Runners and Pedestrian Accidents in Leesburg

Generally, there are many runners who frequent the sidewalks in the town of Leesburg because the Washington & Old Dominion Trail, which runs from Purcellville to Shirlington, has many intersections in Leesburg. Runners often use the trail to gain mileage while being safe from roadside travel. In addition, there are gyms, residential areas, and parks which runners enjoy while using the roads and sidewalks in Leesburg.

With runners potentially present, it is important for drivers to be aware of their surroundings in order to avoid causing a pedestrian accident in Leesburg. It is also important to understand that runners may be distracted because they are running as well as potentially using headphones.

Common Running Trails

There are no designated running lanes in Leesburg, but the majority of runners use the sidewalks or the Washington & Old Dominion Trail (W&OD). The W&OD Trail has a no motorized vehicle policy and there are other areas that are friendly toward runners. Flashing signs at the intersections often encourage safe driving. However, there are no specific policies toward runners.

The major running trail in Leesburg is the W&OD which runs through the heart of Leesburg and includes many popular intersections for people to get on and off the trail. It also connects to local coffee shops, bike shops, shopping, restaurants, and things of that nature. There are running clubs in the Leesburg area that use the W&OD and the surrounding roads for group runs or individual training sessions. There is quite a lot of use of that trail and the local area. In addition, there are local parks in which runners use the park roads, sidewalks in the park, and local streets in and out of Leesburg. These include Morven Park and Ida Lee Park.

Notification at Crossings

The W&OD usually has some sort of notification that drivers are approaching the trial. There are a variety of methods that W&OD uses to notify drivers that the trail is crossing the roadway. These include stop lights such as the stop light on the Catoctin Circle within the town of Leesburg. There are “Caution Ahead” signs but no stop light at the crossing on South King Street. There are other crossings that are less frequented in which there is no real marking other than a crosswalk on the road and not much notice ahead of time to tell people they are approaching the trail. There are many different ways that the trails are marked from very obvious to less obvious.

Important to Know as a Driver

When you are driving and see runners you need to be aware because they may be unpredictable. Their speed may change or they may make sudden turns. They may not be able to hear you if they are using headphones and may not always exercise cautionary styles.

In Case of an Accident

The first thing the runner should do when they are hit by a vehicle is to ascertain the nature of their injury. If they are severely injured, they should immediately flag down someone for emergency medical assistance. This includes calling 911 and making sure they get treatment right away because it could be a life or death situation. When calling 911, they should give the operator as much information as possible including information about the vehicle that struck them, what the driver said, license plate number, or things like that, especially if the driver did not remain on the scene.

It is especially important to get this information when the person is injured because they may lose consciousness or be required to have some treatment that may result in memory loss. If the runner is injured and unable to contact emergency medical assistance, they should try to find someone who can do so for them. They should try to not move too much other than being in a safe place and risk further their injury.

After they are able to assess the nature of their injury, pursue emergency medical treatment, and contact law enforcement they should try to remember all the important details of what led to the injury and preserve that information to talk to an attorney at a later date.