Road Running Etiquette


When it comes to safety, treadmill running can’t be beat. But many runners would rather poke their eyes out than run on a treadmill. Here are safety tips for running out on the roads:

  • Run against traffic. You have a better chance at seeing cars if they are in front of you.
  • Run as far off the road as you can on blind corners, and stay extra alert.
  • Make eye contact with drivers when crossing in front of them. If needed, waive to get their attention.
  • Obey traffic lights, stop signs and cross walk signals, but also make sure drivers stop and they can see you before you cross by making eye contact. Waive to get their attention, if needed.
  • Do not run down the middle of the road.
  • Avoid wearing head phones. If you must run with music, run with one ear bud in and one out, and keep the volume very low so you can hear car tires or animals around you.
  • Run with a buddy or take the dog.
  • If running in a group, don’t run more than two abreast.
  • Alert runners or walkers when passing them by shouting, “On your left.” Then pass on the left.
  • Run with identification (RoadID even allows you to wear emergency information and contacts), some money and your cell phone.
  • Be alert when making a U-turn. Stop and wait for any traffic before you turn.
  • Tell someone where you will be running and when you will be back.
  • Carry pepper spray or mace, or some form of protection, if you are running alone.
  • Wear noisemakers (whistles, bear bells) if you are running country roads with lots of wildlife.
  • Be smart about choosing your road route.
    • Avoid high crime areas.
    • Avoid routes with loose dogs
    • Don’t run on roads under construction or poorly maintained roads.
    • Choose roads with big shoulders or sidewalks that don’t have a lot of blind curves or hills.


Do you run on the Trail more?

Check out these tips on Trail Running Rules