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Which side of the road should you be on?

When you're walking, jogging or biking, the side of the road you pick is not always determined by where you're going or where you started.

It's important to know exactly where you should be to keep yourself safe and lower the odds of an accident.


If there are sidewalks on both sides, pedestrians can use either one. The separation created by the sidewalk means it doesn't matter if you're facing traffic or walking with it.

In a situation in which one side has a sidewalk and the other does not, you're best off to use the sidewalk, no matter which way you're going. If your destination is on the other side, just take the sidewalk to a legal crosswalk and cross the road as close as possible to that destination.

The Shoulder

If you don't have a sidewalk to use, you may end up walking on the shoulder. To do this, walk toward the cars, not with them. Get as far over as you can. You want to see the cars, make eye contact with the drivers and give yourself as much time as possible to move if you see a clear hazard, such as a distracted driver drifting over the line.


The opposite rules are true, in most cases, for cyclists. Rather than facing traffic, they should ride with traffic, on the right side of the road. Cyclists have to obey many of the same traffic laws and are considered vehicles.


If you are hit by a car, even when doing everything properly, you could be facing high medical bills, lost wages and many other challenges. Make sure you know all of your legal rights.

Source: Safe Routes, "What side of the road should I walk on?," accessed Jan. 04, 2018

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