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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

CPD offers tips for safe jogging

It’s springtime in North Idaho and many of our residents are turning to outdoor activities such as running. The City of Coeur d’Alene offers a tremendous number of options for outdoor activities, it’s one of the reasons we love to live here. The rules for running safely are common sense, so in the interest of safety, be sure not to leave your common sense at home.

A bicycle is considered a vehicle, so it is subject to the same laws as cars and trucks. Cyclists ride with traffic. You are not a vehicle. You are a runner, but your body and the vehicles around you follow the rules of physics which puts you in a highly vulnerable position if you're running near cars, trucks, and bicycles which have mass and momentum which is defined as mass in motion, or in your case, the potential for serious injury.

The best way to prevent an untimely physics lesson with one of these vehicles is to be able to see and be seen by them. This means running on the side of the road facing into traffic. If you and a car are both approaching an intersection, stop and let the car go first. (News flash: They're faster than you and although the laws of physics apply to both of you, the vehicle with its larger mass and velocity will always win against soft tissue.)

Here are some common sense rules for running on our roads and trails:
• Run against traffic if running on the road. If running on the sidewalk or multi-use trails, travel on the right and pass on the left.
• Stop at stop signs and ensure oncoming traffic yields to you before proceeding across a road.
• Don’t assume cars will stop if you are entering a cross walk.
• Don’t run down the middle of the road or trail.
• Never run more than two abreast if you are running in a group. Don’t be a road or trail hog.
• If you are running an out-and-back route, don’t just make a sudden u-turn at your turn around point. Stop, step to the right to allow oncoming traffic the opportunity to pass. Ensure the road or trail is clear of oncoming traffic - runners, cyclists, in-line skaters, etc. - then make your turn. Making a sudden u-turn without looking over your shoulder is a good way to get hit and then we are back at basic physics again.
• Alert pedestrians when you are passing them – don’t assume they are aware of their surroundings. A simple “on your left” warning will suffice.
• If you run at night, make yourself visible. Wear light-colored or reflective clothing.
• Respect private property along your route.
• Don’t litter. If you can’t find a trash can, carry your trash home.

 These simple rules will make your exercise enjoyable and safe!

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