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About once a week, I hear about a pedestrian struck by a car in Indianapolis. Often these accidents result in personal injury, including traumatic brain injury, broken bones, spinal cord injury, or even death. I often wonder how this happens and whether it is due to driver inattention, cell phone use / texting or road conditions.

Then last night, after dark, in winter, while driving home on a busy street, I saw a person who was dressed head to toe in black with no flashlight or reflective gear to alert drivers to his or her presence, running through traffic. Since I am a runner also, I did recognize a nice running form, once I recovered from the shock of this person not taking basic precautions and running safety measures.

As the weather warms up, please remember as a runner, these rules that will help you avoid personal injury. These tips may also be applied to prevent bicycle injuries, as well.

Follow These Simple Running Safety Rules:

• Wear reflective material before dawn and after dusk. If your running gear does not have running gear, carry a flashlight.
• Run against traffic and stay observant to make sure vehicle drivers see and acknowledge your presence. Do not assume the driver of a vehicle sees you.
• Do NOT use headphones.
• Carry a cell phone or change for a phone call.
• Run in familiar areas and vary your running location. Avoid unpopulated areas, deserted streets, and trails that are not regularly used.
• Use your instincts. If a situation or person gives you unease, do what you need to do to stay safe. This could range from simply leaving an area or calling the police.

Exercise and running are great, but please stay safe.