The present study describes the circumstances under which 60 jogger-motor vehicle collisions occurred. These incidents happened most often after dark. Young males were involved in a majority of cases. And more often than not, joggers were struck while running on roads in the same direction as vehicles. In a substantial minority of collisions, two or more persons were jogging together. The study concludes that, although jogger-vehicle collisions do occur, the expected health benefits of running far outweigh the dangers. Newspaper accounts of joggers struck by vehicles were obtained through a national newsclipping service for a one-year period, from mid-August 1978 to mid-August 1979. The service provides coverage of all daily and weekly newspapers in the United States that are available by subscription. Police reports on collisions were obtained whenever possible. The following guidelines are derived from analysis of the 60 collisions detailed above: First, joggers should not run on roads when it is dark; if they do, light-colored clothing and reflective materials should be worn. Legislation that would prohibit jogging after dark, or require reflective apparel to be worn by nighttime joggers, has been discussed in some jurisdictions but no such requirements are known to have been enacted. None of the police reports acquired during this study mentioned that reflective materials were worn by joggers who collided with vehicles after dark; several of these joggers were reportedly wearing dark clothing. Joggers should run against rather than with traffic. Running against traffic, joggers are better able to anticipate and react to the movement of vehicles in the lane nearest them. The exception to running against traffic is when the jogger approaches a blind curve on a road that has no shoulder. In this case it would generally be prudent to run on the other side of the road. And, of course, all joggers including those running against traffic should be especially alert to vehicles crossing over into the wrong lane. A third guideline is that, whether running with or against traffic, joggers should run on the shoulder or close enough to the edge of the road that vehicles in the nearest lane do not have to alter their paths. If running with others, joggers should run single file if there is not enough room on the shoulder for more than one person. Above all, joggers and drivers need to be alert to the presence of one another. Joggers should recognize that whether running with or against traffic, on or alongside the road, they are susceptible to being struck both from behind and by oncoming vehicles. In turn, drivers should recognize that joggers may be on roads at all hours of the day and in all weather conditions. These guidelines call for no new technology. Nor do they require changes in our traffic laws. They involve common sense adjustments by drivers and joggers to the fact that both parties are sharing the roadways. (Author)

Media Info

  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 13 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00334681
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-030 908
  • Files: HSL, TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 16 1983 12:00AM