When people walk down the sidewalk, they often stay on the right side, as if they were driving. It’s just ingrained in most of us: You always stay to the right, no matter what you’re doing on the road or walks.
The exception, of course, is running. If you jog near the road, you’re not supposed to run with traffic. You’re supposed to run against it. This means that you have to stay on the left side of the road. Even cyclists stay to the right, so pedestrians and runners are the only ones with their own rules. Why is this?
The biggest reason you’re urged to stay left is so that you can see the cars. You won’t know they’re coming until the last second if they’re approaching from behind. This means that, if a driver drifts over onto the shoulder, you could get hit before you know that car is there. While you could still get hit if it happens right in front of you, you have a much better chance of avoiding the accident.
Visibility is also better all around if the light begins to fade at dawn or dusk. The headlights are coming toward you, so it’s easy to keep an eye on traffic. If you wear a headlamp, running against traffic means that it’s vastly easier for drivers to see you.
Running against traffic often feels more dangerous. Cars fly by at high speed. But the reality is that it’s much safer, it increases awareness on both sides and you should always make sure you are walking or running on the proper side of the road. Unfortunately, even following these rules doesn’t mean you’ll never get injured in an accident. If you do, you may be able to seek compensation for your medical bills.