I have heard the stories of outdoor runners tragically hit and killed by an on-coming car. It can be of some risk to run on an open road especially on busy roads or roads with higher speed limits. Even if a jogger opts for a sidewalk, he or she must watch out for people backing out of their driveway or crossing the street. It's a jungle out there.
It goes without saying, but I must say it anyway, that it is absolutely imperative for mommy joggers to take even more precaution when out there hitting the pavement. We are pushing the most precious cargo in the world and our number one job is to keep those little ones safe.
Below are safety tips to remember:
1. The safety strap - use it. Jogging strollers are equipped with a safety strap that goes around the wrist. This is there so that in case the jogger gets away from the runner, the runner is still attached to it and can pull it back. If your jogger does not have this, buy a nylon strap and attach it in the back of the stroller toward the bottom of it. Do NOT attach the strap to the handlebar, pulling it back quickly could cause the jogger to fall backwards.
2. Look for joggers that have additional brakes. Every stroller (regular ones and joggers) have a brake that will stop the wheels from rolling. Always put the brake on when the stroller is stopped and your hands leave the handlebar. In addition, look for joggers that have a brake on the handlebar like a bicycle brake. If you have to stop suddenly you can quickly squeeze this brake.
3. Know where you are at and where you are going. I think that before you take your coaches out for a spin in their jogger, you should know the area well enough to anticipate the areas where traffic may be heavier or people may be out in your path. By all means, use the best judgment when hitting the road with a jogger. Jogging on the road is not a bad thing and actually is easier on the body, but being aware of all obstacles is extremely important. If the street is just too busy, suck it up and use the sidewalk. Sorry. Safety first, right?
4. Make eye contact with drivers, bicyclists, etc. Before crossing the entrance way of a parking lot or running past a driveway, make sure that any drivers who are pulling out of it see you. Don't assume because you have the right away that they will magically stop. A smile and a wave will help them see you and hopefully lighten the mood you have caused them for being in their way. :)
5. Gauge your body. We all want to push ourselves and accomplish our very best. Running is about beating yourself on a daily basis (quit slapping yourself, that is not what I meant!) There are times though when pushing ourselves does not make it safe for everyone involved. If you find yourself getting light headed, dizzy or feeling faint, stop running and walk your way home. You will do yourself no good if you are unable to get you and your loved ones home safely.
Be safe and happy running!