing the same side of the road with you as they are coming toward you. This is safer than having cars that you can't see approaching you from behind. Even when the sun hasn't come up or is setting for the day, you'll see the headlights. This is the opposite of the rule for bike riders.
  2. If you're running on a road that has turns or blind curves, do the opposite of Tip No. 1. As you approach a blind curve or are on a hill, cross the street. In this case, it's the best way to see cars as they go around the curve or as they come over the hill. Look frequently to the rear to see cars coming from behind. Once you've gotten through the hazardous area, go back to the other side of the road.
  3. It's nice to listen to music while running, but don't wear headphones covering both ears. With headphones on, you can't hear oncoming cars or other threats. If you can't run without your tunes, keep the volume low and run with an earbud in just one ear.
  4. Always run with a partner, one in front of the other and not side by side. You will be the lookout for each other.
  5. Run on paths instead of roads, where available. Look for roads with street lights if you're running at night.
  6. Many drivers on the road are distracted. To compensate for that, you need to run defensively. Don't assume the driver sees you, so be prepared to jump out of the way. Always watch for cars backing out of driveways.

Jogging can be relaxing and mind-clearing, and it's great exercise. Still, it can be dangerous if both runners and drivers aren't paying close attention. If you or a loved one is in an accident with a car while jogging, an attorney who works with personal injury cases can let you know how to recoup your losses.

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