To the runner at the top of Jacklin Road on Monday night:
I was traveling south on Jackson Road around 7 p.m., Monday, Dec. 1. There was a line of parked cars on my right, and a vehicle with poorly adjusted headlights approaching on my left.
Suddenly, as the other car passed me, I saw the flash of your face running towards me on the road between my vehicle and the line of parked cars. You were about 10 feet away and your face was the most visible part of you. I am sure that you thought you were visible. You were not. Had the timing of the other vehicle been slightly slower, I do not think I would’ve seen you at all.
I understand you had to run on the road because the sidewalks were slippery. I am absolutely willing to share the roads with you. But you should understand that we were between streetlights and I did not see you until it was too late. I still feel sick about how close I came to clipping you with my mirror.
You can buy retro-reflective iron-on and peel-and-stick tape for your clothing. You can buy retro-reflective bandoliers with embedded flashing LED lights. You can buy retro-reflective armbands. Even the ubiquitous traffic control vest, supersized for construction workers, can be cut down and tailored with fabric glue so that it will not chafe.
The advent of lightweight, high intensity LED flashlights with easy one-handed on-off switches means you can alert vehicles to your proximity. There are even tiny, high-intensity single LED lights that mount on your finger with an on-off lever that you can control with your thumb.
For the sake of the guilt of the driver that hits you, and the sake of the grief of your relatives and friends in the running community when you are hit, please spend half the price of your next pair of shoes and buy some visibility. Or else go to the gym and use the treadmill when the temperature drops below freezing. We will all be grateful.
P.S. If you are the spouse of this runner, please make this the Christmas when you give the gift of visibility.