Cindy Speaker: Good afternoon. Welcome to our broadcast today. My name is Cindy Speaker and I have with me today as my guest, David Daggett, an attorney with Daggett Shuler Attorneys at Law. David, how are you doing?
David Daggett: Good, Cindy. Good to see you. How are you doing?
Cindy Speaker: Good to see you.
David Daggett: Springtime’s on its way. It’s starting to warm up a little bit.
Cindy Speaker: Yes, it is. I actually wanna talk about one of your favorite subjects today as the weather warms up, and that is run safety.
David Daggett: Yes, yes.
Cindy Speaker: How many miles do you run every day, David?
David Daggett: I try to get out at lunchtime. It’s usually three miles to eight miles, depending on how much time I have. On the weekends, I usually try to go a little bit longer. I love being outside and, as you know, I’ve got a little bit of excess energy in me. I gotta release a little bit of that.
Cindy Speaker: A little bit?
David Daggett: It’s a great way to stay in shape both physically and mentally, and actually, mentally staying in shape is very, very important.
Cindy Speaker: Yeah.
David Daggett: It was interesting. I just read a book and I forget the name of the author, the title of the book is “Spark” and it’s a thick book. Basically, the theme of the book is that exercise enhances everything you do mentally, psychologically, academically. You do better. They tested students, that if they get some quick exercise before taking an IQ test, the IQ’s higher. The grade on the test is higher. I’m a believer in staying fit and active, have a healthy lifestyle.
Cindy Speaker: Yes.
David Daggett: Enough of my sermon.
Cindy Speaker: No, that’s great. Well, tell us a little bit about laws that affect runners. There are some laws that runners need to pay attention to.
David Daggett: Yes. There are. Running, the laws are pretty simple. You are supposed to run facing traffic. Use a sidewalk if it’s there. At intersections, you need to follow the traffic lights, guides, or signals, or whatever you have. But those are the laws. The more important part are the practical pieces. The practical pieces, you have to pretend you’re invisible. Cars don’t see you when you’re running. They’re paying attention to bigger, faster, more harmful objects than a runner who’s out there.
You need to be visible. To be visible, that’s bright-colored clothing. If it’s at night, make sure of reflective gear and/or lights and to be off on the side so that you’re compatible with traffic, not fighting with traffic. That’s probably the most important thing, is they don’t see you so you’ve got to pretend that you’re invisible. You have to do something to be seen. Then second is just being polite and being a good ambassador out on the road is huge.
If you’re out running and you do something inconsiderate to a motorist, that motorist may be more likely to be inconsiderate to the next runner or walker or bicyclist or pedestrian that they see out there. If you’re gonna be part of an active community, part of it is to be a good ambassador for that active community and to pass it along.
Cindy Speaker: That makes sense. What do you think about running groups, especially safety issues with groups?
David Daggett: Running groups are basically good. Running with a friend, if you’re running by yourself you should let somebody know basically what your route is and what time you’re going. We’ve had people have some pretty severe health complications in the middle of a run. We actually had somebody in our neighborhood go down on the road entering our neighborhood with an instantaneous blood clot the brain. Ended up dying.
Cindy Speaker: Oh, my.
David Daggett: Letting people know where you are, what route you’re on, if you’re by yourself. Running groups are great. Lots of times, the camaraderie is motivating and it’s more fun. Running in numbers usually makes you a little bit more visible. That makes it safer. But the one downside is sometimes there’s also that pack mentality or gang mentality that a big group thinks they can run down the side of the road because they’re a big group.
Obviously, a big group running down the side of the road is more of a hazard or an obstruction for the motorist. I always ask running groups, “Please be smart and please behave in a way that you would want a group of runners to behave if you were the motorist.” It’s the same with bicyclists. You go single-file. You give cars as much room as possible. A big group straggling through a yellow light at an intersection, well, a big group of runners, that can take a long time to get through and that can really irritate motorists, which goes back to my principle of being a good ambassador. It’s very, very important.
Cindy Speaker: Yes. Talk a little bit about injuries and what recourse you have. Is it simply your health insurance? What happens in running injuries?
David Daggett: That’s very, very interesting. The first thing that I always recommend is if you’re engaged in a healthy, active fitness lifestyle, you should make sure you have good health insurance because if there’s an encounter, I was gonna say with a car but it could be a car or a dog or there’s pedestrian bike accidents or any other sort of malady, you’re very exposed as a runner or a bicyclist, which means the injuries would be worse than if you had a bump up in a car. A bump up with a runner as opposed to a bump up in a car is much more serious and likely to incur more medical expenses. Protect yourself there.
Now, the interesting thing is our automobile insurance coverage covers us in a lot more circumstances than most people would ever imagine. For example, in North Carolina, many people have what’s called medical payments coverage owner/car. That’s like having health insurance on your car. Well, that covers you not just if you’re in a car but if you have an encounter with a car. It covers you if you’re a pedestrian or bicyclist. The same would apply to uninsured motorist coverage. That’s when you get hit by a car without any insurance. Or underinsured motorist coverage; that’s a car without enough insurance.
Your insurance may step in and help you in those cases even when you’re a pedestrian or on a bike or out for a jog. The other interesting thing is sometimes a pedestrian, cyclist, or jogger actually has the availability to more insurance. The reason is because they might be covered by anybody else in the household that has an insurance policy. The trick to that is the books and the law covering that would stretch from here to that back wall back there. It’s very, very tricky and complicated and that’s why somebody with experience can help sort those things out and find the solution.
I always recommend that if you are actively involved as a runner or cyclist or a pedestrian of any sort, you should have very good insurance, health insurance and auto insurance. Homeowner’s insurance, potentially also, too could cover you. Very, very tricky, very, very complicated. We love for people to safely enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle but you also need to make sure you have protection in place should that happen.
Cindy Speaker: Speaking of protection, what about sun safety?
David Daggett: Well, sun safety is big, particularly the further south you go. We have a good friend who’s a doctor who specializes in surgical oncology. That means cancer surgery with a specialty of skin cancer in melanoma. He is fanatical. He recommends not doing your workouts outside between 10:00 and 2:00, making sure you have a hat with a brim, making sure that you have clothing that covers your skin, and that you liberally use sunscreen.
The nice thing is in the past couple years, I just read about a new product actually today, sunscreen technology is evolving very quickly. In the old days, Coppertone, the basic Coppertone-type sunscreen, if you would sweat it would get in your eyes and burn and you’d have to reapply it. It wasn’t sweat-proof. Today, sunscreen is much more technologically advanced. There’s sunscreen that doesn’t burn the eyes, doesn’t clog the pores, and that you don’t have to reapply as frequently. You can enjoy being outside safely and in a much better fashion.
Cindy Speaker: That’s great.
David Daggett: Yeah, yeah.
Cindy Speaker: David, can you share a couple of your favorite places to run in the area?
David Daggett: Yeah. Well, I have a lot of them. I have a loop through town that I love to do. Winston-Salem’s just perfect. It’s big enough that you have all the advantages of a big city, but it’s small enough that I can do an eight-mile loop and I can go through down to our Greenway, through Winston-Salem State University, back through Salem College, through downtown, and back around. I get to see the whole town on one run. That’s one.
There’s all sorts of places out by Wake Forest University. There’s Graylyn Estate, there’s all sorts of trails behind the Reynolda Estate, and then there’s some cross country trails in the back of Wake Forest University. The nice thing about that is on those trails, obviously, there’s no traffic. Then we have a number of parks with trails. Tanglewood Park has trails. Hobby Park has mountain bike trails. I like to run on them but they’re a little rugged. Then Salem Lake is just a gem. It’s a diamond that we have. It’s about a seven-mile loop around. No traffic, a hard-packed dirt surface for, I’d say, 90% of it. The rest is asphalt greenway. It’s just a delightful place to go.
Cindy Speaker: That’s great.
David Daggett: Yeah, that’s where my-
Cindy Speaker: Now that you’ve shared your secrets, maybe you’ll run into some of your followers.
David Daggett: Well, I do. I see a lot of people I know out there. Salem Lake, when my wife and I have time, that’s where we go for our running dates. If you see me with my wife, we’re on a date.
Cindy Speaker: Oh! Okay! Well, David, before we go, for those that do unfortunately have some type of injury while running, how could they reach your law firm for assistance?
David Daggett: Either through our website at DaggettShulerLaw.com or calling us, 336-724-1234. We have lots of tips and things like that on our website, also.
Cindy Speaker: Excellent. Okay, thanks for being with us today.
David Daggett: Good to see you, Cindy. Take care.
Cindy Speaker: You, too.
David Daggett: Bye-bye.
Cindy Speaker: For those of you watching, if you have questions, comments, you can leave them on this page. David will follow up personally.
David Daggett: Thank you.
Cindy Speaker: Thanks, everybody.