Top Runner’s Close Call Leads to New Pedestrian Safety Campaign

Kaitlin Goodman, an elite marathon runner, is the inspiration behind a new pedestrian safety campaign, according to the Washington Post.

In August 2018, Goodman was running down a street she’d jogged down several times before near her Providence, Rhode Island, home when a distracted driver with their head down nearly struck her. She was forced to leap to safety, which resulted in a torn hamstring, bruises and other injuries.

At the time, she was training for the Olympics and had just signed professional contacts with the Boston Athletic Association and active-wear brand Adidas. As a result of this event, Goodman will never be able to run like she did before. She can no longer run her typical 100 miles per week, and long car rides bring discomfort. However, she’s still hoping she’ll be able to make the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as part of the US team.

As a result of her accident, Goodman decided to launch “Safe on the Road,” a safety campaign aimed at helping motorists and pedestrians coexist safely on the country’s roads and streets. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, pedestrian deaths did go down somewhat in 2017 (the most recent data available), but at close to 6,000 deaths in that year alone, the figure is still far too high. In addition, that total doesn’t include the thousands of people who suffer from chronic pain and have endured serious injuries in an auto-pedestrian accident.

Goodman’s campaign is meant to encourage those on bikes, walkers and runners to take real action at the local level to help improve safety on their community roads, which are designed to prioritize motor vehicles in many areas. This could mean contacting local officials to talk about what can be done, putting up signs with pointed messages on businesses and lawns, or carrying out a street survey to determine design flaws that threaten pedestrian and cyclist safety and areas where speed bumps, signs or signal adjustments might help slow drivers down.

Originally from Davis, California, which proclaims itself as the “bike capital” of the US, Goodman has not found very many bike lanes or other accommodations for pedestrians in the New England area. Her goal with the campaign is to empower more people, as she views pedestrian safety as a very concerning public health issue.

Bruce Stowell, a recently retired physician from Grants Pass, Oregon, told the Washington Post that he fully agrees with Goodman. In 2011, the 66-year-old marathon runner barely escaped paralysis and even possibly death after he suffered a fractured neck from being hit by a car while biking near his home. Ever since the accident, Stowell says he has paid closer attention to his own behavior while he’s driving.

The victim on foot in an auto-pedestrian accident is often the one who suffers the greatest consequences because of the difference in size, speed and rider protection between a car and a person. If you have suffered injuries in an auto-pedestrian accident, speak to the best pedestrian accident lawyer in Denver, CO about your case as soon as you can.

Thanks to Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into personal injury claims and runner pedestrian accidents.