When gym runners first start to venture outside and run on the road, trying to get in those longer distances, they may feel unsure which side of the road they should be on. You will often see two runners on the same side, but going toward one another. Clearly, one runner is wrong, but which one is it?
Under federal regulations, the runner who is wrong is the one running with the traffic. Those on foot — both runners and walkers — are supposed to face oncoming traffic when there is no sidewalk to separate them from the road.
Why do runners make this mistake and run with the cars at their back? It may actually feel safer. Running toward those oncoming headlights can feel unnerving, so pedestrians assume they should be on the other side of the road.
Another potential reason is just that new runners determine that they should run the same way that they drive. Maybe they see cyclists who are also riding with traffic. It’s very natural — though incorrect — to assume that everyone on the same side of the road should be going the same way, regardless of their modes of transportation.
In reality, though, drivers expect runners to be coming toward them, and that is safer. It also increases reaction times for runners because they’ll see if a driver is veering off of the road and about to hit them. They may be able to avoid it.
Unfortunately, with careless and negligent drivers all over the roads in the United States, pedestrians still get hit even when they follow the law perfectly. If this happens to you, you may have a right to compensation for your injuries and losses, including your medical bills and lost wages from the time you had to take off work to recover.