Rules of the Road

In the interest of promoting an enjoyable running and racing experience for everyone, the Road Runners Club of America encourages good runners’ etiquette. Whether running in a group or running alone, always follow the RRCA Safety Guidelines. Whatever the pace, wherever the race, manners matter.

Rules of the road and trails

Run against traffic if running on the road. If running on the sidewalk or multi-use trails, travel on the right and pass on the left. Never run more than two abreast if you are running in a group. Don’t be a road or trail hog. Don’t run down the middle of the road or trail.

If you are running an out-and-back route, don’t just make a sudden u-turn at your turn around point. Stop, step to the right to allow oncoming traffic the opportunity to pass. Ensure the road or trail is clear of oncoming traffic (runners, cyclists, in-line skaters, etc.) then make your u-turn. Making a sudden u-turn without looking over your shoulder is a good way to get hit.

Alert pedestrians when you are passing them – don’t assume they are aware of their surroundings. A simple “on your left” warning will suffice.

Be alert on blind curves.

Stop at stop signs and ensure oncoming traffic yields to you before proceeding across a road. Don’t assume cars will stop if you are entering a cross walk

Respect private property along your route. Don’t relieve yourself in the neighbor’s bushes. Don’t litter. If you can’t find a trash can, carry your trash home.

Other Points of Safety

Don't assume a driver sees you. In fact, imagine that a driver can't.

At a stop sign or light, wait for the driver to wave you through—then acknowledge the driver with your own wave.

Allow at least three feet between you and a passing vehicle.

Be prepared to jump onto the sidewalk or shoulder of the road.

During group runs, go single file when cars need to pass.

Use hand signals to show which way you plan to turn.

Respect a driver's right to the road.

Check with the police for local traffic rules.

Make sure to look out for people pulling out of a driveway. They may not see you.

At an intersection always wait and look for vehicles coming from multiple directions and lanes before attempting to cross. If you run with headphones, make sure you can still hear what is going on around you. Run with just one ear bud in at a time. In commercial areas, look out for high-traffic areas, such as the parking lots of grocery stores, restaurants, and bars. Watch for early-morning drivers who do not clear frost or morning dew off their windshields; they may not be able to see you. Wear bright and/or reflective clothing.