Safety Tips for Joggers and Bikers in Glendale
Biking and jogging are extremely popular in LA County, and Glendale is no different. But anyone who’s just going for a casual stroll through our neighborhood can attest to at one point nearly being struck by a distracted or careless driver. While we cannot control the actions of drivers, we suggest a handful of safety practices to keep everyone safe when out for a jog or bike ride, especially in the early morning or late evening. The Glendale Police Department has also outlined a number of tips for pedestrians and their children through the “Look to Live” campaign.
It’s easy to get in your head on a bike ride or jog and lose focus on the world around you, especially if you are listening to music, podcasts, or even the popular app “Zombies, Run!” But joggers, bikers, and pedestrians must use the same precautions and measures that are expected of drivers. Follow some easy tips regarding distractions to make sure you are doing the best you can to keep yourself safe
- Do not look down on your phone while moving. If you must send a message, stop and step into a safe area out of harm’s way to take care of it.
- Most people love to listen to music while exercising; however, this can restrict your ability to hear your surroundings and oncoming traffic. If you must listen to music, use only one earbud and set the volume low enough that you can still hear nearby vehicles.
- Do not video chat or take selfies while moving. This is a risky practice that requires you to look away from all of your surroundings to focus on the camera. Many unfortunate incidents have occurred as a result of taking selfies in dangerous situations, especially during the Pokémon Go hype.
- Remember to stop at every crosswalk to make sure the road is clear, even if you have the right of way. Most pedestrians assume that if a traffic light is green, then they are safe to cross, but the light can easily turn red while they are in the middle of crossing. Pedestrian signal lights are a better indication of the right of way.
There are a number of safety-related devices that are of great benefit to keep you visible to traffic at all times, whether you are walking your dog, running, or cycling.
- Safety vests: These are great tools to remain visible at all times and there are many stylish options to choose from beyond the standard worker vest that we have all come to know.
- LED Blinking lights: There are a number of different blinking lights and colors for runners, walkers, bikers, and even your dog. Some bikers choose to attach colorful lights to their wheels, and it makes it extremely easy to spot them. There are also options for dog leashes. At the end of the day, more lights you use the better when traveling along the road in low visibility.
- Reflective clothing: From t-shirts, jackets, shorts, pants, sports bras, belts, hats, and shoes there is an endless array of reflective clothing for higher visibility to oncoming vehicles. While we all love how slimming black is, it can make you rather invisible in the early morning or evening. Check with your favorite workout brand to see what colorful and bright options they have available.
Face Traffic at All Times
We understand; this is the most hands-on, annoying rule, but it really does make a difference. When you are facing oncoming traffic, you can more clearly see hazards, such as speeding or distracted drivers, and will have a better reaction time to avoid a collision. Sometimes, you have no choice in the matter, because the never-ending construction in Los Angeles County can block off a side-walk. When it is safe to do so, do your best to travel against traffic. On the most fundamental level, you will be able to see all oncoming vehicles and can react accordingly. Unless you are constantly checking over your shoulder or have eyes in the back of your head, you cannot protect yourself against vehicles coming from behind you.
Follow the Rules of The Road
It is not just the responsibility of drivers to abide by the rules of the road. As a pedestrian, you must follow all designated road signs and crossings to ensure your safety – and the City of Glendale has made a little easier for residents through a series of new decals, as reported by the LA Times.
60 of these decals have been placed at highly-traffic crosswalks and roads, primarily between Colorado and the I-134, and they provide basic tips to help keep bikers and joggers safe, such as by advising people to make eye contact with drivers to ensure they are not distracted. This is part of the city’s larger campaign “Be Street Smart Glendale”, which aims to minimize the dangers to pedestrians through educational initiatives. The program also advises parents to also talk to their kids about pedestrian safety and to teach them by setting good examples.
How effective these new campaigns will be is yet to be seen, but the Glendale pedestrian accident attorneys at Aghabegian & Associates, PC are always on-hand to represent joggers and bikers struck by careless drivers. Call us at (818) 507-4311 to discuss your legal options and rights.