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Running to keep fit – how to stay safe

We are now reaching the time of year when many New Year’s resolutions have long since been abandoned however, there are those who have managed to stick to it.

According to a poll conducted last year the most common New Year’s resolutions were to exercise more and lose weight with over 70% of people polled giving these responses.

For those who want to avoid gym fees and get out of the house a bit more, jogging is an excellent way to stick to that resolution but with the nights still drawing in before many people get home from work, it can present hazards, especially from vehicles.

Although statistics released by the Department for Transport show a general decrease in the number of people killed or injured on Britain’s roads, provisional statistics for the year ending June 2017 show a 1% increase in accidents involving pedestrians (including joggers) with 25% of these resulting in death or serious accidents leading to a personal injury compensation claim.

Tips for joggers

For those who have decided to take up jogging in 2018, there are a few simple steps to follow to stay safe:

  • Be vigilant and aware of other road users
  • Don’t rely on cars to give you space – many motorists move over when they see a jogger or cyclist and pass them at a safe distance but don’t assume that they always will; if you are running on the road and a car is approaching be prepared to move onto the verge or pavement
  • If you are running in the road, keep to the right hand side so that you can see oncoming traffic and they can see you – if you are facing the oncoming traffic you will be able to react more quickly than if they approach from behind you.
  • If running in the evening or early morning, run in an area with street lighting – this gives drivers a better chance of seeing you from further away
  • Wear bright, fluorescent or reflective clothing so that you can be easily seen by other road users, especially when it is dark. If you use reflective materials, these can be seen by drivers using headlights up to three times further away than wearing non-reflective materials.
  • Look both ways before crossing a road – do not assume that a driver has seen you even if you have seen them
  • Avoid distractions – if you like to listen to music, keep the volume low so that you can hear approaching vehicles and don’t use noise cancelling headphones

If you have been injured and the accident is not your fault, it may be possible to bring a claim however you should be aware that if you have not followed the advice above the other side may raise an argument called contributory negligence. This means that they are alleging that you are responsible or partly responsible for your injuries by not taking reasonable care for your own safety.

If they are successful in their argument, it will result in any compensation awarded being reduced by the percentage that you are found to have contributed to the accident; for example if you are found to be 20% responsible your compensation will be reduced by 20%.

Therefore it is crucial that if you are involved in the collision that you stay calm and get the details of all of the parties involved and including any witnesses who may be able to confirm your version of events.

Seek medical attention as soon as possible if you have been injured and report the incident to the police and ensure that you give a clear account of what happened and it is recorded accurately.

Whatever your New Year’s resolution may be (and whether you have stuck to it or not), we wish you a happy and healthy 2018!