Cindy Speaker:  Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Cindy Speaker and I have with me today for our broadcast, attorney David Daggett of Daggett Shuler Attorneys at Law. David, how you doing?

David Daggett: Good, Cindy, how are you doing today?

Cindy Speaker:  I’m doing great. Now, let me ask you a question.

David Daggett: Sure.

Cindy Speaker:  How many miles did you run this morning?

David Daggett: Actually, I swam this morning, ran at lunch.

Cindy Speaker: Of course. You’re amazing.

David Daggett:  I’ve gotten old so my old bones feel better swimming in the mornings, but so usually weekday mornings I swim. Of course, our Y opens at a 4:45 and I’m the first one at the door and I’m ready to go.

Cindy Speaker: Oh my goodness.

David Daggett: So we’re raring to go here.

Cindy Speaker: Oh, you amaze me. Well, it’s always funny when I’m talking to you and you’re like, “Oh yeah, we did a hundred mile bike ride today.” And I’m like … “And then a 10 mile run.” So what we’re going to talk about today is some of this winter-run safety because there’s a lot of runners, and I know you live in a nice area and I’m sure there’s a lot more runners where you live than where I live, but let’s talk a little about run safety for the winter.

David Daggett: So I’m really proud of our community. I think over the last number of years there’s been an emphasis on active healthy lifestyles and that’s been good, but as a practical matter, people who are getting outside for exercise at this time of year, they’re either doing it before work or after work and right now it’s dark before work and it’s dark after work. So the wintertime presents some challenges that we don’t have during other times of the year, and those challenges are being seen and being safe when you’re out on the road. I’m a huge proponent that people who are outside, whether you’re running or walking, or walking your dog, we’re all on the same team and we all want to be ambassadors for safety when we’re out on the road. I truly believe that most motorists want to help us and encourage our healthy active lifestyle. While at the same time, they have some trepidation that there’s people they can’t see or presenting dangers that no driver wants to be faced with.

David Daggett:  So I think that we have an obligation to make sure we’re ambassadors and make sure we’re doing what we should do. And there’s some simple, simple rules to start with and then we can talk about some other things. But, but first of all, always be facing traffic. Number one, it’s the law, but the reason it’s the law is because it is safer. You can see what’s coming toward you and you can react to it, and it also helps the driver because the drivers don’t have to worry about somebody’s backside that they can’t see. It’s interesting, right out here down the street from the office in the mornings I frequently see a runner running, or jogger going with traffic on the edge of the road and wearing dark clothing. At some point, there’s going to be a tragedy arising from that. We need to do everything we can to help prevent that.

David Daggett:  So, number one, face traffic. Number two, be seen, be visible. There’s so much technology coming out now for visibility. You’ve got the standard old reflective vests. I actually have a reflective vest. I also have reflective armbands and leg bands, which I actually think are neat because the movement of them flickers for cars and you can see them from quite a ways away. I think those are very, very good, very, very effective but they also have all sorts of different lights. Flashing lights, fancy lights. I laugh. One of my friends who might be watching this, Brian Highsmith, he runs early in the mornings and he’s got a vest that has lights into the vest and they flash at different times. He looks like a Christmas tree when he’s out running, but by golly he’s safe. I mean you can’t-

Cindy Speaker:  That’s great.

David Daggett:  You can’t miss seeing him. I’ll tell you the one that I’ll equivocate just a little bit on is there’s the headlamp lights that a lot of people wear so that they can see where they’re going and it helps you with cracks in the sidewalk or potholes or missing some of those hazards on the road. And again, you would see those in the day time but before work or after work you might be able to see them. The one thing about those headlights is you got to be careful where you turn your head and where you aim it because the headlight can be confusing to the drivers coming, because a driver instinctually thinks that that’s an oncoming motorcycle or bicycle headlight so they can get spooked or scared and have a different sort of a bad reaction that isn’t real safe.

David Daggett: So if you have those headlights be mindful that when you look at the car you’re shining in your headlight right at them, and so don’t do that because it can be very confusing, particularly to elderly drivers. When I say that I realize that at my age I now classify as the elderly, but the truth is is that our vision and our ability for depth perception and those sort of things at night, it goes downhill as you age.

Cindy Speaker:  Yeah, it does.

David Daggett: So help the elderly like me when I’m out on the road by being visible and by being safe when you’re out there.

Cindy Speaker:  That’s a great point, David. It really is. Now, you’re out there a lot running and do a lot of people use the headlamps? Is that common?

David Daggett: The headlamps have become very, very popular. What I actually like better is they’re a neat little product, they’re knuckle lights, and so it’s like a band that goes around your hand and you run like this. So your knuckle whites point forward but it’s more of a strobe effect because your hands are going up and down, and that’s not as confusing to a driver as the headlamps and you can focus your knuckles wherever you want to focus them if you need to see something. So I think those are kind of an ingenious idea and it’s not that I’m against the headlamps, just be aware that it can be very confusing and deceptive to a motorist under certain situations.

Cindy Speaker: Let me ask you another question.

David Daggett: Sure.

Cindy Speaker:  What you’re talking about is a number of products, as you said, technology is more advanced now. Is it still important to wear bright-colored clothing or does that not matter because you have so many other things on your knuckles, on your …

David Daggett: No, absolutely. The bright-colored clothing day or night is extremely helpful, but there’s a lot of reflective technology now that is sewn into clothing and some of it, they’ve actually made it quite fashionable. So there’s some cold running jackets so that they look normal in the daylight but you shine a light on them and they’re reflective. In the old days, we wore goofy stuff. You know? The reflective clothing wasn’t necessarily fashionable. Now there’s all sorts of reflective clothing that’s pretty fashionable and does a very good job and some of it is really high visibility. Most of your running stores … Our local Fleet feet store, good friends of ours, they have a whole section with lights and reflective running gear and those sort of things. You don’t need to go overboard like my friend who looks like a Christmas tree, but you do want to be visible when you’re out at this time of the year.

Cindy Speaker:  Yeah, yeah. A lot of people I know in my neighborhood are out walking dogs at night. What about that? Because I would guess even if you have bright clothing what about the visibility of the animal?

David Daggett: No, it’s the same sort of rule. It’s interesting, on my drive home from work I go down one street that doesn’t have any sidewalks and it’s rather dark and you have people out walking their dogs after work. Which is great. It’s great exercise. It’s good for the dog, it’s good for you, it’s good … You know, meet your neighbors, good for everything. There’s no downside to it except if you’re not visible. They actually make leashes that are reflective, dog collars that are reflective. So absolutely the same thing that we talked about the joggers and runners. That applies to walkers, whether you’re walking the dog or fitness walking or just being out. You want to be seen and you want to be visible, and look at it from the driver’s point of view. You want to do everything you can do to help the motorist be able to see you and help keep you safe. Likewise, I always tell this to bicycle riders, always be nice to the motorist because the motorist will be nice to the next cyclist down the road. So always being visible, doing what you can to help a motorist not only helps you, it helps the next person that they encounter down the road also do. So I think that’s very important.

Cindy Speaker:  Yeah, very helpful. Well, this is good. A lot of great safety tips and I think it’s important for awareness.

David Daggett: Yeah-

Cindy Speaker: I don’t think these are all common knowledge things.

David Daggett:  Yeah, the one thing I wanted to comment on is particularly, beginners and new people into the fitness community is they tend to many times feel, “Well, I’m not good enough yet to go into the running store and look at these reflective vests. That’s for serious runners.” Or, “I’ll wait till I’m a little more active before …” No, let’s get in that habit right at the beginning. I put the reflective gear on the hook during this time of year right over my running shoes and it’s just the routine. You put it on when you go out. So for any of our new athletes out there first I want to welcome you to the healthy fitness community, but let’s start those good habits now for being safe.

Cindy Speaker:  Yeah.

David Daggett: And then another thing and I don’t know if you know this, Cindy. Is our office has become a popular meeting place for runners actually year round. We have running groups that meet here early in the morning, meet here after work and meet here on the weekends and run from our office because there’s a number of good routes right around here and we certainly welcome that. So we put in a water fountain outside our building for runners so that they stop and get a drink of water and what they don’t know, so I’m telling them here is right inside the wall where the pipe is we’ve got a great big commercial water filter. So our water fountain has the purest water of any water fountain in town.

Cindy Speaker:  Oh, that’s great.

David Daggett:  Last year we had the pipe dug up and wrapped with a heat tape that we plug in in the wintertime. So our water fountain is running year round. So it runs in the winter also. The reason I mention this is dehydration is actually more prevalent in cold weather than in hot weather, and that’s very, very interesting. Part of the reason is person doesn’t realize that they’re dehydrating and breathing in and out cold, dry air. That’s where you lose a lot of your moisture is just through your mouth. So stop by our drinking fountain and make sure that you stay hydrated when you’re out there on those winter runs also.

Cindy Speaker: That’s great. That’s great. That’s amazing that you did that. I love it.

David Daggett:  Oh, it’s fun. Oh, we love it too. I think we get more joy out of it than they do. We’re just glad to have those runners think of this as one of their home bases.

Cindy Speaker: I love it. Well, David, if anybody has questions how can they reach out to you and your firm?

David Daggett:  We always have safety tips on our website at daggettshulerlaw.com or can give us a call at 336-724-1234. And just stay active this winter, but please be safe.

Cindy Speaker:  All right. Well, thanks, David, for being with us again. Always good to have you and for those of you watching either live or by replay, thank you for being with us. Feel free to share this. These are great tips to share with fellow runners and we’ll see you all again soon. Thanks, everybody. Bye.