You decide to take up running as a hobby, and your first day on the treadmill does not go well. It quickly becomes clear that you need to run on the roads. You need to get outside. There's no way you'll stick with it otherwise.
As you walk out to the street, though, you realize you're not sure which side of the road to run on. Do you run as if you were driving, going with traffic, or do you run against traffic, with the cars coming toward you?
Safety and running experts note that you should always run against the traffic if possible. It's far safer. Often, it's also the law.
Why is it safer? Not only does it ensure that you are visible to those drivers, but it makes it so that you can see them coming. You spot headlights if you're running after dark, so you get some warning. If a driver drifts onto the shoulder while texting, you see it before the car reaches you. This level of alertness can allow you to react to a threat in an instant, perhaps avoiding a crash or keeping you from serious injury.
Of course, running against traffic only does so much. You can still get hit by drivers coming toward you or turning through intersections. It happens to runners all over the United States every month. On California's busy roads, you do face risks every time you go for a jog.
If you get injured in one of these accidents, make sure you know what legal options you have to seek financial compensation.