Friday, September 23, 2016

Jerks on the Road

My number one priority when I run is always safety. That is why I do a majority of my training runs through the park, or on the rail trail. Often times I will run in town. One of my usual routes is running a lap at the park, running across the bridge (on the pedestrian walk way) into town on the sidewalk (never on the road).  I feel pretty safe on this route because even though I am in town, this sidewalk runs along the river, therefore I never have to stop for cars at red lights or stop signs because there are no streets that intersect it.

However, for the past month and a half,  I have been running in town so I could run the Harvest Festival race loop.  This loop is on a one ways street, and is two lanes.  It's not that heavily traveled.  The sidewalks on the part of town running North are new sidewalks and in perfect shape. Once I make the loop, the sidewalks on the South side are pretty uneven in some parts.  Even though these are one way streets I am running on, I still have to be cautious because unlike my other route that runs along the river, this route DOES have roads that intersect it so I always have to be cautious of drivers making a left hand turn,

I know this all may be hard to visualize if you are not familiar with where I am talking about.  Usually all my runs on this route are pleasant ones and I really do enjoy it. The people are friendly, drivers are considerate, and I pass walkers and other runners who always wave or flash a friendly smile.  However, with in the past few weeks I've encounter a few drivers who were acting like real jerks.


Example one:  There was one day were I turned the loop heading towards the South side of town (where the bad sidewalks are).  Since this road IS two lanes and it is not heavily traveled I decided to run on the road for a little bit instead of the sidewalk for fear of tripping.  I made sure that I wasn't actually IN the road, I was running as close to the sidewalk as possible.  Well a bit later this guy in a Honda drives into the lane I was in (even though the other lane was completely empty), and hollers at me saying something like "Get on the sidewalk if you want to run".   Wow, I was shocked and a little shaken. I had never had anyone yell at me while I was running. It's like he purposefully when out of his way to do that.

Which brings me to my second example: I mentioned that these roads I run on are one way roads that have two lanes. Yet even when there is no one in the further lane, drivers still do not make the effort to get over. I mean its not like I'm taking up the entire line but come on. If I saw someone running, I would move over and drive in the other lane just out of respect.

This third example really irritates me and this is why I normally don't run where there is traffic. I will stop at red lights if I have to and at stop signs I usually just give a glance to see if something is coming. If a car and I approach the stop sign at the same time, the car usually lets me cross before they continue.  Well, last week I was at a stop sign crossing and a car pulled up and instead of letting me cross she actually sped up. If she was stopped at the intersection before me I wouldn't have cared, but she wasn't.  I had someone do this to me at a traffic light as well.  Just goes to show that you always have to be on alert and watching out for the other guy too!

This last one happened to me just yesterday. I was running on this same one way street (and yes, this time I was on the sidewalk).  I was approaching a driveway (a driveway to a parking lot) that was leading out to the road and this guy pulls right up.  He didn't even see me  running ON THE DRIVE WAY. I knew he wasn't going to even look my way because it is a one way street and he was only looking towards traffic.  I don't know about you but even on one way streets I make a habit to look  both ways.  I knew he wasn't going to look  so I ran behind his car instead of in front and hollered "HEY" at him and he still didn't look even thought his window was down cus he was smoking a cigarette!

Just thinking about that last one is enough to get me irritated again so I'm gonna stop there and let you tell me a fifth one.

Which of these irritates you the most? Do you have any examples of your own? -M


We are linking up with the gals from the Friday 5.




46 comments:

  1. I run in areas with cars so much that I think I am used to rude drivers. And I have learned to always be on the defensive. Its too bad that we don't feel safer when running but we really do just need to look out for ourselves.
    I cant believe that guy yelled at you- its not like you were taking up much of the road! Plus he had the other lane he could have used.

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  2. Running safety is should be such a priority for all of us. There truly are so many jerks out there. I've seen some scary things--but I will say that I've seen more scary near misses in the suburbs than in the city!

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  3. Yesterday I had a woman drive so close to me that I could touch the car. I was running towards her, so it isn't as if she didn't see me. Clearly, she wanted to run me off the road. I have incidents like this every time I run. I really think people are becoming more and more jerky.

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  4. I think people are so self-absorbed. You have to assume they don't/won't see you for your own safety. I try to make eye contact before crossing in front of a car and even then it's risky!

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    1. You are right about that and most of the time people are on their phones too!

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  5. Two words; south Florida. if you don't have eyes in the back of your head you're eventually going to become road kill. Half the people down here don't even HAVE licenses, and pretty much take self-absorbed to a whole new level. I've just learned to keep my head on a swivel and try to make eye contact with the driver. If not, then I just wait. Broken bones just aren't worth it and it's not worth my energy to get aggravated about it.

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    1. Wow, I didn't realize people were that bad down there. Do you have a path or trail you could run on instead?

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    2. Thankfully there are plenty of parks in my area, but even then things can get dicey. And don't even get me started with the catcalling from passing vehicle. UGH.

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    3. I never experienced the catcalls, probably cus I'm always a sweaty mess and people probably feel sorry for me cus I look miserable!

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  6. I've had many situations like this and always am super alert when I'm running on roads! I do have to admit that it kind of bothers me when runners are in the road when there's a sidewalk (just like it annoys me when bikers are up on sidewalks instead of the road), but I still move out of their way when I'm driving! That guy was a jerk.

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  7. When I run on sidewalks, I'm very aware of each intersection and if a car is coming or not. Dallas driving is always an adventure, even from a car, so I'm not going to assume a driver sees me, even with a stop sign coming out of neighborhoods.

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  8. I really try to avoid running or biking on roads with cars bc it is just too scary and they are unpredictable. Be careful out there

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  9. I live and run in an urban/suburban area, so there are always cars around. I have a pretty good death glare that I give drivers when I cross streets, but there are some places around town when I know I have to be extra careful.

    And so strange that people didn't just move and go around you! When it's snowy, I often run in the street, because it's less treacherous than sidewalks, and I've never had cars be anything other than extra careful and polite to go around me.

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  10. I get very irritated seeing people on their phones while driving. Actually I get irritated seeing people walking with their heads down in their phones as well. pay attention, people!

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  11. In a way it shocks me that people would yell something mean to a runner but then again it doesn't shock me. People feel all safe and anonymous in their cars and think they can just talk rudely to people. :( I think that is the one that irritates me the most because someone was purposefully rude!

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  12. People are so careless and are more worried about themselves than anybody else. I try to stick to sidewalks or trails as much as I can, but those often have me having to cross traffic. The number of drivers who speed up/don't stop at a stop sign/don't look around them is quite astonishing.

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  13. My country road has made me stay off of them running - its TERRIFYING. People FLY down it at 60 mph over these hills that you cant see over. Someone WILL die one day on my road.
    Freaks me out when I see people walking their dogs down this road. I would NEVER put my dogs on these roads. People give NO consideration for the idea that someone may be walking down these streets.

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  14. There are so many idiot drivers out there. As runners I alway go with the thought that every single driver out there is distracted and can't see me. Its ridiculous how many are on cellphones and are oblivious to most things going in around them. Its one of the reasons I won't listen to music while running or walking on roads with traffic. Just for my own safety.
    I've had people do the speed up thing too. If where they are going is so important that they have to risk others lives, well thats on their conscious. It also gives me more to remember when I am driving to be considerate of those walking across streets because to me nothing is so important to get to a few seconds faster to risk a life.

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  15. Even when I'm wearing blaze orange or neon yellow, I've become convinced that I'm actually invisible to drivers. I think they are just not expecting anyone to be on foot - running, walking, whatever - and I can't tell you the number of times drivers have done a sudden stop/swerve to avoid hitting me. I always look at them, and if they don't acknowledge me, I stop, because I KNOW they aren't seeing me.

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  16. I have a legitmate dear of running through my town because of all the idiot drivers. I mainly stick to the parks for my run and it's very boring but I just feel much safer.

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  17. Wow! That's crappy!

    I have a pet peeve with all of the bikers in town who ride nearly in the street when there is a very wide shoulder and a BIKE PATH next to them, but I would NEVER intentionally do something to jeopardize their safety.

    I would be so irritated if I were trying to run and had to put up with all of that. I just feel bad for people that let stuff like that bother them, and to the point that they have to act like a jerk. You wonder if they ever feel happy or content.

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  18. Because my teenager is learning to drive and I have to be in the car with her as she builds her road hours, I am hyper aware of drivers and pedestrians and the traffic rules. There's just SO much to beware of. I cannot imagine why, in my wildest, some drivers are so freaking rude and downright mean. I mean, there's SO much risk is they hit someone. When running I stay off the roads as much as possible and avoid super busy times but still, it's so dangerous out there.

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  19. How rude!! People are awful! I hope you stay safe on the road with this crazies moving around!

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  20. Drivers and dogs! So irritating when you're out trying to do something healthy! Right now I'm biking more than running since I have a knee injury, and just today, I nearly got hit at a 4 way stop by a car that just decided to go through the stop without letting me have my turn. We met right in the middle, and I had to make a sharp turn or he would've run right over me like he didn't even see me. And then dogs. Don't get me started! People just don't seem to care or think we don't have a right to be out there on foot or bike.

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  21. Ugh! I hate inconsiderate drivers!!! I never trust road traffic. Ever.

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  22. Running the roads is just miserable sometimes. I haven't been running the roads much lately either but did this morning. And I encountered the drivers turning right and not looking to see if anyone was in the cross. This happened twice. And then as I was cross the street at a stop sign, a driver basically blew the sign and almost hit me. She can't say she didn't see me because I was in the middle of the cross walk. UGH!! Everyone seems just so entitled and that they don't have to follow the rules. So freaking rude!!! Stay safe out there!

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  23. Sorry to hear about your awful experiences with disrespectful drivers. I've been lucky to not have any bad encounters when I run on the road. Maybe because there are always runners out in places I choose to run. I definitely make eye contact with drivers before crossing in an intersection just to verify they see me.

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  24. I hate when drivers don't make eye contact (like deliberately looking everywhere else). I also hate when they don't swing wide when no one is coming. I always swing wide when I see a runner (assuming it's safe to do so). When a driver does leave me room I always wave a thank you.

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  25. Ugh, so annoying!!! I hate when drivers go out of their way to yell/harass a runner, and it's really awful when they could move over but don't. I get it, they're big and bad in their cars and they have the "right of way", but what happened to being polite?

    I hope you're running against traffic, because it sounds like there are some jerky drivers around!

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  26. I am constantly reminded that "common sense is NOT so common," especially when it comes to drivers. I'm in a small town, so the traffic is not like a metropolitan setting...but that just means no one (or very few) pay attention to what else may be on the road. It's not just the drivers, either...one time last late winter/early spring, I was running on a sidewalk. There were numerous puddles and melting snow/mud where there usually is grass. I saw two people conversing, and I'm pretty sure they saw me as well because they were facing me. They were at the corner, you know, where the two sidewalks intersect...but did they move to the side when I approached them (they had plenty of space, after all)? Answer: NO. So, I veered off into the slush and said something like,"It'OK, I got this, thanks!" Whatever ;-)

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  27. Oh my gosh this is so frustrating! And unsafe! What is wrong with people? I've been run off the road a few times (literally had to jump into a ditch next to the road to avoid being hit). The worst part is those people that aren't just oblivious, but purposefully being rude. I have to believe that this is just jealousy and envy, but it's so not okay!

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  28. Your stories are so scary!!! I will never understand why drivers get so freaked out over space...even with other drivers!! Be careful out there.

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  29. Actually I get irritated seeing people walking with their heads down in their phones as well. I was running on a sidewalk. There were numerous puddles and melting snow/mud where there usually is grass. Thanks for sharing.

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  30. The guy who yell at you was so rude. Seem a plenty of people don't respect runners in the right way

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  31. Absolutely agree with you what running along the road is not safe and some drivers are like jerks. It is good to hear that you come back to your usual choice.

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  32. Absolutely agree with you what running along the road is not safe and some drivers are like jerks, I hate when drivers don't make eye contact, I always swing wide when I see a runner

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  33. i run on the roads in my neighborhood all the time but usually its early enough where there are little to no cars out. now that my runs are getting longer there are more jerks on the road. a while back i had a truck with a trailer do that "race you to the stop sign thing" and purposefully pull so far forward I couldnt do around. i actually yelled at him but of course was ignored. apparently those 2 seconds really made a difference to him :P

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  34. i mostly got an accident by jerk last week. I started running at 6am. My area is not much traffic. But sometime jerk can be happened that we couldnt immage. The old man drove his car behind me. I always run on a sidewalk. He pulled over close to me as if im was not there! Luckily, i shouted out and ran forward. I thought he was till sleeby and drove without eyes!

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  35. Though I've never had any security problems when running, my friend told me her story. When she was running in the park near her house, a guy suddenly stole her Ipod! Luckily she was safe and didn't bring any valuable things. It's really awful! I totally agree that security is the most priority when we do jogging outside!

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  36. i think there are many people who just keep the eyes on theirown bussiness, dont care anything else at all, even thought their thing may harm someone safe. i was once in the same condition like your third example and i know how angry you was.

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  37. Running safety is should be such a priority for all of us.i run on the roads in my neighborhood all the time but usually its early enough where there are little to no cars out

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  38. Safety is the first thing that we should pay attention to when running. The traffic in my country is not really good so I always have to be cautious when choosing the place for running.

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  39. I totally agree that running safety is the first priority when running. I find your post interesting! Thanks for sharing!

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Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today.