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Saved 12/03/09 to RunningSugar

Do You Run With the Flow of Traffic?


If you're running in the street, I've always heard that it's better to run against traffic because drivers are more likely to see you and vice versa. That's why I'm surprised to see so many people in my neighborhood running with the flow of traffic.

When I asked a neighbor why she didn't run against traffic, she told me that it makes her nervous — especially when she has to round a curve, which I totally understand. She also says that she's had less encounters with cars almost hitting her since she started running with the flow of traffic.

I still think that running against traffic is safest, but what about you? If you have more to say about running, join the ongoing conversation happening in the RunningSugar group, part of the FitSugar Community.

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myhousemd myhousemd 4 years 9 weeks
I read somewhere (I think on Runner's World) that it's actually good to switch it up, because roads are sloped to the side to encourage water to run off. They said the sloping can make you more prone to injury on one side, so you should run both with and against traffic. I'm working on getting the nerve to run with traffic (even though there's almost no traffic in my neighborhood) because there are lost of hills and turns that really reduce visibility. I'm more worried about two cars having a head-on collision because of me than I am of getting hit myself!
Allytta Allytta 4 years 40 weeks
is it true that people are forced to run alongside cars? that's terrible. i have never seen it. I'm in UK.
Allytta Allytta 4 years 40 weeks
i don't run anywhere where traffic could be an issue. parks and pavements only.
Asche Asche 4 years 40 weeks
I think legally you're supposed to run with traffic.
sham28 sham28 4 years 41 weeks
I live in the DC area where there are ample bike paths and running trails, and I hate it when there are runners on roads that really aren't that safe for them. Also because drivers have to slow down a lot and just to be safe, arc widely around them, it screws up the flow of traffic and causes cars behind them to have to veer slightly into the opposite lane to give the runner a wide berth.
fauxcat fauxcat 4 years 41 weeks
I run on paved trails outside or otherwise on the treadmill. In a pinch, I'll run on the sidewalk, even though I know it's worse for my knees than being in the road. Still, I live in a big city with many, many careless drivers, so jogging in the street is out of the question. I don't really see anyone doing it here, come to think of it.
sushiflower76 sushiflower76 4 years 41 weeks
I usually run on a treadmill. But if I have my dog and I have to be in a street. I go against traffic. It's so much safer especially with the dog because he can see the cars coming and dosn't run out into the traffic as much. But I would much rather be on a trail or a treadmill.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 4 years 41 weeks
I'm with Retro23. I only run along trails. Not only are there no cars to worry about, the dirt trail is gentler on my joints.
Spectra Spectra 4 years 41 weeks
I always run against traffic, especially if I'm running on the two-lane country roads with very narrow shoulders. I can see vehicles coming and I can move off to the grass if I need to. I'd rather do that than have a car come up behind me and have to swerve into oncoming traffic to avoid me.
4 years 41 weeks
onlysourcherry- in England and Australia they use "S"'s instead of "Z"'s, so that is the correct way of spelling civilized (civilised) for them. And i agree with Anon, I live in America, and Europe is way more pedestrian friendly
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 4 years 41 weeks
I live in America, where we have spell-check and know the difference between a hyphen and a dash. And I run on running and bike paths so I only have to worry about aggressive bikers.
4 years 41 weeks
I live in Europe - a civilised place with space for pedestrians - whether walking or running
hausfrau hausfrau 4 years 41 weeks
Some people run with because of IT band issues and the way the road slants.
shiningeyes shiningeyes 4 years 41 weeks
Against traffic! As much as I possibly can, I like to have control over my own safety. You are still going to be near a moving vehicle either way and either way, there's a chance that the driver behind that big moving mass is not paying attention. At least when I'm facing traffic, I can see when someone is coming and can move out of the way!
4 years 41 weeks
Against traffic. Not only is it safer on my road (plenty of speeding idiot college students not paying attention), but it's THE LAW IN VIRGINIA that when you're traveling by foot, you go against the flow of traffic.
kclulu kclulu 4 years 41 weeks
It depends on where I am running but on busy streets I feel safer running against traffic because I can be more defensive and see what is coming at me. I have never had a close encounter with a vehicle but when I feel I have to be more vigilent is when approaching an intersection controlled by a stop sign. I will frequently encounter people there who don't look and try to roll right through so I always make sure they see me before I go.
Retro23 Retro23 4 years 41 weeks
I run trails and lakeside paths.
TidalWave TidalWave 4 years 41 weeks
Definitely definitely definitely run against! This isn't for the cars to see you more easily, but for you to be able to see the cars! What if the car behind you swerves off the side of the road to avoid a squirrel, if you're running with your back to it and headphones on, you might have no idea what is happening just behind! I would much much much rather be able to see what is coming at me!
4 years 41 weeks
If I lived in a quiet, spacious neighborhood that didn't have one-way streets and cars parallel parked up and down, then I would probably feel safe to run with the flow of traffic. But the neighborhood I run in has very tiny streets where the majority of residents parallel park. When the street is lined with parked cars, it can be hard sometimes for a driver who's turning right to see if there's someone crossing where they are about to turn. For this reason, I run against the traffic, so that at least I can see when a car is turning and stop for them just in case they aren't going to stop for me.
lydialee_home lydialee_home 4 years 41 weeks
I still run against the traffic now, but encounter a couple dangerous moment. During morning hours, I've seen a lot of driver that did not bother to look to their right when they are making right turn from a small road to the main road. What we do now is just to be extra careful. Really looking forward for spring and summer time.